Press Clippings & Releases

Press Clipping: Radford University student leader wants peers to know school issues

RU student leader wants peers to know school issues

By Anna L. Mallory
Nov 28, 2007

Cheers from students at Radford University may never rival the five-minute obligatory applause in the president's State of the Union address, but student government leader Regis McKoy wants to make sure they have the opportunity.

McKoy, a senior and Student Government Association president, plans to add an annual -- or biannual -- state of the student body speech into the student governing constitution.

"It is my job and duty to alert the students. In the past, we'd set goals and accomplish them throughout the year, but students always come back and tell me, 'what is SGA doing' and I'm like, 'are you kidding me?' '' he said.

The address would give students the chance to find out, he said, and to get their questions answered.

During the first such speech Tuesday, McKoy spoke about the need for stronger school spirit at Radford, more recycling and plans for a late-night bus ride, among other hot topics that have swirled on campus this semester.

Fewer than 100 students attended his 25-minute speech, but Penelope Kyle -- the school's president -- showed up and participated in a question-and-answer session with students.

They queried her about parking, post office hours and late-night hours for campus businesses. She invited them to a holiday open house at her Radford home and touted the school's 10-year plan to strengthen international programs.

McKoy said it was important for him to have Kyle present because many students don't often see her.

Much of McKoy's speech mirrored goals laid out in the 10-year plan, particularly the desire to boost school spirit. This season, the school unveiled a "Dread the Red" campaign in which students are asked to support their sports teams by wearing shirts with the school colors. While Radford's mascot is now the Highlander, in years past, it was the Radford Red. The school bookstore has been selling T-shirts with that message. McKoy said school spirit -- his top priority -- needs to filter to the larger community of Radford as well. He suggested that sports teams might practice in local gymnasiums and home games would be "community nights" down the line. First, students need to support the teams, he said.

Student body addresses like McKoy's are common among student leaders, particularly at public institutions. And they're important, said Butch Oxendine, executive director of the American Student Government Association.

"If student government is doing its job, it is a player in the major initiatives at the school," he said.

Those student leaders who do work alongside top level officials are likely to get the most work accomplished.

"You can't just sit at a door and demand things," Oxendine said.

McKoy's next, and final speech, is tentatively slated for March.