Anyone looking to make connections to his or her school is told, almost universally, the same thing: get involved. Join a performance group or a literary journal or a drawing club. But for those that do get involved, one crucial aspect seems left out: student government.
It’s not for lack of trying. The Students’ Association Senate and Presidency have tried actively, especially in the past month and a half, to communicate with students. Both a monthly ‘Rocky’s Report” and the Weekly Buzz carry news of the goings-on in student government. They have now conducted two well-publicized ‘fireside chats,” the latest of which occurred yesterday. Attendance was lacking not unlike at Senate meetings and there’s no reason for it.
The Students’ Association government can and should be a powerful lobbying tool that the entire student body wields. Concerns are heard everywhere from students: Parking is terrible, the Danforth omelets pale in comparison to the old Hillside omelets, academic advising needs improvement and so forth. The SA government exists to hear those complaints and act.
And act they do. The government as a collective entity has influence that individual students do not possess. Their members meet with Dining Services multiple times per month, and without their Projects and Services Committee, Dining Services would have ended wait staff service at the Meliora Restaurant. After the rainstorms that Rochester knows so well, the area in front of Hoyt Auditorium would flood had the SA not walked Facilities around campus pointing out problems. They may be the only ones capable of talking to UR Parking and Transportation. Groups that might not have enough money to execute activities can go to them for funding and will generally receive it with a coherent proposal. A testament to untapped funds is the currently untouched ‘Experience Eastman” vault.
All students are members of the Students’ Association, and the government we elect to represent us can perform their duties if the student body charges them to do so. Though not perfect with its representation, the SA cannot democratically function without student participation. The government has reached out, and it’s time for the students to return the favor. The Senate meets every Monday night at 9 p.m. in the Gowen Room of Wilson Commons. They created the Hive Web site ( The representatives have e-mail addresses. Use them.

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