The Presidential Cabinet along with various administrators have begun to plan a committee which will attempt to explain student government to the student body.

Students’ Association President Lonny Mallach believes that there is much confusion at UR around elected student governments.

“When electing people they [the student body] often don’t understand what the different elected positions entail,” Mallach said.

Mallach first noticed the problem during elections over the past year where many student government positions saw overlapping roles.Freshman Class Council Mike Guerra agrees. “It’s something as a freshman coming in that was one of my first question — what does what? It’s really hard for people in government now to answer that,” Guerra said.

Guerra feels that there is little explanation of the various positions. “It’s really ambiguous at times,” he continued.

The committee would not be a permanent feature at UR. “I see the committee meeting for one to two months, once a week,” Mallach said.Students will be the most heavily represented of the committee, which will be comprised of 10-15 people, with only 3-4 administrators. This is a deliberate attempt to ensure student input is represented in the final product of the committee’s meetings.

Potential administrative representation will most likely include Residential Life Area Coordinator Edward Feldman, Assistant Director of Student Activities Laura Ballou and Director of Student Activities and Director of Wilson commons Anne-Marie Algier.

Although the committee will have to make compromises, Mallach views this as a feasible objective. “The different organizations can coordinate and not step on toes,” Mallach said.

Guerra is also optimistic. “I think the committee has a lot of potential to be effective,” Guerra said.

The main task of the committee is to create a document, which will be distributed throughout orientation next year explaining the tasks of the elected student bodies. This will be the first time that an actual physical letter has attempted to explain student government to the incoming student body as well as current students. The pamphlet is set for distribution in early fall, coinciding with orientation as well as elections.

Representation form Hall Councils, Class Councils, and the Students Association government, specifically the senate, will be expected to reach an agreement on a document no longer than a page or two.”If people take a broader perspective, and look beyond the interest of their organizations, it will benefit the students,” Mallach said.The committee is scheduled to have it first meeting next week.

Tanner can be reached at rtanner @campustimes.org.



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