Our view: Calling all USG senators and directors

DKS Editors

Do you know who represents you as your college’s senator in the Undergraduate Student Government?

If you said no, we’re not surprised. We haven’t seen much of them this semester either.

USG came into this year as a new breed of student government, consisting of 25 representatives – 19 elected and six appointed – acting as liaisons between the university and the student body. The revamped student government includes the traditional nine directors, plus senators for each college, undergraduate studies, residence halls, off-campus and commuter students, nontraditional students, diversity and international students.

Given the burst of manpower, we expected to see USG out in full force around the university promoting themselves and their respective causes. But so far we’ve been slightly disappointed with our first impression of the new student government, especially since it’s a busy election year.

Yes, USG brought former Clinton adviser Dick Morris to Kent State last night. Good move. After all we live in a world of academia, so it’s never frowned upon to have good, quality speakers come to Kent State.

But where’s the “grassroots” approach to communication USG’s Executive Director Jonathan Bey hyped in a previous interview with a Stater reporter? So far, we’ve seen very little college-senator interaction across campus.

And they’re missing a prime opportunity this week: the USG-sponsored Dean’s Week. We know it starts today. We know the times. That’s it.

The senators cannot adequately perform their roles if students fail to show up at the “Meet the Dean” events slated for today, tomorrow and Thursday. Student government directors and senators have significant influence, but that doesn’t mean they can wave a magic wand and expect people to attend their events. Students need to see posters, advertisements and Listserv e-mail messages enticing them to attend USG’s programs and events.

We understand not all platform goals are realistic or feasible, partially because of roadblocks sprung by the university. That’s all the more reason to shed light on problems.

Look at it this way: The president of the United States delivers a State of the Union address, the governor of Ohio gives a State of the State address and even President Lester Lefton delivers an annual “State of the University” address.

Perhaps it’s time for USG to take a cue from other bureaucracies and create its own method of measuring progress and illuminating works-in-progress. Sure, it sounds cheesy, but the undergraduate student body is not a sea of mind readers.

Tell us what you’re doing as senators and directors so far. Don’t bother scheduling a speech in the Kiva. Chances are, it’s already booked. Start by writing us a letter.

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