The Student Government Association held its last meeting the day before spring break to address the swearing in of the three new executive board members.
This inauguration meeting comes in response to the cancelation of the 2020 Leo Lambert Awards Ceremony which was supposed to take place on March 31. The ceremony was canceled in response to the suspension of in-person classes after spring break over coronavirus concern.
Miley addressed the delegates and pressed them to remain unified and strong in the wake of classes being moved online until Monday, April 6.
“We need to come together as a community," Miley said, to a tearful SGA. “This sucks and there's no hiding from it. But let's make the best of it by uplifting each other.”
In an emotional night, with most of the delegates not knowing until recently that this would be their last meeting as elected representatives, the meeting focused on reflecting on the work they accomplished, and navigating the path forward.
“People don’t often get to change things at our age,” Johnson said. “They don’t get to see their words transformed into rules and policies and fixtures that their peers can exist around. It’s powerful and important.”
Johnson touted some of the accomplishments of SGA this year before leaving office, such as a successful academic opportunity fair, implementation of the campus menstrual program and building a whole new finance model for SGA, among other items.
“I could not be more proud of what this group has done this year,” Johnson said. “And we could not have done it without all of your collective work.”
Growing concerns for coronavirus on campus were a topic of discussion, and Johnson pushed SGA to show a strong leadership for concerned students.
"With all that we have accomplished, we are facing our biggest test this year,” Johnson said. “Panic is sweeping our campus more than the coronavirus and we need to stop it.”
Jana Lynn Patterson, dean of students and faculty adviser to the SGA, reassured members in the room about the administrations response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has caused widespread closure of schools and cancellations to both collegiate and professional sporting events.
"All areas of this institution have been working hard," Patterson said. "Its one of those things that when we come together and stick together, we come out together"
Patterson described the close contact the administration has had with county and state health officials in the last few months, and also commented on the worries students have academically, including meeting degree requirements and online learning.
"Online distance learning is a different learning experience, I can’t say it's going to be the same because it's not going to be the same," Patterson said. "We have a commitment for those of you completing degree requirements to do everything we can."