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SG to improve communication, increase outreach

Boston University Student Government officials hope to reinvent their relationship with the student body by prioritizing student demands and increasing their campus presence in the Spring 2014 semester.

Student Body President Dexter McCoy said one of SG’s primary goals for the spring will be a more active senate.

“It seems to me that right now senators’ main responsibilities are cut up to their college governments, but they don’t really engage with the community,” McCoy said. “… I will be pushing the Senate Chair and other senators to do more of that. We will be more engaged in the GSU [George Sherman Union] in the Student Link, in terms of outreach.”

After a student survey released last semester revealed students felt disconnected from SG, McCoy said SG will focus on becoming more accessible and able to communicate with students directly to address their needs.

“We have survey results that were released last semester…and they were upsetting,” McCoy, a College of Communication senior, said. “Students saying that they don’t really see SG as all that important, saying that they don’t really know all that SG can do for them. Well we can do quite a lot for students. So we are going to take efforts to be more visible.”

One way SG plans to improve student life is by making teacher evaluations available on the Student Link so that students have access to this feedback when choosing courses, said SG Director of Advocacy Caitlin Seele.

“We’re trying to make teacher evaluations available to students,” Seele, a School of Management senior, said. “Not necessarily the feedback part but just the general numeric ratings like ‘willingness to help students’ to help students make better informed decisions for the class and also help hold teachers to a higher standard.”

SG is also working on improving the Boston University Shuttle and making it easier for students to understand the schedules and stops, Seele said.

“We’re going to be installing signs at every bus stop that indicates whether it’s a daytime [or] nighttime route and the time the bus stops at that spot because sometimes there’s confusion, especially when it comes to the South campus stop or night time routes,” Seele said.

In addition to improvements in everyday student life, SG is organizing campus-wide campaigns to promote school spirit, said SG Executive Vice President Richa Kaul.

One campaign, called “On Wednesdays We Wear Scarlet,” asks students to wear red in an effort to promote school unity, Kaul said.

“What we’re going to try to do is build partnerships with local thrift shops to increase school pride,” Kaul, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said. “So if you wear scarlet on Wednesdays you get a discount at so-and-so location.”

Another major campaign is Dream Week, which honors BU alumnus Martin Luther King Jr. by engaging students in the history of the university, Kaul said.

“We are working on a large project called Dream Week, working off of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, because he is a proud alumni of this school and we want to make sure we honor him more often,” she said.

McCoy said he hopes these new developments, along with the continued efforts of SG, will leave a legacy of a strong student union for future generations at BU.

“I want to leave a lasting impression on the campus of strong student leadership as well as creating a student government that is built to last and not one that in a few years, the administrators will question if it is important to the campus,” McCoy said. “We have been able to dramatically alter that, but we have a long way to go.”

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