SGA: Take charge. Administration: Take note.

In 2002, YSU released its annual sugarcoated performance report, touting a stellar 71 percent retention rate for freshmen.

Again, in 2007, the last year a performance report is available online, the university boasted a 69 percent retention rate, “the highest at open-admissions public institutions in Ohio.”

But YSU failed to mention that the state as a whole retained 78 percent of freshmen in 2002 and 76 percent in 2007.

The state’s retention rate is significantly higher than YSU’s.

This means that students are leaving YSU only to enroll at another open enrollment university.

We’re losing students, just not as fast as everyone else.

Cory Okular, Student Government Association president-elect, said he would push for a first-year experience program at YSU. He also said it may be difficult to get administration on board.

Well, the administration loves to reap the good news, but the numbers they sell are skewed. They would do a great service to the campus to consider Okular’s plan.

Okular’s second proposal that we feel the administration should be taking seriously is increasing the maximum credit hours from 16 to 18.

YSU has cut the average graduation time by one year since 2002.

Yet, with a median time to graduate of 4.67 years, our university lagged behind the state median of 3.8 years in 2010.

What’s worse is that fewer than 11 percent of freshmen returned as sophomores last year.

So, increasing credit hours makes sense.

Don’t just allow students to take on more; incentivize them.

We ask for Okular to be vigilant in demanding change.

He and SGA have the power to make a difference — if they choose to do more than just argue for the same programs that have been discussed for the past decade.

Don’t stumble feebly through another school year.

And, lastly, we demand that the administration listen to them.

And, if their proposals are met with adversity, then the administration had better have a damned good reason for turning down solutions to problems that could mitigate students’ tuition and the university’s retention.