Boston University Student Government will distribute a survey to the student body later this week that will ask students about their perceptions of SG, officials said at the first SG Senate meeting Monday night.
“We’re trying to gauge how many people know that Student Government is out there and that they know the types of goals we are trying to reach,” said SG Senior Associate Director of Outreach Briana West. “… We’re trying to make sure that we have an understanding of how many students we’re actually reaching out to.”
The survey will be distributed via email on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, as the exact date is yet to be determined. The Outreach department is working with BU’s Residence Hall Association to have resident advisors email the surveys to their residents and advertise the survey on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
The survey is also an effort by SG to gather data about the student body’s wants and needs as a whole for the 2013-14 academic year.
“We can bring it [the survey results] to the administration and say, ‘this is what we need to do, and this is evidence of what the student body wants,’” West, a Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences senior, said.
SG Executive Vice President Richa Kaul said the survey is intended to reach out to different individuals on campus and to gain useful feedback.
“It [the survey] is also to gauge the way that Student Government is being viewed so we can improve on that,” Kaul, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said. “That’s one of our big goals. We can improve on it by accurately representing the student voice over this year.”
This year, SG officials scheduled an introductory meeting to go over procedural information.
“Having that initial meeting to explain how things are done and to actually help senators understand what their roles are, immediately starts us off on the right foot when real business begins next week,” Kaul said. “We’re trying to be on top of things so we can do our jobs efficiently and effectively and use all of our time wisely.”
At the meeting, SG officials reviewed the roles of senators as well as the goals of SG for the school year. Cabinet members were also confirmed. However, SG President Dexter McCoy, a College of Communication senior, was not present.
Senate Chair Avi Levy said he wants the Senate to cater to students this year.
“I want senators to value their position,” Levy, a CAS junior, said. “… I want senators to feel valued and empowered and inspired to make a big difference on campus and engage constituents.”
With the SG Senate Chair being a new position for this year, Levy said the group will benefit from having a leader whose sole duty is to lead Senate meetings every other Monday night.
“With the Senate Chair now, you have a person solely in charge of Senate and making sure everything … is going smoothly,” Levy said. “… I see that as an improvement from last year, when the Vice President was in charge, because now we don’t have someone who has two responsibilities in two different areas of Student Government.”
One initiative SG officials are currently working on is an attempt to hold a mayoral debate at BU between candidates John Connolly and Marty Walsh, said Director of City Affairs Cassandra Shavney.
“It’s a very interesting election because the mayor should work for the students and he’s representing those who live here nine out of the 12 months, but most of us aren’t voting for him,” Shavney, a CAS junior, said. “… How is he going to represent us when we’re not voting for him?”
SG is still looking for a location and a moderator for the debate, Shavney said. The debate will take place Oct. 10 or Oct. 19 at a currently undecided location.