Day one is here, and USS has work to do

Jackie Valley

Inauguration was Monday and the passing of the gavel is today, but for members of the 2007-2008 Undergraduate Student Senate, work is already underway.

“I’ve already jumped right into it,” Executive Director Katie Hale said.

Hale said she met with Pete Goldsmith, vice president of enrollment management and student affairs, last week to discuss extending the operating hours of the Student Center – one of her main platform goals.

In addition, Hale said she is in the process of meeting with representatives from Mobile Campus, the Collegiate Readership Program and Student Legal Services so the programs and services can continue.

“Within the next month, we’re going to be setting the foreground for what is going to be done next year,” she said.

Meanwhile, Andrew Ljubi, senator for business and finance, said he is in the beginning stages of forming the 2007-2008 USS Allocations Committee.

As part of his platform goal to better use the Selections Committee, Ljubi said he e-mailed representatives from Kent Interhall Council, Black United Students, Commuter and Off-Campus Student Organization, Inter-Greek Programming Board and the All Campus Programming Board to encourage participation from the organizations.

Ljbui also e-mailed Goldsmith to reiterate his position on the USS-approved removal of the three permanent seats held by ACPB, BUS and IGPB.

“I told him those three seats aren’t needed,” he said. “If they were moved, it would, in effect, bring about a better committee.”

Until Goldsmith makes a decision regarding the permanent seats, Ljubi said the Selections Committee will rank the applicants of the Allocations Committee.

“Whether or not he signs off on it will determine whether we have seven at-large seats plus three permanent seats or eight at-large seats and no permanent seats,” he said.

Michael Hammond, senator for research and development, has already started to work on his platform goals by researching how other universities handle certain aspects such as dining and entertainment. He said he has already called universities similar to Kent State, such as Bowling Green and the University of Toledo.

Like Hale, Hammond said he wants to initially focus on “putting a face to USS.”

To increase USS visibility and communication, Hale said she wants to begin the new USS term with a strong campus presence.

“One of the things I really want to encourage is to go to as many campus events as possible,” she said, adding that supporting university events is a way for USS to connect with students.

Hale said, as the undergraduate student voice, it is important to work on addressing external issues, such as Gov. Ted Strickland’s proposed tuition freeze and Kent’s new noise ordinance laws, because they directly affect students.

“They go out of the scope of platform goals, but they are a responsibility we have as the USS,” she said. “We have the responsibility to advocate for students as these things arise.”

Still, Hale, who as executive director will work through the summer, said she is excited to start “tackling my individual platform goals and organizing the office to set the stage for when everyone returns.”

Contact student politics reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].