During the course of my administration, the honorable
William M. Dooley will be changing his name. Not many Student Government
Association (SGA) presidents can claim that such a historic event
occurred during their tenure.
I hope and pray that Dooley’s new name is representative of
a person that is as honorable and exceptional as his current namesake.
And, should he need a sex change, Dooley can be comforted by the
fact that Emory has one of the finest health sciences divisions
in the country.
Emory soon will name the 19th president of the University. In welcoming
this new leader, SGA and other major student organizations must
work to ensure that the next president is aware of all student concerns
and the way in which we feel they should be addressed. We should
meet with the new president early and often to demonstrate our profound
interest in the future of this University and our desire to see
greater transparency and student involvement in decision-making
Without increasing student involvement in decision making, Emory
will continue to be plagued by a disease. Its name is secrecy. It
permeates and disrupts the relationship between administrators and
students, resulting in a lack of communication and, consequently,
misunderstanding. All this leads to a campus with growing dissatisfaction
and disdain for administrators, especially those who are making
decisions without soliciting the input of the students who are affected
This disease is infecting every part of the institution, from the
Board of Trustees to student organizations. How can one take ownership
and be proud and excited about something they know little about?
How can people accept changes when little is done to explain the
reasoning behind those changes?
Currently, students are not critically involved in the most influential
decision-making body of the University: the Board of Trustees. Many
of our peer institutions, including Duke, Cornell, Vanderbilt and
many others, realized the importance of including students in decision
making years ago. In order for Emory to truly gain a sense of unity,
everyone must be given the chance to know and understand decision
making at every level of the University.
To further promote greater understanding, I plan to work closely
with members of the administration, faculty and staff in addressing
student needs. Throughout my years at Emory, my experiences with
faculty and staff have been very positive.
Continuing this positive relationship will be essential to my administration.
In order for students to fully enjoy and benefit from their time
here at Emory, they must have people who enrich that experience—that
is the role of the faculty and staff.
Since I was elected president of SGA, I have met with many campus
officials, administrators and students to discuss initiatives for
the upcoming year. During this time I have undergone a slight transformation.
When the students of this University elected me as their president,
they charged me with the responsibility of representing their views
to the administration and with exercising sound judgment to ensure
the improvement and progression of a vibrant and broad campus life.
My transformation is this: Though I will always be objective and
open to all ideas— especially those supported by students—my
decisions and solution to problems may not always be the most popular,
but they will always be what is in the best interest of the students
and the University.
Let me highlight a few things that the Emory community should expect
under my administration:
• The student body, my constituents, consists of both graduate
and undergraduate students, even though the two groups are currently
separated both physically and socially. With the creation of the
Graduate/Undergraduate Relations Task Force, we will work toward
creating a more cohesive community within the student body.
• Next on my list is the creation of a speaker’s series,
bringing prominent individuals to discuss a wide array of topics.
• In an effort to further improve campus academic, social
and recreational life, I will push for increased availability of
facilities such as Cox Hall, Woodruff Library, the Dobbs Center,
the P.E. Center and Dooley’s Den. To this end, I will also
strongly advocate for the realization of the Campus Master Plan’s
goal of making the Longstreet parking lot (located behind the Dobbs
Center) into a green space, and promote moving the outdoor basketball
court from Candler Field to this new space, centrally located on
• Students have long demanded the publication of faculty evaluations,
which would allow students to select professors whose teaching styles
more closely fit how the students learn. Many of our peer institutions
around the country have realized that the publication of faculty
evaluations is beneficial for their students. I would expect Emory
to do the same.
• Very few cities boast as many universities as Atlanta, and
each can offer a great deal to the others. I would like to encourage
greater interaction between these schools, intellectually and socially.
• The Druid Hills Civic Association and the DeKalb County
sound ordinance has been a longstanding issue of concern. As good
neighbors, we must work with those around us and abide by the laws
that govern the society while advocating for the desired change.
The noise ordinance has severely restricted our programming abilities.
With other student leaders and University officials, I hope to reach
a compromise with our neighbors that will grant us a few allowances
to the ordinance throughout the course of the year.
• With the discussed sale of the sorority lodges, I want to
ensure that Emory’s sorority women will be adequately accommodated
and, in the event the buildings are sold, relocated as promptly
as possible so as not to disrupt the Greek experience for current
and future students.
• As far as I know—and as far as those who know more
can recall—I am the first former president of the Oxford SGA
to be elected president of SGA on the Atlanta campus. This speaks
loudly about the length and bounds by which the relationship between
the mother and daughter campuses has improved. When I was elected
president at Oxford, I pledged to unite the two campuses. Because
of our efforts, SGA now officially recognizes Oxford as a division
of the University. While we’ve come a long way, there is still
much to be done. I will promote the continued integration of Oxford
College into the Emory community.
As John Lennon sang, “People say I’m a dreamer, but
I am not the only one.” I hope that Emory will dream with
me to make our dreams, desires and wishes a reality.
essay was adapted from Bropleh’s State of the University address,
delivered March 18 in Cox Hall.