Our View: The honeymoon’s over

DKS Editors

A year ago a group of 25 students began the transition to the new form of student government, better known as USG.

Sixteen positions were added to the previous nine to add college senators, aimed to make the governing body more representative of students.

Earlier this semester, however, 50 students were surveyed and not one knew who their USG college senator was. Twenty-one of them didn’t even know USG existed. This hardly shows full representation.

Maybe it was the transition period. Maybe the senators and directors were adjusting to the new structure. But there’s no longer any excuse for this.

Yesterday, the second group of 25 took their seats. Now that the new structure’s been in place for a year and many senators and directors are beginning their second term, the transition period’s over, and it’s time to start making real change.

To the USG senators and directors:

Before getting elected, you outlined your goals. Many of you had good ideas. We hope to see these things go beyond the idea stage and transform into real change.

Now that you know what works and what doesn’t, we ask you to lay out a reasonable agenda. Obviously, the university isn’t going to build a parking garage.

But there are things that are more reasonable.

Try bridging the gap between the administration and students beyond Meet the Deans Week. Students appreciate the chance to talk to the university president and other administrators. An event like this could get conversation flowing more freely throughout the campus and bring students more in tune with what the administration is doing.

Furthermore, you have the opportunity to bring your goals more in line with the university’s by attending things like Faculty Senate and Board of Trustees meetings. By doing this, you learn the core of the university’s mission and can bring student input to the faculty and administration’s goals. You can then relay these messages to students, and it may give them an incentive to come to your weekly meetings.

Some may argue that students don’t care. So make them care.

Organize a campus-wide recycling effort with incentives. Plenty of students care about the environment, and something like this would help unite the student body – something the campus needs more of.

There’s no doubt that many of you put plenty of effort into getting elected. We ask you to use that same energy to reach out to students and get things accomplished.

Attend student organization meetings. Visit large lecture classes. Actively seek student opinion.

Next year when we survey, we hope every student out of the 50 we ask knows your name.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.