Mercer’s Student Government Association (SGA) reconvened to discuss the perceived disconnect between students and athletes as well as what safety improvements students believe the school should make during this semester’s Safety Walk.
The campus outreach committee, lead by Senior Senator Hayes Rule, introduced student concerns about relations between the Mercer student population as a whole and the student-athletes.
“Honestly, athletes can be a little cliquey sometimes,” Rule said. “As an athlete, I can see both sides.”
Rule suggested that SGA play a role in bringing student groups together. He proposed a community basketball tournament as one method.
“Athletic teams and non-athletes would come together, be on the same team together, play together,” he said. “It would happen at the end of March in Hawkins Arena during the time when a lot of March Madness is going to be showing in the stadium.”
Rule said he would still need to work out many of the details about the tournament.
Junior Sen. Michaela Jones suggested a kickball game instead, which many senators seconded, including Recording Secretary Adi Trivedi.
“With basketball, athletes are given a huge advantage training-wise, whereas there is not a kickball team for Mercer,” Trivedi said.
Sen. Rule said he is still open to ideas and has not closed discussion on the subject.
SGA also talked about this semester’s upcoming Safety Walk as they look to appoint a new head of the Campus Safety and Improvement Committee to replace former committee chair Grant Denton, who no longer serves on SGA.
Senator-at-Large Azam Gadi, as acting head of the committee, said he has been talking to Dean of Students Doug Pearson about when the walk will be. As of now, the date has not been set.
Senators relayed student concerns about campus safety issues to the committee.
Sen. Jones said that they should check on a “door at Mercer Hall that does not always lock,” and Freshman Class President Savannah Lackey spoke up about recent car break-ins occurring across campus.
She said the freshman dorm parking lots have been targeted lately.
“My friends have been telling me that their cars are being broken into in the freshman parking lots, and that’s not okay,” Lackey said.
The committee is still taking suggestions for what to look for on the safety walk and ask that any urgent safety concerns be addressed with Mercer Police.
SGA has open meetings every Monday night at 6:30 in the Connell Student Center.