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SG to focus on 24/7 space, break buses in spring

Student Government officials hope to continue work on 24-hour study spaces, holiday buses and gender-neutral housing in the spring 2013 semester, said SG Director of Advocacy and spokesman Saurabh Mahajan.

“The first thing that we want to do is make sure we’ve finished out and done a very thorough, good job on the issues that were started by the last administration,” Mahajan, a College of Arts and Sciences freshman, said.

SG officials said they hope to look for another location in West Campus for a 24-hour study space, in addition to the site in Shelton Hall.

“If you don’t live on campus, you can’t necessarily get into a building after 2 a.m.,” Mahajan said. “So it’s solving that problem for those students.”

During the fall 2012 semester, SG passed a proposal for holiday buses, which are expected to be available for the spring break of 2013.

Mahajan said SG hopes to sell bus tickets to students beforehand for a price between $8 and $10 that will provide a trip to Logan International Airport.

Gender-neutral housing, an SG initiative predicted to be instated during the spring 2013 semester, was shut down indefinitely by the Boston University administration due to housing and logistic issues.

On Dec. 14, Student Body President Aditya Rudra received a letter from BU President Robert Brown several days after students protested the decision and demonstrated in Brown’s office.

Although Brown said he was not pleased with the demonstration tactics, he said the gender-neutral housing issue has been sent to the Student Life Committee to be further evaluated.

“As far as I know, the issue is in a university committee,” Rudra, a School of Management junior, said. “We’re looking to follow up with them as a committee and see what’s going on.”

Rudra said he hopes to strengthen SG as a whole by giving younger members experience in different departments.

He said he intends to develop relationships with student governmental bodies of nearby universities, such as Harvard University, Tufts University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I’m hoping to, at some point this semester, have an event where the legislators that represent the [student] bodies of the Boston-area schools all meet at one location for one big event and start from there,” Rudra said.

SG Vice President Lauren LaVelle, an SMG junior, said SG will be hosting a number of promotions when students return to campus in order to attract new members.

“Overall we are looking to broaden our reach as a student government, which is an ongoing challenge at such a large institution as BU,” she said in an email.

SG’s social affairs department is working on a new project for the upcoming semester called Social Justice Week, Rudra said.

“It’s a series of events focused primarily on the activist community at BU and exploring different social justice topics,” he said. “It’s hopefully going to be a chance for students who aren’t involved with activism to get a general idea of the flavor of different activist groups on campus.”

Cassandra Shavney, a CAS sophomore and assistant director of advocacy, said she looks forward to working with a committed new executive board.

“All across Student Government we really want to push this coming semester to just get out there, and for students to be able to know that we’re there for them,” Shavney said.

Erin Kingan, also an assistant director of advocacy and College of Communication freshman, said she hopes students will take the new semester as an opportunity to get involved with SG.

“There are so many kids who would be really passionate about what we do, and they just don’t know enough about Student Government because we’ve changed over the past few semesters,” Kingan said. “So I encourage everyone to get involved and be a part of it.

SG Chief of Staff Richa Kaul, a CAS freshman, said her main goal for the semester is to make SG’s presence felt on campus.

“I want Student Government to be a place where everyone knows where the office is. They can come visit, offer their suggestions, offer feedback,” Kaul said. “At the end of the day, Student Government is all about making the changes that our students want to see.”

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