While this year’s Undergraduate Student Senate has yet to achieve anything earth-shattering, they have, for the most part, been working hard and keeping busy.
Some of them set reasonable goals that they’ve been able to meet. Others rose to challenges and adapted their original plans when they came upon road blocks. A few have dropped the ball, but overall, the senators of USS have been doing a pretty good job.
Two of the positions students care most about — the ones dealing with their money and what they can do around campus — are filled by very ambitious, driven leaders, which is great. Unfortunately, two of the senators who could really affect students — academics and community involvement — have yet to do much of anything in their positions.
As we wrap up the fall semester, let’s look at what the leaders you elected have been up to:
-Katie Hale, executive director:
While meeting five out of seven goals is only 71 percent, considering what she had to work against, Executive Director Katie Hale has accomplished a lot. She’s kept the Student Center open later, improved tailgating and brought Pick-a-Prof to Kent State, among others. She’s done what she promised, and we hope she does more.
-Megan Lynn, senator for student involvement:
Though Lynn hasn’t met her own platform goals this past semester, she’s taken part in others. She’s waiting on the Student Input Advisory Board until the Street Team is set up. She also helped Hale with her tailgating plans. It’s great that’s she’s helping other senators, but we want to see her accomplish her own goals, not the other senators’.
-Elizabeth Eckels, senator for student relations:
Eckels set attainable goals and, as a result, has reached or started work on all of them. While outside commitments and class have kept her busier than she anticipated, Eckels has made adjustments so she can affect a lot of change in less time. For example, she originally planned to have monthly Meet the Dean events, which became the semesterly Meet the Dean week: Same general idea with less of a time commitment.
-Jonathan Bey, senator for community affairs:
Bey’s main goal was to form a group to improve relations between off-campus students and the Kent community. Bey ran ads for the “Community Task Force”, but no one showed up for the first meeting. While we feel bad for Bey because his meeting gained no attention, we think he needs to change his approach on getting students interested. Students would respond better to Bey personally seeking Task Force members through one-on-one interaction better than him posting flyers around campus.
-John Wetmore, senator for governmental affairs:
Wetmore has had a very productive semester. He oversaw the creation of Ruckus, a free music downloading service. He has submitted a proposal for tax-free textbooks that would be very beneficial to students if it was accomplished. He is also working actively to get a political speaker on campus which would be extremely appropriate with such an important election year around the corner.
-Andrew Ljubi, senator for business and finance:
As the point person for the Allocations Committee, Ljubi’s hands are full. He has accomplished all of his campaign goals, aside from setting up a book scholarship for committee members. Because of his more efficient method of spending, more student organizations will have the opportunity to make allocation requests later in the year.
-Michael Hammond, senator for research and development:
In bringing Boca Grande to dining halls, creating a street team for USS and stream-lining the process of ACPB holding concerts on campus, Hammond has accomplished all of his goals. We now hope he continues pushing the envelope further with more issues consistent with his campaign strategy.
-Kali Price, senator for academic affairs:
At face value, Price’s goals seemed legitimate, but in reality, this senator didn’t do research before taking office. And when she realized her goals were unattainable, she should have thought of new ones, instead of abandoning them completely. She said she still wants to do something “big” with Pick-A-Prof, but then said she doesn’t have much time left to do so. It’s admirable that Price worked with Banner, but unless she explains more about what she helped fix, it doesn’t look like she has done anything.
-Jonithon Lacross, senator for university affairs:
Lacross is dealing with a lot of red tape, but he has good ideas and knows how to be flexible. His work with student advocates sounds like a great starting point for the hearing board he would like to see formed. Sitting on the dean committee for the College of Arts and Sciences shows he’s actively involved in speaking for students. We hope his work continues next semester.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.