USG swears in new member, discusses HLC accreditation

Undergraduate Student Government voted on and selected senior Jared Scharpen as the new vice president of public relations. Scharpen, along with three other candidates, gave a candidacy speech in front of the council.  logo_USGupdate

Scharpen said he plans to create a USG Facebook page to increase student awareness of USG’s actions.

“I would regularly upload photos of different events that USG sponsors and take note of comments,” Scharpen said. “I believe this USG Facebook page could essentially serve as a web-based town hall meeting to create a place for students to voice questions, comments, and concerns.”

The meeting also featured two guests from the Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Faculty, Wendy Wyatt and Marty Johnston, both St. Thomas professors.

Wyatt and Johnston discussed the accreditation process for St. Thomas that is set to take place from January 2011 to fall 2013. The university is required to go through the accreditation process every 10 years to ensure students are being provided a quality education.

Wyatt and Johnston asked USG to give them ideas on how to inform students about the process and get their feedback.

“It is going to be really important to hear from students what we’re doing right and what we could be doing better,” Johnston said.

Wyatt said student feedback helps HLC find what needs to be investigated and what needs to be celebrated at St. Thomas.

“We see things through a really limited lens as faculty members,” Wyatt added.

Vice President Mike Orth also discussed the USG sponsored late night breakfast that took place early Saturday morning after the homecoming dance.

Orth said they served about 1,100 plates of food and that the event went smoothly.

Jessica Barton can be reached at