Student Government officials hope to increase student engagement and form better relationships with university administrators over the course of the 2013-14 academic year.
“Students really now see what their Student Government can do for them with the passing of Gender Neutral Housing,” said SG President and College of Communication senior Dexter McCoy. “Student Government is here to bring about action on campus and to create a better community and we are going to do that by listening to the concerns of the student body.”
SG will also focus on serving as a link between students and the administration, said SG spokesman Saurabh Mahajan.
“We [SG] are supposed to be so active in our community and so aware of what’s going on that we can adequately relay that student voice to the administration and help inform the administration with what the students want and what the students care about,” Mahajan, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said.
He said SG hopes to act as a communal voice by strengthening relationships with other clubs and student organizations through its members.
“We [SG members] really are very active in the community,” he said. “What we are going to do this year is formalize that network that we have and bring up a couple new initiatives for how Student Government can be more [present] in the community.”
A Student Government official will be at the George Sherman Union Link every day of the semester to listen to and to talk to students, said SG Executive Vice President Richa Kaul.
“People don’t see us as a true voice for them,” Kaul, a CAS sophomore, said. “We really want to change that.”
This year, members of SG will be a part of student clubs and organizations across campus to serve as representatives from SG, Kaul said. These representatives will act as liaisons in an effort to ensure student voices are heard.
“Going to the student groups … and asking questions about what they want to see as individuals on this campus, as well as [what they want to see] a student group, allows Student Government to see and hear what they need to work to change,” she said.
Kaul said the expansion of BU holiday buses, a service made available during spring break 2013 that shuttled students to Logan International Airport during school vacations, is currently under consideration. SG officials hope to gauge student interest again this year, as one of the two buses used last semester left BU nearly empty.
SG’s goal of connecting with students at the club level follows the passage of a proposal in the spring that creates a House of Representatives made up of student leaders from various clubs and organizations.
The House of Representatives is slated to hold its first meeting in the spring after SG officials have determined how it will be best implemented, McCoy said.
SG officials also hope to look at communal space allocation policies in attempts to increase availability of usable space on campus for student groups and organizations, McCoy said.
“We have a lot going on on our campus and, of course, space is limited,” he said. “We recognize that clubs and organizations don’t have a lot of space to practice and space to meet.”
McCoy also hopes that by appointing student members to university committees, SG will develop a strong relationship with university administration, and that SG members will be present to best represent the student body when major decisions are made.
SG also plans to host a summit this fall for student leaders on campus called BU LEAD [Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Activism and Design], McCoy said. There, selected students will hear from the Director of Youth Engagement at the White House and will gain from networking opportunities.
“We definitely want to see that student leadership comes together to determine what our leadership community will be and really want to define it for ourselves,” he said. “We’re hoping that tradition gets started, and it’s going to be really exciting to see how that turns out.”