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Student body president plans to improve campus

Sofia Gilmore-Montero, News Editor

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The everyday operations of the University of New Orleans include various things from hosting professional events, all the way down to serving lunch to the thousands of people on campus at any given time. While many get to enjoy the finished results, the faculty, students, and staff must often dedicate numerous hours of time and effort to make it all happen.

One such person is Student Body President Nigel Watkins, whose work didn’t stop once summer started. He said he has accumulated various ideas on what kind of changes he wants to effect upon UNO’s campus in the future.  For example, he said he would like to encourage more infrastructure renovation. Watkins said he is working on extending the amount of space available to students in which to study and converse, potentially redoing the first floor of the library and reorganizing its spaces.  He said he wishes to work with the library staff to extend library hours to suit the needs of students who need a quiet and efficient study space.  

In addition, Watkins also said he would like to improve the recreational activity on campus. He has already worked to get a budget approved and said he is happy to announce that such efforts will result in the creation of a student lounge in the University Center, which will include a game room, a TV, and a pool table, all sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA). Additionally, Watkins said he would like to focus on campus beautification to reflect the spirit of the UNO community and New Orleans itself.

Due to a big push from the student body, he has also collaborated with Aramark and administration offices and will be bringing on new companies to fulfill student eating needs and desires. There is now a Jamba Juice on campus, there will soon be a Moe’s, and there are plans to extend the Chick-fil-a in the upcoming semesters.  Taking into consideration the students who live on campus, Aramark changed the hours of operation in the restaurants so that at any given time of the day, there is a place to grab a bite to eat.

Watkins said that his favorite part of the position is meeting all of the people that make UNO such a great place. Students have seen much of his influence throughout Welcome Week and the many plans he has already set into motion at the beginning of his term.  In his parting words to the crowd during the Convocation at the Freshman Welcome Assembly, he said, “UNO can be whatever you want, so why not make it your home?”  

Watkins said he strives to make the campus more cohesive – to make it a place that isn’t merely a classroom students run out of at the end of the day.  He said he intends to bring UNO students together to not only beautify the campus, but to let the public see the beauty of this community that UNO students and faculty create every day.

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Student body president plans to improve campus