Student government President Samantha Montanez, senior, and Vice President Liza Day, senior, sat down to talk about their plans and the challenges facing student government this year.
“Some of the goals that we have this year,” Montanez said, “are to bridge gaps of communication and help build bridges.”
Montanez and Day feel that students are discouraged to voice their opinions about campus directly to administrative staff.
“Student government acts as this intermediary that shows students that their voices are heard,” Day said.
This year, they want to help students foster a sense of empowerment to openly have conversations about campus concerns. How is this done exactly though?
A tactic to strengthen these communication gaps are town halls. “Often times, I think there are conversations that are had and they’re never revisited,” Montanez said.
These town halls will be open to all students, and will consist of a panel that’s comprised of different offices around campus. When a student voices a concern, a member of student government will make a note of it and ensure that the issue is followed up on with the respective office.
In regard to smaller initiatives, word has spread that during a recent senate meeting, someone proposed the idea that portable toilets should be placed around the campus area during Cap Crawl in March.
Montanez and Day stressed that it was only a passing idea that a senator mentioned, and that not a lot of serious talk has gone into it as of yet.
“There has been no legislation passed or even proposed for that,” Montanez said. “That was just merely a conversation point.”
Outside of their plans for this year, Montanez and Day addressed the possibility of them changing any policies that have been enacted years prior.
“[Day] and I spent time over the summer looking over our Constitution and by-laws, and we’ll be making changes to those, which will better help the function of student government,” Montanez said.
“It won’t impact the campus at large,” Day said.
If anything, the two of them said they plan on allowing senators from last year to continue work on legislation that they had previously proposed.
While they haven’t planned to change any major policies, the two of them are still open to any senator bringing forth a policy-change topic.
In terms of challenges, Montanez feels that hesitation toward enacting new policies is something that will crop up. Questions such as, “Do we really want to do this? Are we sure we want to do this? Is this feasible?”
Another challenge that they foresee, is making sure to reach out to all parts of campus. Montanez and Day imagine a campus that’s fully unified, not just for this school year, but for future years to come.
For those who want to stay up-to-date on issues that student government are dealing with around campus, you’re encouraged by Montanez and Day to attend senate meetings at 5 p.m. every Sunday. The location is to be decided, but make sure to check “Stall Talks” for any updates.
For any further info, students can reach out to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.