Q&A: Michael Morton works to aid students’ academic success

USGVPAA+Michael+Morton+is+from+Laplace%2C+Louisiana.

Courtesy of Michael Morton

USGVPAA Michael Morton is from Laplace, Louisiana.

Michael Morton, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, serves as the vice president of Academic Affairs for Undergraduate Student Government for the 2017-18 academic year. In the upcoming semester, Morton hopes to complete several ongoing Academic Affairs initiatives, including a study tips campaign and the implementation of a library reference textbook section. The Hullabaloo spoke with Morton about his tenure thus far and his goals for the future.

Why did you decide to run for Vice President of Academic Affairs?

I saw that many members on USG, including the previous VPAAs and members of the Academic Affairs Committee, felt that the academic life of students was being neglected. I ran for VPAA because I wanted to really define the position of the VPAA and provide clear direction for initiatives that were already in place — as well as create room for new ones.

What experiences have you had on USG and at Tulane that prepared you for this position?

I have served two terms as a USG senator, one of which was served while I was president of the School of Science and Engineering Student Government (SSESG). As SSESG president, I worked closely with the previous vice president of Academic Affairs on the USG Presidents’ Council to discuss issues among the five schools and how to improve them.

What do you see as the most pressing issues students are facing this year?

I think the biggest issues that students face are stress and time management. Tulane students are very busy and have a very large academic workload. That being said, I find that too many students are unaware of resources and opportunities available to help them manage these issues or at least ease the burden of them. This is through no fault of their own, as several of these resources could be better publicized.

What are the biggest changes in store for students coming from USG in the upcoming semester?

This semester we (USG Academic Affairs Committee) will be implementing USG’s Library Textbook Reference Section. There will be a section of books on the first floor of the library that will consist of donated textbooks that students have used in past semesters. The books will be available to use in the library for studying, or students can make copies of a section that they might need for a class. We’re very excited to get this started so that students who might only need one or two sections from a textbook will not have to buy the entire book. The reference section relies on textbook donations from students, so be on the lookout for drop-off locations at the end of the semester.

How do you plan to improve students’ academic experiences at Tulane?

In terms of academic life, I plan to provide more resources and better advertisement of current resources for students to receive the best education possible at Tulane. One way in particular that we will be doing this is by implementing a study tips campaign for students to get a jumpstart on academics for the semester. We will also be seeing our current projects through to completion so that students can have access to these new or improved resources as soon as possible.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We are always working on projects and open to taking on new ones. If there is anything that you would like for me to know about or if there is an idea that you would like me to hear, you can email me at any time at [email protected]. Me and my committee want the best for Tulane students and are always willing and ready to help out in any way that we can.

Correction: A previous version of this article listed Michael Morton as a junior. He is a senior.