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Vol State administrators spoke on plans for athletics during the Fall 2021 Student Forum

By Victoria Long

Volunteer State Community College’s Student Government Association (SGA) hosted the Fall 2021 Student Forum Tuesday, Nov. 9. Students and faculty from several departments attended via Zoom to discuss institution issues and plans. 

SGA Vice President Debera Bennett moderated the event and asked questions that were submitted anonymously by the student body. SGA Treasurer Robyn Forde-Whitefield shared the responsibility of asking questions with Bennett. 

“Scholarships for student-athletes were discontinued citing other scholarship opportunities such as Tennessee Promise. However, after many conversations, there is much interest in reinstating scholarship opportunities for student-athletes… Is administration open to returning scholarships for student-athletes?” asked Forde-Whitefield. 

“Using the Tennessee Promise scholarship was cited as another avenue for scholarshiping student-athletes. However, that only holds [us] to a recruitment area inside of Tennessee… When we had out-of-state wavers we, of course, could recruit from any state in the nation and we also recruited international students to come in and play for us as well” said Emily Short, the vice president of Student Services.

“In the interim, I had a conversation with the director of athletics to find out about student-athletes and the scholarshiping. I would like to see us bring that back, not just for our out-of-state students and global students but also for the students who reside in Tennessee…” said President Orinthia Montague. 

The discussion then shifted to ideas Montegue has for change regarding Vol State athletics. She said they are considering the possibility of bringing new and affordable sports such as cross-country, volleyball or soccer. 

“We are having those conversations and hopefully by next semester we can try to put something together that looks reasonable… that we can at least attempt for the fall,” said Montague. 

The meeting lasted from 11:15 a.m. to 12:21 p.m. This was Montague’s first time participating in Vol State’s student forum and the next forum will occur during the spring semester. 

According to the Vol State website, “The Student Government Association (SGA) was established to be an avenue through which student interests and needs may be expressed. It provides students the opportunity to work with college administration officers in matters affecting the welfare of the student body.”

Students may contact SGA Adviser Tabitha Sherrell via email for more information regarding SGA activities and the next student forum opportunity.

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