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Students indifferent to SG’s campus presence, survey results suggest

Boston University Student Government officials found that the majority of BU students are indifferent to the role of SG on campus, according to the results of a survey reviewed Monday night.

“The results showed that Student Government is not enough of a presence on campus, and our role isn’t known by the students,” said Will Horne, a member of SG’s Department of Outreach. “We aren’t visible enough to the students right now. Most people don’t have any particular opinion on what we’re doing.”

According to the survey, which was taken by between 400 and 450 students, 30 percent of students reported that they were not aware of SG’s role on campus. The survey also found that the majority of polled students stated that they were unlikely to seek out SG if they are having an issue on campus, Horne, a College of Arts and Sciences freshman said.

With the results of the survey in, Executive Vice President Richa Kaul said SG is already taking steps to address the weaknesses revealed by the survey’s results.

“The more people know about us, [the] more people will be willing to fill out the survey,” Kaul, a CAS sophomore, said. “I am confident that everything we are doing to gauge the student voice to determine our agenda, as well as doing outreach and being a more active force on campus, is going to help change the survey results for next time.”

Despite the action SG has been taking to increase its campus presence, Kaul said she is saddened by the lack of awareness the BU student body has of SG’s potential to serve them.

“I’m not sure if the BU student population has much of an opinion on SG,” Kaul said. “That is definitely something I want to change, that we want to be changed. I don’t think that enough people know what we are and what we have the potential to do for them, and that makes me sad.”

Officials from the SG Department of Advocacy also announced a new installment to their ongoing efforts to improve the BU Shuttle system at Monday’s SG senate meeting.

“We will be installing physical signs at all BUS stops that will provide important shuttle information to students,” said SG Director of Advocacy Caitlin Seele. “We will also be getting the live view [of BUS] portrayed along with the free SAO [Student Activites Office] advertising to all monitors in all campus dorms and major classroom buildings.”

The signs will show the entire BUS rotation schedule as well as the daytime and nighttime shuttle hours of operation during the weekdays and weekends, Seele, an SMG senior, said.

“The signage issue is important because we feel it’s hard for the freshmen to know where the bus goes,” Seele said. “Even for regular students, when you get on the night bus, you’re not sure what time the service is over, [or] what the schedule is … Even if it might not be on time, it’s helpful to know the general rotation. The signs will help students physically see whether it’s worth it to run for the bus or not.”

SG Senate also revisited Common Sense Action’s policy proposals that were tabled at the Nov. 19 meeting. Representatives from BU’s chapter of CSA, a national organization of students that aims to raise youth voices in Congress, had proposed eight policies that aimed to address various issue areas, such as education, healthcare and prison reform.

Out of the eight policies presented, two were approved for the BU CSA policy agenda that will be brought to the national CSA conference in January. SG Senate agreed on the green energy reform proposal, which promotes the use of sustainable energy, and the education reform proposal, which includes plans to improve education systems in urban areas.

“I am surprised, because in all honesty, I think the majority of BU would have supported [all of] them [the policy proposals],” said SG Director of City Affairs Cassandra Shavney, a CAS junior. “In general, BU is a very liberal school, and it was pointed out that they were very liberal policy proposals, so I think they should have all gone through.”

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