Josie Howell, Sports Editor
On Tuesday, Nov. 12, WLJS Program Director Grant Davis sat down with three top administrators at Jacksonville State University during a WLJS broadcast.
The interview was called to discuss certain topics regarding the future of JSU by using questions specifically submitted by the students through social media that regard to issues such as the need for more parking and the controversy over the proposed new dining hall.
The administrators interviewed by Davis were acting university president Dr. Don Killingsworth, Provost Dr. Christie Shelton and Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Tim King.
The very first topic discussed has been talked about all over social media throughout the JSU community, which is the proposed plan for a new multi-million dollar dining hall and the mandated $275 commuter-fee.
Killingsworth emphasized that they are still waiting on contracts from Sodexo before they can move forward with anything regarding the new dining hall.
However, Killingsworth and King both agreed that they hope to see more food options on the menus of JSU dinings halls, especially for those with particular dietary restrictions.
“I was a vegan for one year,” said King. “I realized that it is difficult if you are a vegan in this area to try and find what you need for sustenance. Even now with Sodexo, if a student has a particular dietary need, whether they are vegan, vegetarian or have a health issue, we can work out a plan now, regardless if we get a new dining hall with Sodexo, to meet those students needs.”
The following topic introduced that many students have expressed frustration with is the lack of parking provided by Jacksonville State. Killingsworth expressed that this has been an issue for the University since he was a student in the ‘90s, so this is also an issue that he feels strongly towards.
Killingsworth expressed that he hopes to work towards building a parking deck in the future that will hopefully solve this issue
At the end of the interview, the three administrators were asked about the constant raising of tuition and additional fees that have been steadily raised and added each semester. Students often emphasize that they came to Jacksonville State because of its affordability, but instead, the university has slowly become more expensive than students have anticipated.
“I think we need to be that institution we have always been, we have a lot of first-generation college students – I think its important that we remember who our students are and be cognizant of the cost of higher education,” said Killingsworth. “Going forward, we want to make sure that we keep costs contained.”
Shelton, as a chairwoman of the tuition and fees committee at Jacksonville State, also emphasized that if the tuition and fees committee assesses a certain fee, then it is a truly appropriate fee that is used to support the student’s needs.
Killingsworth added that he does not see tuition being raised going forward, as the University is financially sound, however, fees will have to be looked at.