SGA President Scott Motivated by Love for Eastern
By ERIKA KHAIR
Student Writer, EKU Communications & Marketing
Katie Scott loves Eastern Kentucky University, and that motivates her to leave it better than she found it.
Elected in March as Student Government Association president and Student Regent for the 2015-2016 school year, Scott is a senior globalization and international affairs, political science and history triple major from Berea and a 2012 graduate of Madison Southern High School. She expects to graduate from Eastern in May 2016 and wants a career as a State Department Consular Foreign Service Officer.
Scott has been involved with SGA since her freshman year. She spent two years as part of what is now the Residence Hall Association, including one year as its clerk, and last year as the Dining Services committee chair in Student Senate. Now Scott is finishing her college career as SGA president.
“I always liked SGA because I feel like it’s a place on campus where students can have a voice and be listened to,” she said. “It’s one thing to complain to your RAs or your friends. Having a body that can act as an advocate for those complaints I always thought was really helpful.”
One of Scott’s goals is to make sure all student voices are heard and answered by hosting a monthly student forum for all Eastern students. Forum meetings will be held at a different time each month so all students have an opportunity to attend, regardless of class schedule. And Scott and her team are setting a three-week deadline for themselves to respond to all student complaints, either with a resolution to the complaint or an update on how it’s being handled.
“We see it as a two-way street where you can hold us, the heads of SGA, accountable for any issues on campus,” Scott said. “Of course we have priorities on what we think the students want. But it’s about knowing other things students want. What are the main…things students are having issues with?”
Scott’s agenda also includes working to allow alcohol on campus for students over 21 in upperclassmen residence halls, family residential housing and at some student events. More importantly, Scott says, it’s about allowing programs to help educate students about alcohol, as well as providing services not currently allowed under the current policy. These include Good Samaritan protection for those who report alcohol-related emergencies at parties and medical amnesty so students and faculty can seek medical help for alcohol addiction without facing expulsion or loss of employment.
Safety is also a priority for Scott. She wants to improve the Colonel Path, the South Second Street route between campus and downtown Richmond, with expanded sidewalks, better lighting and copies of the Colonel logo placed every 30 feet along the path to guide pedestrians. SGA is currently taking bids to design a safety application that should be released by spring. The app would allow students to call for help and anonymously report crime. Scott also hopes it will be connected to the Rave Emergency Notification system so it can operate as another alerting mechanism for students.
In addition to what she wants to accomplish as SGA president, Scott attends Kentucky General Assembly meetings as “a legislative voice for EKU students on the Hill.” As Student Regent, Scott will be sworn into the Board of Regents in October, which gives her a seat on the governing council of the University to present student opinion on issues.
Scott credits her SGA colleagues for helping her manage all of her duties. “It’s just a lot easier when you have people you trust that you can send out to meetings or do certain things,” she said. “I think having an incredible support system is the best way for time management. Then I’ve always been really organized, so that’s super helpful.”
She said her time on SGA has helped her gain valuable skills that will help her in her future career.
“You learn to work with a lot of people that have differing opinions, which can sometimes be really difficult,” she said. “Also, to listen more than you speak. In SGA you’re presented with so many different views and so many diverse backgrounds and everyone has a cause. And I think if you just listen to all of that, usually there’s a compromise between everything.”
Scott’s also thankful for Eastern’s faculty, which she described as the best in the country.
“Having three majors gets really complicated,” Scott said. “I have four advisers. And every year they’ve gone above and beyond. If I ever have any question, they’re willing to take as much time as needed to explain it to me. And I think what sets EKU apart from every other school is how incredible our faculty are. They really care about our students and watching them succeed. I’ve watched faculty members cry at graduation because that one kid they never thought was going to make it did.”
Eastern’s students make Scott hopeful, too. “They say college makes you more cynical,” she said. “In some ways that may be true, but it’s just given me a more positive view of where our future is going. When you meet people in SGA, these are people who want to make a difference. And it’s not just SGA but all over campus you meet people who want to make a difference in their field or in the world or even in the life of one person.”
In her spare time, Scott enjoys spending time with friends and being outdoors. She also loves to travel. She was recently in Salzburg, Austria, for a conference on global citizenship and human rights on a scholarship from the honors program. The scholarship included a round-trip plane ticket, so Scott arrived early to visit southern Germany and spent two and a half weeks after the conference backpacking through 15 cities in five countries.
Published on June 29, 2015