Students’ Association President and junior Alvin Lomibao symbolically completed his term as he delivered the State of the SA Address. While the current administration has fostered open lines of communication between students and the University, it has not accomplished some of its loftier aspirations.
During the past year, the SA Government has increased communication among student groups as well as developed a stronger link with UR faculty and staff. This, along with the completion of the government’s Constitution and bylaws, is a basis for progress for student well-being at the University. Lomibao and SA Vice President and junior Janna Gewirtz should be commended for finishing the project, which will assist the next administration to establish its goals as realities. Thanks to his efforts, along with the rest of the SA government, solid groundwork has been laid for the success of the next administration in 2008-09.
As for the future of student government at UR, there is a lot that has yet to be accomplished. Specifically, increasing the communication between government and students themselves is critical. For example, the next administration should strive to publish frequent editions of The Chronicle. Town Hall meetings, which have been the face of the SA government, may require more structure to increase their effectiveness. They can also act as a link between undergraduates and student leaders and not just as a source of dialogue for University departments.
Objectives, such as a recycling center, would have been exciting, but the government has had success with projects such as the College Readership Program. As Lomibao acknowledges, further funding for the newspaper program is necessary in order to expand it, and the next administration cannot allow this initiative to stagnate.
As in its mission statement, the SA government must serve both as a resource for student groups as well as a vehicle for improving the quality of life for undergraduates. While it has demonstrated a firm grasp of the former, it is essential that the latter also becomes a reality. It is the responsibility of the incoming government to transform the foundation built by Lomibao and Gewirtz into solutions to problems of the UR student body.