Wednesday afternoon in the Eynon Ballroom, The Rowan University Board of Trustees met for the final time of the school year.
On the docket was a variety of house cleaning issues, where faculty hiring was approved, along with several name changes to specific programs at the school and authorization and amendment of university contracts.
The major action of business came in the open speaker session, when Rowan students Jeraca Marsh and Lauren Bitzer testified before the board of trustees about their ongoing concerns with the new plan to charge copay at the Wellness Center. Bitzer is the outgoing president of the Rowan University Student Government Association (SGA), while Marsh has been active in the conversation around the new plan.
Marsh noted that the copay was an undue financial burden on the student body and said that she and others might not be beneficiaries of Rowan’s motto of accessibility if they had to pay the fee. Other issues raised included the long waiting time, although those were not the primary topics at the meeting.
Marsh, a senior psychology major, also noted that she had attempted to commit suicide, despite receiving individual and group therapy from the Wellness Center and that she was speaking up as an advocate for those who could not.
“I still have a voice to speak out as a lot of people don’t,” Marsh said. “A lot of people aren’t able to share their stories, aren’t comfortable sharing their stories and I am. And I want them to have a face to the struggles that are going on with their students and they need to know the issues that are going on. They need to actually follow through with being a governance university and seeing what student’s perspectives of these issues are without just making executive decision that are going to affect us because we’re the ones that are going to have to pay this.”
The other major order of business was a board commendation for Rbrey Singleton. Singleton, the outgoing student trustee, finished up his term at the meeting and will be moving positions to become the next SGA president. Board members praised Singleton for his dedication to his position and presented him with a framed proclamation for his efforts.
Speaking after the meeting, Singleton said that he learned a lot from his time on the board of trustees, but one lesson, in particular, stood out to him.
“I’ve learned the importance of standing up for what I believe in and what’s right even when it’s unpopular,” Singleton said. “Being the student representative on the board, you have to take a unique standpoint, you have a unique perspective because you represent the students to people who may be a little bit out of touch with what the students want and need. So that’s definitely been the most valuable lesson that I’ve learned and that’s something that I’ll take with me for my career and beyond.”
The next meeting of the board of trustees will take place on June 20, 2018, with the first meeting during the upcoming school year taking place on Sept. 12, 2018.
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