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November 18, 2010

Bruno meets with SGA leadership; takes action first week in office

In his first week in office, University of Louisiana at Monroe President Nick Bruno immediately concurred with a resolution from the ULM Student Government Association seeking help in offsetting certain fees.

The SGA passed the resolution on Tuesday, Nov. 9, which proposes to waive university and student self-assessed fees during Wintersession and Maymester. Bruno submitted the proposal to the University of Louisiana System's Board of Supervisors for consideration at its December meeting. The recommendation will be presented by university and student representatives to the Finance Committee.

SGA President Brook Sebren said the resolution stems from a meeting with Dr. Bruno on his first day in office. The new ULM president met with several members of his cabinet and SGA leaders, Sebren said.

"The SGA recognizes the importance of student success. This resolution should promote higher enrollment during Wintersession and Maymester as it becomes more affordable for students to make progress toward their degrees. The increased enrollment during these 'off' semesters will lead to greater retention and progression rates," he said, adding that SGA leaders were "pleasantly surprised" by Bruno's willingness to spend more than an hour of his first day to deal with the issue.

"He listened to us, asked of few questions, and said, 'Let's do it,'" said SGA Vice President Trevor Hall.

The current costs of a single three-hour class is over $700. If approved, the resolution will cut student costs by over 35 percent, the equivalent of over $250 in savings. If a student chooses to take six hours during an intersession, that student could see savings of more than $500, according to Sebren.

"These savings are huge, and will encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities to make advances in completing their degree," said Sebren. "Dr. Bruno played an integral part in making this resolution happen. The SGA is excited to have already begun working with him, and if this first week is any indication, we can certainly look forward to a great working relationship between ULM students and administration."

"I was very impressed with the student's approach to the proposal," said Bruno. "Their justification that it empowered students to shorten their time to degree completion and improve retention made perfect sense, and will provide greater value to students who enroll during those sessions."

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