Last spring when Janna Gewirtz and I wrote our platform, we sought to describe projects that could realistically be achieved during the 2007-08 year. We took into account the fact that I would be a junior biomedical engineering major and that she’s in the REMS program. We realized that we’re both highly involved in Greek life, both practice our religions and participate in an array of groups around campus. This meant that although we wanted to have a busy agenda and a platform that indicated so, we knew that we had to make promises we could keep.
With this in mind, here are some SA Government areas of interest for this academic year:
?The Pearlman Administration did an outstanding job raising the profile of student government in the eyes of UR administrators in a way that keeps us credible and sustainable. This year, we want to strengthen our relationship with “student service” departments by collaborating, instead of competing, for a shared goal – making you happy. This goal demands our attention in every possible domain of academic and student life. Over the summer, for example, the College Teaching, Learning, Technology Roundtable made improvements in lecture halls and classrooms across campus (case in point, no more industrially-insulated ceiling in Hylan Hall).?If you’ve walked through Wilson Commons recently, you will have noticed Starbucks (and maybe even the third register at the Pit), indicative of our work with Dining Services.?This is a short list; SA Government will continue to advocate on your behalf, improving these services to make your experience here at UR as great as it can be.
Though our work for the undergraduates is our primary concern, SA Government is also fortifying its relationships with Senior Administration. Janna and I meet regularly with Dean of the College Richard Feldman, Dean of Faculty Peter Lennie, and other administrators all the way up to President Seligman, to ensure that (1) students are getting the highest quality education our great institution can provide and (2) student interests are represented as the University begins to outline its goals for the next 10 years. We also intend on meeting with Board of Trustees members to discuss projects sensitive to students, ensuring that your voice is heard at every level of the University’s decision-making process. Janna and I were pleased when, at a meeting with Provost Ralph Kuncl, the student and administrative agendas aligned on initiatives such as bringing more public art to campus and further integrating the schools and properties of the University. The Strategic Plan has been a great tool in auditing the programs and services our school offers to undergraduates, as well as beginning to determine the domains where our university falters. Student government will follow the progress and execution of this plan, a plan that will serve as a metric to see how responsive the University is at bettering student life well beyond our time here.
But you don’t really care about meetings or projects extending beyond your tenure here, do you??Rather, you started reading this article to find out what changes will be brought to campus in the coming weeks and months. Well, fear not, fellow Yellowjacket; listed next are projects student government is pursuing for this semester.
1) This past February brought the Collegiate Readership Program, which provided access to USA Today, The New York Times and Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. SA Government is now looking for resources to bring the program back and make it sustainable for coming years.
2) We’re working with the UR Bookstore to reduce textbook prices.
3) Parking Services has introduced a Park Lot shuttle, effective this past Monday, and successfully institutionalized First Transit.? We’re assisting in starting a Transportation Taskforce to address student concerns.
4) Sustainability, in all of its definitions, is important to many around campus. We’re working with Facilities, Auxiliary Operations and other students to explore the possibility of a can/bottle redemption center on campus. Also, Dining Services will open “Connections” in Rush Rhees Library by early November, which will feature local foods.
5) Campus Security continues to be important (as it should be), and SA Government will coordinate a Walk for Light, redressing security-deficient areas on University grounds.
This, of course, is an abbreviated list, and you may ask yourself, “So, how can I help out?” The answer: get involved. Apply for SA Government. Inform us if a bus doesn’t show up. Submit events to the “Weekly Buzz” advertising your group’s next event. Come to the Town Hall Meeting on the 26th and decide the new mascot image (look for flyers).
And finally, contact us if you have questions about anything listed above, want more information or if you have suggestions for other projects SA Government should investigate. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at x52908. We’re all voted in to represent you, but if SA Government doesn’t know what you want, it can’t be very effective. Meliora only comes to life when each of us helps out to improve our experience here at Rochester.
Lomibao is a member of the class of 2009.