The SGA Complaint Process

Cishella Durling: Hi everyone! Welcome to another episode of the Student Affairs Podcast series.

My name is Cishella Durling and I'm so excited to be your host today. And we actually have another member of the Student Government Association with us today and they're going to be talking to us about the grievance or complete process that students can utilize through the Student Government Association. So today, with us, we have Alex Reynolds, who is the Services Vice President. So, I'm going to go ahead and just jump right in and ask you first, Alex, how do students at the University of Louisville make complaints through the SGA and what kind of issues can they complain about?

Alex Reynolds: Yeah. Thanks for having me on. So, just to give a little background about myself, this is my second year serving as the Services Vice President, and I serve as the main liaison between the student body and the administration for housing, dining, parking, safety, and all other non-academic services. But to file a complaint: we just launched our new website and one of the best ways to file a complaint is to go to the resources section and click on either the inquiry form or the complaint form, and they all go to the same place, our common SGA email, which is, where you can just email us too, if you prefer that, or email any of us top four individually. And you can just kind of share any concerns that you really have about the administration, about the university, that day to day, being a student and we serve as your advocates on different issues and give a student perspective to the administration on how to address issues. So, it's definitely one of the most effective ways to really get some good feedback and get some help. We typically respond within 48 hours or within the week. Again, we're still all students and this is just kind of a part time gig for us. But that's one of the best ways. You could also just come and visit us in our office at SAC 310 just above the escalators and by the ticket Office for Athletics. Or you could send us a direct message on Instagram as well at UofL SGA.

Cishella Durling: Well, that's fantastic. There are so many different ways for students to get ahold of you, and I really appreciate that, especially from an accessibility standpoint. So, can you share any stories where complaints led to positive outcomes and how does the Student Government Association use feedback from complaints to make things better for students?

Alex Reynolds: Yes, I think one of the biggest complaints that I got early on was with safety, especially with theft, like people getting their catalytic converters stolen out of their cars and having their cars broken into in parking lots with little lighting and lacking cameras. So, what we were able to do is we were able to kind of put all those complaints together and bring it to university parking, and ULPD, and the administration to say, hey, this is an ongoing issue. You know, other areas have lighting and cameras, and you know you don't see this kind of theft that you do in these areas. So really, just pushing constantly for cameras and for lighting eventually got the administration to say, OK, you know what, you're right, this area does need that lighting, we do need those cameras, and then they got installed shortly after, based on that student advocacy and those complaints that we took and brought to the administration. So, even if you think it's an isolated incident, or you have a small issue, there could be tons more students just like you who are dealing with something and no matter how small or big a complaint is or an issue, we really look closely at it and you know make sure we advocate for it, advocate for the best way possible.

Cishella Durling: And I know again, coming from that disability advocacy point, that makes our campus more accessible when it's safer, when we have that lighting, when we have these protocols in place to help support students.

So, I really appreciate the student government associations dedication to getting that outcome.

Alex Reynolds: For sure.

Cishella Durling: So I guess that leads to my final question: are there any upcoming initiatives that the SGA is undergoing that the student body can look forward to having?

Alex Reynolds: Yeah. So, I'll just talk a little bit about one thing that I've been working on for the past two years alongside our President Katie, and also the administration. We're going to officially get a program, or a new app, for the university on safety. But one main component of it is an Uber and Lyft type program for the Cardinal cruiser, which is, you know, you call later in the night if you need a ride home from the library or wherever you're at, back to your dorm. We're making an Uber or Lyft type app that you call from your phone; you can see the estimated wait time, you can see, you could send them your exact location, and you could carpool with different people. It's just going to be a really convenient feature, whereas in the past people have been waiting for a long time for the ride or the ride hasn't shown up. But this will make it more efficient and help transport students safely to where they need to go. So, that's something that I'm really proud of and really excited about. It should be coming up, we might be doing a demo with this this semester, but it will definitely be in place next year, which I'm excited about.

Cishella Durling: Yeah, I know! As a student, I'm excited about that too. Again, the things that the SGA are able to accomplish is pretty vast and I think it's important to empower the students here at the University of Louisville to take action, to tell their stories and to, you know, when they see, hey, we can do, we can do better -- to bring that to the SGA's attention so that change, meaningful change, can occur on campus. And I see that the SGA is really doing a great job at advocating for the students at the University of Louisville and I really appreciate that.

Alex Reynolds: Thank you so much for just having me on and let me shine light on all these issues, and just on the complaint process and just kind of let students know that you all have a voice and even though if you don't -- if you don't think that that'll make a difference, it really does. Because the administration and people who work at UofL don't always get to hear directly from students. So, when it's the student bringing a complaint, it really it does carry a lot of weight.

Cishella Durling: Awesome. Well, all right, everybody, we're going to go ahead and wrap this up with, did you know that we have another complaint process through the Dean of Students and you can reach out to a Student Advocate if you are having academic, or other concerns, that our policy related and you can visit the student advocate at the Dean of Students Office or at their website All right, everybody, thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of the Student Affairs Podcast series, and we'll catch you next time.

NOTE: The address of the Student Advocate website has been corrected in this transcript.


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