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Virtual students gain SGA representation

2/6/2014

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Fort Hays State University's Virtual College is teaming with Student Government Association to give Virtual College students SGA representation and allow them to participate in on-campus opportunities.

Using video conferencing, the Virtual College Students Advisory Committee will meet approximately once a month.

Giving Virtual College students representation and a chance to participate in campus organizations was one of SGA President Chris Roberts' goals.

Roberts has been "a main contributor in getting the committee created," said Kathleen Dougherty, Virtual College online student communication strategist.

In addition to FHSU faculty and staff, eight Virtual College students -- two from each of the four colleges, arts and sciences, business and entrepreneurship, education and technology, and health and life sciences -- serve on the committee.

Five of the student members are from Kansas, and three from out-of-state. There is one each from Idaho, North Carolina and Ohio, according to a news release.

Interested Virtual College students submitted applications to join the committee. For this semester, the representatives were selected by the Virtual College Advisory Committee members from each college.

The selection process could change in the future, Dougherty said.

The advisory committee will have "an on-campus SGA liaison who will report to the full Senate and help be their advocate to the administration," Roberts said.

If the on-campus student body passes the new constitution, they will have a vote for student body president and vice president.

"The goal is to provide them with the ability to participate in campus organizations, events, governance process, and have as close to an on-campus experience as possible," Roberts said.

In addition to representation, Virtual College students will be able to have some of the same experiences as on-campus students -- such as going on student organization trips.

"These are, of course, baby steps, and much more structural work needs to be done," Roberts said.