SGA connects students to on-campus resources

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CW / Gerardo Aguilera

Gerardo Aguilera | @jerry21aguilera, Contributing Writer

As a result of positive feedback from previous events, the Student Government Association’s (SGA) academic affairs cabinet has implemented a task force to steer students toward academic resources. 

The SGA hosted an Academic Task Force Event on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The task force hosts monthly events and invites both students and faculty to participate. 

The main goal is to provide students an opportunity to voice their ideas on how to improve outreach for academic success. This month’s goal is “How Utilizing Your Support Systems on Campus Can Enhance and Improve Your Academic Success.”

The task force invited guests from on-campus organizations to talk to students about the resources available to them. Faculty Senate member Sara Kaylor presented along with Jennifer Burnette, director of academic success, from the Center for Student Success on Tuesday. 

As university-level classes and extracurricular activities can be overwhelming at times, SGA representatives said they want to make it easier for students to get help. 

“I believe the academic task force events are an important venue for students to express their opinions on how SGA can work with the University to make their academic experience the best it can be,” said Allison Bailey, SGA vice president of academic affairs (VPAA). “My goal as VPAA has been to provide an open space for students to express these opinions and for members of SGA to be there to listen and work together toward solutions.” 

Bailey said the academic affairs cabinet strives to give all students an opportunity to voice their opinions when it comes to increasing awareness about academic resources and policies around campus.

Bailey talked to the students about syllabus and course policies, and how it is important to familiarize yourself with the document rather than emailing your professor. Faculty office hours is another great resource for students to get a one-on-one conversation. Going into office hours can help students receive and understand more information outside of the classroom.

Furthermore, Bailey made it clear that having good email etiquette is vital to a student’s professional career. Having good etiquette shows professionalism, and it should be used when messaging anyone.

The event presented ideas on how to best exercise faculty resources along with ways in which students can acquire help from the many different support systems on campus that encourage academic excellence.

“There are many [resources] here at The University of Alabama’s campus that will help you bridge your academic success, rather than having a bridge to nowhere,” Kaylor said.

Kaylor mentioned that free tutoring is always available, and so are academic coaches.

Academic coaching is on a one-to-one basis, creating a private and personalized session to benefit the student. The coaches can help students improve their notetaking and time management skills, and can provide study tips and a plethora of other skills, like how to prevent procrastination.

The coaches will provide assistance to any student, either by appointment or a walk-in. Coaches will also send out tasks to help students improve their weaker academic abilities. 

“We assist students to overcome issues and barriers that you face as a college student,” Burnette said. “We have anywhere from first-time students [freshmen] to juniors and seniors that come visit us.”

For more information on tutoring and academic coaching, visit their website, success.ua.edu.

Students are encouraged to use resources to advance their professional and academic careers at The University of Alabama. Meredith Parks, a junior studying mechanical engineering, said she learned a lot from the event. Although she has only gone once, she said she will be going again if she struggles with a class.

“I have been to a meeting at Russell Hall for exam prep, but I did not know that there was an entire floor with resources I can go to,” Parks said after the event. “It’s good to hear another person’s perspective. I will seek tutoring there if I find myself struggling.”