Let’s Recap: What you missed at the townhall meeting


Samantha Sims

SGA President Baileigh Picou discussing matters at the town hall meeting.

Southeastern’s Student Government Association (SGA) partnered with the Multicultural and International Student Affairs (MISA) to host the second town hall meeting of the year on Nov. 7. 

According to SGA’s Chairmen of Student Life and host Bianca Domino, last night’s meeting was productive and featured different topics than those in September’s town hall.

 “We got enough people from different backgrounds that were able to identify with topics that I didn’t particularly see different perspectives from,” Domino explained.

SGA and MISA partnered together during this event to help create a politically sound and inclusive environment so that everyone can benefit from the discussions. 

SGA and MISA have historically hosted town hall meetings before, but this year marks its return after being postponed due to COVID-19.

Students and faculty came together in an informal setting to discuss issues on the Southeastern campus. Discussion topics included campus diversity, campus beautification with sports, and educational events that occur on campus. There was a set amount of time allotted for each topic, during which all attendees were encouraged to contribute their thoughts.

Campus diversity was the night’s hot topic, and students voiced their thoughts on the issue of social and ideological diversity on campus. One of the main conversations on this topic was how to have difficult conversations with people with divergent opinions.

Attendees included President of the SGA Baileigh Picou. She emphasized the importance of Southeastern students’ exposure to viewpoints from a wide range of people and backgrounds. To Picou, that’s what being in college is all about. 

“College is about learning what diversity truly means and embracing it. That way you learn more, and you grow as a person,” she stated. 

Perhaps the most discussed topic of the night was sports. Transgender people’s participation in sports was a central point of discussion within this larger topic.

 Bianca Domino said this was a topic of deep interest, including the new state law that bans trans girls and women from female school sports teams. Other students proposed alternatives, such as creating a division specifically for transgender people or basing sport participation on weight class rather than gender. 

The second topic of the night related to campus beautification, which led to different ideas, questions and solutions. Ideas ranged from creative art projects that can be student-led to help beautify buildings to the installation of different art pieces on campus to illustrate SLU’s history of Hurricane Ida and Covid-19. Solutions were discussed that could help curb the spread of trash on campus and the abundance of dead birds located around campus, specifically outside the student union.

 Lastly, students had questions about upcoming construction projects. 

Finally, the town hall focused on campus-wide educational events. Students commented on how often these events occur, where to find them and what other topics students might be interested in seeing covered.

The SGA encouraged people to come to future town hall meetings or simply reach out via email to discuss new ideas or issues they see around campus. 

“Student government is the connecting bridge between faculty and students,” Domino explained. “We have the opportunity to hear the voices on campus and we then have the responsibility to take what we’re told and make sure the student voices are heard.”