SGA hosts second State of the Student Body forum


President Kyle addresses the audience with SGA President Colby Bender.

Radford University students engaged in a lively discussion about the university and campus experiences important to them.

President Penelope W. Kyle joined Student Government Association President Colby Bender March 26 for a State of the Student Body and Q&A.

The forum, open to the entire student body, offered an inviting environment in which participants could address matters related to their Radford University experience.

The intimate gathering was held in the new Student Recreation and Wellness Center – a venue representative of the transformation being made at Radford University for the benefit of students. The student body has played an important role in the building's design since its inception.

"I enjoyed speaking with you all last fall, and I look forward to our dialogue here tonight," Kyle said.

The first State of the Student Body was conducted during the fall semester, which yielded several positive changes to campus life, including additional dining options.

Bender said he believes in transparency and was pleased with the outcome of the first session.

"A lot of great questions were asked, and a lot of great dialogue was established," Bender said.

The conversation continued through the evening as President Kyle and Bender fielded questions regarding a broad range of topics, including the future of Muse Hall, the university's branding and marketing efforts, fall break, student loans, parking and on-campus employment.


From left: Amy Shartzer, Lacey Wakeman, Myrina Booker, Tiffany Goins, President Penelope Kyle, Colby, Brody Rotroll, Alan Ward, Lee Hicks, Katherine Virostek

When asked what students can do to help promote Radford amidst its current branding initiatives, President Kyle encouraged them to share their Radford experience with prospective students.

"When you return home during the fall and spring semesters, visit your high schools and tell them what is positive, in your eyes, about Radford University," Kyle said.

Regarding on-campus construction projects, Kyle said once renovations are made to the remaining residence halls, then the focus will shift to Muse. A decision has not been made as to what will happen to the university's largest residence hall, but discussions are being had in Richmond and amongst administrators regarding its future.

She explained that constructing a parking garage would be too large a financial cost – one of the most expensive building projects on any college campus and which is required to be financially self-sustaining through parking pass sales - but administrators are eyeing potential areas across campus where additional lots could exist.

In response to a question formed to address student loans, Kyle reminded students that out of the 15 public universities in Virginia, Radford University ranks as the second most affordable school to attend.

"Radford remains one of the best values not only in Virginia, but out-of-state as well," Kyle said.

Regarding concerns about establishing a fall break, she encouraged students to voice their recommendations to the SGA. She also provided guidance as to who students should approach about extending operating hours of various academic buildings.

To better understand the process in which such proposals must go through before approved or declined, President Kyle also explained the different senates that represent the university's students, faculty and staff.

The next State of the Student Body is scheduled for the fall 2015 semester. Further information will be made available once details have been confirmed.

Apr 2, 2015