/uploads/2012/09/IMGP40201-1024×682.jpg” alt=”" width=”595″ height=”396″ /> David Rawls, President of the SGA (left) speaks with Marcus Washington from News Channel 5 about the student government initiative to help others stay in school. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
NASHVILLE (TSU New Service) – In these tough economic times, many students are finding it difficult to stay in school because of financial difficulties.
But for a few lucky ones at TSU, help is coming from some unusual places …their fellow students.
Brittney Davis, a sophomore, transfer student from Xavier University, who had met nearly all of her admission requirements, was about to be turned away because she was short $230 to complete her registration.
“I just couldn’t find it,” said the Nashville native. “My student loan had been used up, and I just didn’t know where else to turn.”
Then in walks the Student Government Association (SGA).
“We will help to make up the difference,” said David Rawls, President of the SGA, in an apparent effort to ensure that qualified fellow students are not turned away.
Davis, a Chemistry major, is not alone with the promise of an SGA help. Twenty-nine others, who are about to be purged, have been promised funding from the student group to help them stay in school. Purging is a last-minute process of turning away prospective students who cannot meet their full academic fees.
In what has been described as a “students helping students” initiative, the SGA has set aside $7,800 from its institutional appropriation to help students who cannot meet their full fees.
“It is frustrating and discouraging to be told at the last-minute that you are going back home because you do not have your full fees,” said Rawls, a Washington, D.C. native, who spoke of nearly being purged as a freshman.
“Thanks to the D.C. Chapter of the TSU Alumni Association for stepping in. They came to my aid just as I was about to be turned away as an in-coming freshman,” Rawls said.
With that experience, and knowing that several students were about to be purged, he appealed to the Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Adrian Samuels, to use part of the SGA fund to help their fellow students.
“Dr. Samuels agreed, and we immediately requested a list of students who met our basic requirement of at least a 2.75 GPA, for help,” Rawls said.
“We had no problem with the request because it was a more beneficial way of utilizing the funds,” Dr. Samuels said. “Furthermore, it fell right in place with our cautioning to our students to develop a ‘we’ rather than a ‘me’ mentality. We see this as a way of giving back.”
Dr. Jame’l R. Hodges, the new Director of Student Activities, sees the initiative as a way of students reaching out to one another, and a more resourceful way of utilizing their funds.
“They could have used it to do something else, like purchasing games or holding rallies,” Dr. Hodges said. “This is certainly a great endeavor, and it fulfills our ‘Think, Work, Serve’ mission.”
Asked if the SGA initiative will be continued, Rawls, a senior Business Administration major, whose one-year term expires at graduation, said he hopes the next administration will do so.
“There is a buy-in for everyone and a win-win for the SGA and the institution,” he said.
Department of Media Relations
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top Universities in the county by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu
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Motto: Think, Work, Serve Established: June 19, 1912 Type: Public, HBCU Endowment: $41.7 million Chancellor: John Morgan President: Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Faculty: 431 Enrollment: 8775 Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States Campus: Urban, 500 acres (2 km²) Former names: Tennessee A&I State Normal School for Negroes (1912); Tennessee A&I State Normal College (1925); Tennessee A&I State University (1951); Tennessee State University (1968) Colors: Reflex Blue and White Nickname: Tigers Athletics: National Collegiate Athletic Association Affiliations: Ohio Valley Conference Web site: www.tnstate.edu Phone: 615-963-5000
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