SGA responds to cuts; to meet with Johnson

SGA offices are located in Kilcawley Center across from the Cove. Photo by Molly Burke / The Jambar

By Molly Burke

Youngstown State University’s Student Government Association will host an open body meeting from 4 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 29 in the Rossi Room of Kilcawley Center with YSU President William “Bill” Johnson. 

SGA Executive Vice President Jordan Pintar said the meeting will allow students and faculty to hear more about the president’s plans. 

“That meeting will be a chance for the public to come and watch. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to interact. It’ll just be time for our representatives and our senators to interact with him, but I think that it’ll be a really good chance for them to kind of get their questions out and see what he has planned for our university,” Jordan said.

SGA is working on several initiatives to improve student life on campus. Jordan said she hopes Johnson will support SGA’s goals. 

“I’m thankful enough that our executive team gets to go to lunch with him on [Jan. 23]. So, right after he starts, we’ll have a chance to sit down and talk to him,” Jordan said. “I really want to continue to see things like the expansion of Aunt Flow … we’re even looking at doing things like bringing Narcan on campus. So there’s definitely a few things that I want to talk to him about and I think that he’ll be able to help us with that role.”

During fall semester 2023, SGA passed a resolution of no confidence in the board of trustees’s appointment of Johnson through a confidential search process.

Jordan said student government listened to community voices as Johnson’s appointment was met with backlash and protests.

“[SGA President Alexander Papa] and I were at all of the board of trustees meetings. We wanted to make sure that we were there speaking to the board and also at the protest so we could speak to the community as well — getting feedback, getting people’s opinions,” Jordan said.

The university announced Jan. 7 that it will sunset six degrees this semester, with four of the degrees in the Dana School of Music. A petition to “Save Dana” and an accompanying student protest followed the announcement. 

Jordan said SGA is monitoring the cuts and will continue to hear community concerns. 

 “It was sprung on us very last minute like it was also sprung on everybody else,” Jordan said. “I’ve reached out to specifically people from [Cliffe College of Creative Arts] and some of our Cliffe reps to kind of get their feedback, see if we can help them out.” 

The program sunsets were announced after Interim Provost Jennifer Pintar provided data supporting a need for the cuts, citing low enrollment and graduation rates at an Academic Senate meeting in December 2023. 

A website titled save-dana.com alleged that Jennifer’s data was false, prompting more backlash from the community.

Although Jennifer is Jordan’s mother, Jordan said their relationship will not impact the decisions she makes as vice president of SGA. 

“I really separate my role as student government and being a student on campus and my relationship at home with my mom,” Jordan said. “Even my department could be potentially looked at in the future [for cuts]. So, I do know the feeling that students are concerned over. Obviously, I don’t know the feeling of it actually happening yet … but I’ve been reaching out to really get those perspectives.” 

SGA President Alexander Papa was unavailable for comment. 

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