Homelessness at Georgia State University
The Student Government Association (SGA) has been working with the Dean of Students office and students who identify as homeless to address this pressing issue for the campus community. Justin Brightharp, head senator in the College of Arts and Sciences, met with staff in the Dean of Students office to discuss ways to address this important issue. After conducting research about college students experiencing homelessness and meeting with current students who identify as homeless, he learned that homelessness can affect anyone, including Georgia State University students.
Senator Brightharp wants the student body to know that people experiencing homelessness are all different and became homeless through different circumstances.
the students who may ‘dress nicely,’ sit next to us in our classes, are a part of our groups for projects, and get good grades, may fit into the definition of homelessness. The very freedom of these students has been compromised. They may have issues that affect them physically, mentally, and emotionally while still going to school because they see that as their way out.
– Justin Brightharp
SGA decided to address this issue through the creation of the syllabi resource awareness resolution of spring 2016. The resolution requests the contact information for the Dean of Students office be placed on every Georgia State professor’s syllabus, so that all students will have knowledge of and access to resources if they find themselves displaced or without basic necessities like housing and food access. The resolution also requests that faculty and staff develop a plan to better understand and address issues faced by displaced students. Following the resolution’s passage in the senate meeting on January 28, 2016, the Student Services Committee will continue to address the issues faced by Georgia State University students who are homeless currently. The subcommittee will meet in spring semester 2016.
we can change the policy, but we need the students to change the culture.
– Senator Brighharp
SGA needs student participation and feedback in order to best tackle this issue. If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, you can visit the Dean of Students office located in Student Center East, Suite 303, or call 404-413-1515.