SGA candidate profile: Duane Meighan

Northern Star Staff

The following is the response to a Northern Star questionnaire sent to all SGA candidates. Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and consistency.

Meighan is running for the student trustee position in the executive branch.

Name: Duane Meighan
Year in school: Sophomore
Major: Biological Sciences
Hometown: Elgin, Illinois

Why do you want to be a part of Northern Illinois University’s Student Government Association?

As Student-Trustee, I want to be a voice for the student body, advocating for the needs of all students. Throughout my college career, I have made it a priority to remain as involved as possible. Throughout my two years at NIU, I have come across issues that affected a great number of students that did not reach the attention of the executive faculty. As an executive member of SGA, I can help bridge the communicative disconnect between students and the NIU’s administration.

What do you hope to accomplish during your term?

  1. The creation and investment in an academic mentoring program to help bridge the achievement gap between minority and majority students.
  2. The construction of University inclusive fundraising events in the form of celebrative functions that raise cultural awareness, while simultaneously creating a budget needed to fund more scholarship opportunities for students that are
    financially in need. The creation of such a system could help fund scholarships for students long after the current candidates leave office.
  3. The establishment of a stronger link between the communication of students, SGA, and faculty.

Why should students vote for you?

  1. Throughout my time as a college student, I have had the honor and privilege of being an active member of the Black Male Initiative, Black Student Union’s Community Outreach, and have served as a Community Advisor for the Stevenson South Building Complex. Each of these experiences has provided me with opportunities to network and meet different students of unique backgrounds, scholarly goals, and personal concerns pertaining to campus life. As Student- Trustee, I will have the resources to have campus executives hear the voice of the student body and advocate for change at the executive level.
  2. As student-trustee, I will make a constant effort to be in communication with the student body in terms of what is being/has been decided amongst the board of trustees. NIU’s students deserve to have access to what changes are being made to the University. I want this to be done through the creation of a website portal that is updated weekly with information regarding the Board of Trustees’ newly voted decisions.
  3. In addition, a personal forum that gives the student body the ability to personally ask questions and send comments they believe require the attention of the campus administration.

What is NIU’s biggest area that requires improvement?

  1. The equity gap in achievement rates between minority and majority students. Freshmen and new students should be provided with more resources to assist students with succeeding in gateway courses and beyond.
  2. Executive faculty listening to the needs and requests of the student body, while
    making a stronger effort to make the student body aware of incoming University
    changes.

Why is the student government association important to you? Why should students be concerned about SGA?
I value the student government association because it allows students to take a hands-on approach to how the Northern Illinois University’s campus life and internal affairs are governed. It’s an organization run by the students for the students. SGA has
the capability to give the student body a voice in major campus decisions. With proper management by the candidates placed in office by the student body, SGA can help make NIU a greater campus for all students. Voting is the first step.

The Northern Star is publishing the candidates’ responses to our questions as they are given to us. The Northern Star is not endorsing SGA candidates.