The Student Government Association held its first senate meeting of the year under Student Body President Carson Rich and Vice President Daniel Tassitino on Tuesday evening in the Linville Falls room of the Plemmons Student Union.
Cindy Wallace, Vice Chancellor for Student Development, spoke at the meeting to deliver a message to the senators and cabinet members who represent the student body.
Wallace said she went off script from her intended speech because of the recent events on campus, regarding sexual assaults and Anna Smith, the Appalachian student who has been reported missing.
“In my 31 years at Appalachian, I have never had a missing student situation that we have in front of us right now with Anna Smith,” Wallace said. “You guys have been wonderful about helping us tell the world that we need their help.”
Wallace said the search to find Smith has been widespread.
“We have had over 300,000 Facebook reaches across the country,” she said. “We have had calls from up and down the east coast, so that is very much an active investigation.”
Wallace said the most recently reported sexual assault on campus was brutal and unusual for the Appalachian campus.
“It was the kind of sexual assault that we do not read about or hear about or seldom experience on our campus,” Wallace said. “That is a very important investigation that is also going on right now.”
To wrap up the talk on a more inspirational note, Wallace reiterated the importance of speaking up and doing the right thing.
“The message is that it’s up to me, it’s up to every one of us to reach out and be that important voice in our community,” she said. “For you guys, as elected representatives of your student body, it is hugely, hugely important.”
Rich, a junior advertising major, said SGA was very happy to have Wallace at their first meeting of the year.
“We all know this past week has been rough on Appalachian and it was nice to have someone there who is truly the epitome of an advocate for the students,” Rich said.
Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter