SGA Produces Video to Raise Awareness about Importance of Higher Education

Madelyn Street photo

The Student Government Association at Eastern Kentucky University has produced a video to raise awareness among elected leaders and the public about the importance of accessible and affordable higher education, especially for EKU students.

The video, which runs almost four minutes, features comments from seven Eastern students, including SGA President and Student Regent Madelyn Street, as well as from EKU President Doug Whitlock and two staff members. It can be viewed at

The students talk about financial obstacles to completing a degree, and the role higher education plays in improving their lives.

“The Board of Student Body Presidents reached a decision late last semester to cancel our annual Rally for Higher Education that is hosted at the State Capitol,” Street said. “We decided that we would like to take a more personal and respectful approach to voicing our opinions to the state legislators. It was then decided that all eight public institutions would develop their own ways of getting our message across and voicing the opinions of our students. 

“I think that this approach shows that we (student government associations) are trying to take a more professional stance on the issue,” Street continued. “We are able to appeal to the legislators on a level that truly shows what we are trying to accomplish.”

In addition to Street, students featured on the video are: Matthew Greenleaf, John Perrin, Andrew Beasley, Madison Koller, Chris Ernste and Michael Deaton. Benton Shirey, director of academic advising, and Brandon Williams, assistant director for student rights and responsibilities, joined Whitlock in making comments. 

 The video idea was proposed, Street said, by SGA Treasurer Elizabeth Horn and then “immediately put into action” by the SGA Executive Cabinet. Street credited Brandon Shinkle for the video production.

“It is absolutely essential that our state government take into consideration how their cuts … place the burden on our students,” Street said, “especially at Eastern, because we pride ourselves in providing a low-cost education for students who wouldn't otherwise be able to receive a degree. We are the future of this state, and we will ultimately be the ones who contribute economically and socially to Kentucky’s well-being.

“As SGA President, I want to challenge the state to not only end higher education budget cuts, but to look at creating ways for our public institutions to begin receiving more funding. I am challenging them to come up with new and innovative ways to provide incentives for universities to earn more funding.”

Published on February 27, 2013

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