By Nachala Waters, Contributing Writer
Meal plans, skateboarding, package pickup. These are all issues Towson University students have sought to change, creating petitions to do so.
Two of these were created during the fall 2023 semester. The other, on meal plans, this past spring.
Yet the processes in place for change-making at Towson University render petitions ineffective. The university uses a model of shared governance, which does not include the review of petitions, a university spokesperson said in an email.
“Participation from students, faculty and staff is welcomed and important to achieving progress and informing leadership decisions,” the spokesperson said. “Petitions are not of effect within that governance model.”
Essentially, on their own, petitions will not shape decision-making.
However, for students who want to change something, the Student Government Association can help.
“Petitions are definitely important because they convey the needs and wants of the students,” SGA President Jordan Colquitt said. “But the important piece is getting people involved that can convey that to the administration.”
Colquitt said he found out via Instagram about a petition calling on the administration to reverse recent changes made to the university mailing system.
“No one came up to us to address it as a concern,” he said.
Once the SGA knew about it, though, Colquitt said they started working on resolving the issue. They have been meeting with the University Residency Government and the National Residence Hall Honorary, a student leadership and philanthropy organization.
He emphasized keeping the SGA in the loop so they can effectively represent the student body’s concerns, wants and needs. These needs include the issues addressed in petitions.
Bee Cigna, the petition’s creator, told The Towerlight that once the SGA knew about the petition, they did not communicate next steps to Cigna or involve them in those processes.
The mailing petition has garnered over 100 signatures since September. Its goal is to modify the mailing system to increase accessibility, Cigna said in a message.
As of the fall semester, packages to West Village residents are no longer mailed directly to their buildings. Rather, all packages must be picked up at the Post Office in the University Union.
The university installed package lockers ahead of the semester, The Towerlight reported. West Village residents have priority in getting their packages put in a locker, which can be accessed during the Union’s hours of operation.
The petition lays out student grievances ranging from perishables that need to be refrigerated on arrival to accessibility concerns.
Most recently, a petition started by an on-campus skateboarding group, the Glider Alliance, seeks to legalize skateboarding on campus after reportedly being issued trespassing warnings in the Liberal Arts garage.
Note: This story has been updated to include addition comments from Cigna.