Shepard: ‘I want to give the administration an opportunity to respond to these demands’


Brian Hayes

Student body president Joseph Shepard addresses the crowd during the open forum portion of the student fees hearing. (Mar. 1, 2017)

Student Body President Joseph Shepard explained his reasoning at Wednesday’s SGA meeting for not yet signing the vote of no confidence passed by the Student Senate before spring break.

“Although the vote of no confidence did pass, I have decided personally not to sign it at this time,” Shepard said. “That does not mean I do not support the cause of We the Students, but rather I want to give the administration an opportunity to respond to these demands.”

Shepard cited university President John Bardo’s absence from campus as part of his hesitation to sign the resolution.

“I do recognize the fact that our president of the university is out of town and I want to be mindful of that,” Shepard said.

“Perception is everything, and unfortunately a lot of the perception has been that this SGA administration is not willing to work with the university administration when that’s not true at all,” Shepard said. “I’m giving the administration an opportunity to sit down at the table and have a conversation with us so we can work together to propel our university forward.”

Shepard said he did worry about an open line of communication between SGA and the university administration.

According to Shepard, student leaders have worked hard to bridge the gap between SGA and the university administration, but have faced a lack of transparency hindering their ability to run meetings effectively.

Ultimately, Shepard said the tension on campus between students and WSU officials merits a concerted effort to come together and work for the good of the university.

“I want students to understand that at this point in time, given the climate of our campus, and the climate of the student body, we really need to show those who are opposed to the reasoning behind demanding immediate action that we are willing to collaborate with the administration.”