MACOMB, Illinois -- Western Illinois University is at a crossroads, struggling with declining enrollment that have resulted in layoffs earlier this year and affected morale. But student leaders say now is not the time to wallow in the past.
WIU's Student Government Association convened a special session on campus Monday, April 22, with the theme "The time is today."
Student leaders in a "State of the Student" address acknowledged times have been turbulent. Their classmates have seen beloved professors laid off and opinions divide the Macomb campus. SGA Vice President Madison Lynn tells News 8 the student group has begun taking steps to make sure information is shared with students and increase transparency by opening up SGA meetings and inviting students and university leadership to address concerns.
Many students responded and have spoken up at these forums, she said: "There were a lot of questions about the layoffs."
Student leaders hope to also change the conversation to a more positive image of what WIU represents.
"Every student, staff and faculty member serves as an ambassador for this university. Every conversation we have at home, all the media we publish and the infighting that we entertain have real impact," said Aaron Steele, the SGA's Speaker of the Senate.
"Be positive, give it your all. Recruiting is everyone's responsibility," Lynn said.
"We must change our institutional mindset and make choices of action rather than inaction," implored SGA President Grant Reed.