SAU Honors College

The SAU Honors College was founded in 2003 by Dr. David Rankin, president of SAU. Dr. Lynne Belcher served as founding director and recently retired from SAU. The Honors College seeks and admits qualified students who seek to pursue a serious academic program with equally gifted peers and committed teachers. Honors classes are small and provide academically enriching opportunities for students and the faculty who teach them. Currently, SAU enrolls nearly 170 honors students and graduates about 66% of admitees in four years or less. Anyone interested in applying to the Honors College or seeking further information should contact the director, Dr. Edward P. Kardas at or at 870 904-8897.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Food Summit Report

Hunger Summit Summary Report

(by Dani Mesick & Michael Flowers)

Honors Arkansas and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance recently held an event in Little Rock: The College Hunger Summit. Here is a report by:

 SAU AmeriCorps+VISTA Fellows

      Student Panel: Defining the Problem

A panel of students from varying backgrounds discussed statistics on how hunger impacts college students. On this panel as well were several students who presented first person accounts of how hunger has impacted them.

-       When defining the problem, sometimes people forgot that homelessness contributes to the problem of food insecurity. Two students spoke on this topic, and how the family struggled a great deal to move up the ladder to where they could afford a home.

-       Food insecurity is prevalent among all campuses, and the panel brought up some statistics.

-       John Brown University, private college, 75% of students were food insecure.

-       Percentage of students surveyed across the state said that 15% of them were better off when they got to college, and 45% said they were worse off, food security wise, when they got to college.

-       They also brought up the notion that fully online students who may not live near the campus, would they be able to use the pantries across the state. This was not something any of the panelists, including most of the audience, had considered.

      Student Panel: Exploring Solutions

In response to the issues defined during the “Defining the Problem” segment, students who work with their college pantries sat on a panel to discuss how their food pantries are addressing hunger.

-       Greek Sculpture Building: Based on the homecoming theme, Greek organizations would build sculptures out of non-perishable food items. Judges would then choose the best sculpture, and all of the non-perishables would be doonated to their college’s food pantry.

-       Satellite Locations: Fayetteville explained how they have smaller pantries located around their campus in order to reach a wider audience.

-       Food Recovery System: Fayetteville has an organization who collects the excess food from their cafeterias and disperses the collected good around campus to those in need.

-       Food Bank Partnerships: Several of the food panties on the panel explained how a large portion of their inventory came from their local food banks.

-       Food Allergies Acknowledgement: Several of the food pantries explained how they intentionally acquired dietary specific inventory to ensure their pantry users had access to appropriate foods.

-       “Lockers”: A few of the food pantries have lockers or shelves that students had access to at all times. These locations allowed students to pick up orders outside of their pantry’s operating hours.

-       Operating Hours: Many pantries operated for the entirety of the week excluding weekends. There were some pantries that only opened one day per week. Some campuses like, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, are only open once a month.

-       Food Limits: Some of the bigger food pantries explained that they did not have food limits for each user. These pantries also received food bank inventory,

-       Online Orders: One pantry explained that they operated only through online orders. Students would place their orders online, and then students would come and pick up their orders at a later time.

-       Meal Swipes: Several pantries explained that they issue meal swipes to students. These swipes would allow these students to have access their cafeteria or other food providers on their campus.

-       Frozen Meals: Many pantries talked about their freezers. These freezers allowed these pantries to store and disperse frozen goods.

      Legislative Policy Panel

Present members of the Arkansas State Legislature included Senator Elliot, Senator Tucker, Representative Warren, Representative De Ann Vaught, and Representative Tippi McCullough

-       Senator Tucker talked about SNAP, and how they wanted to alleviate the asset limit so more people can be eligible to receive SNAP. Currently the limit is $2,250.

-       Representative Vaught talked about proposing legislation allowing cattle farmers to be able to donate meat to pantries, churches, and charities without going against the law. Currently there are two USDA agents in Arkansas, and they are tasked with going across the state to inspect meat. With the new legislation, it will make it easier to inspect the meat without lowering any health standards for the meat.



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