McCord sets ambitious agenda

Casey McAnarney | Staff Writer

Student Government Association President Dan McCord spoke for several changes in his State of the Union Address last Tuesday night.

Outreach and involvement were two of the most important factors talked about by University of North Carolina-Wilmington SGA President Dan McCord during the address.

McCord said this year SGA will be putting more time toward campus outreach through their new outreach committee. This is how they plan to discover an accurate understanding of the student voice.

However, it is hard to reach out to a student body that does not answer in return. Elections last spring saw an all-time low in student voting.

When asked privately after the speech, McCord said, “after the results of the spring election, SGA said that (the election) was a failure and we are not going to let that happen again.”

Some of the ways that SGA hopes to reach out to the student body is by having tabling events throughout the year for focusing on off-campus and commuter students, and to have monthly Residence Hall tours held by Freshmen Senators.

A plan that is geared towards increasing involvement in SGA itself was the passing of a comprehensive reform bill that changed the election process.

“The elections process now requires heavy marketing of the election, longer timelines so students can get involved, and loosening restrictions so students don’t get caught up in unnecessary rules,” McCord said. “Students who want to run should be able to (run).”

After summarizing the issues of outreach and involvement, McCord went into some of the specific ideas he plans to instate while he is President of SGA.

There were five major issues McCord discussed during the address, the first being the need for more on-campus parking.

“Parking service provided here are not successfully meeting the demands of students,” McCord said. “With a majority of our students living off-campus… the demand for parking exceeds the supply.”

Because students are paying hundreds of dollars to park on campus, McCord plans to find a way to provide more parking on campus.

McCord’s next idea is to provide the need for more campus dining options after hours or on weekends. He plans to do so by expanding off campus food dollars to more venues.

The third point made in the address was about the high demand for tailgating. McCord’s goal is to have candid conversation about the restrictions surrounding these efforts and how the entire university can safely, and legally, start a new tradition of tailgating at UNCW.

Because tailgating at UNCW has been tried and failed in the past, McCord believes that there needs to be a shift in the tailgating culture on the UNCW campus.

After explaining his tailgating goals, McCord brought up the issue of environmental stewardship on campus.

Though UNCW can call itself a green and sustainable school, according to McCord, there is still a need for recycling resources in upperclassmen apartment areas.

As mentioned in the address, new infrastructure requires more man power and SGA understands the limitations of their recycling department.  

“But do believe in environmental protection,” McCord said. He wants to ensure that more on campus students can conveniently recycle.

The final point made in McCord’s address was that of the issue of mental health awareness.

SGA’s new platform to promote mental health awareness will go hand-in-hand with what state level Association of Student Governments says about mental health on college campuses. Especially in the wake of the 4 student suicides committed at Appalachian State University just last year.

“Students must learn to use the counseling center, the Collaboration for Assault Response and Education (CARE), and Crossroads as much as the learning center because these are resources that help maintain student’s well-being,” McCord said.

Senator Alyssa Bossi will be working on this endeavor. She plans to work with the departments in DePaolo Hall to set in motion ideas such as lengthening the amount of time one can seek counseling, however, Bossi has to discuss her plans with Dr.Brian Victor, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs,

 “As student representatives it will be our mission to lead by example,” McCord said. With these new initiatives in place, SGA is using various avenues to improve UNCW.