It has been a trying semester for Student Union President Matt Seidel and the rest of his administration. Since the fall, this year’s Union suffered from the student apathy Seidel correctly attributed to the previous administration’s unenthusiastic efforts to promote its initiatives to the students it served. A lot of ground needed to be covered this fall, and though the Union has made some progress in achieving a number of its goals, the real test for Seidel’s administration will come this spring. There are a number of projects within reach for Union members, and if they can achieve their goals before the end of the academic year, they will have succeeded where their predecessors largely failed.
This fall, the Union focused primarily on its medical amnesty initiative, among many other programs broken down into committees. Thus far, progressing the medical amnesty project has consisted of at gathering student signatures and support necessary for moving ahead with presenting the proposal to the university. The progress being made is heartening, and we hope Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore will see through before the Union changes hands this summer.
Progress has been spotty on the Union’s other initiatives this year, however. Though ambitious, the project to improve the university’s academic advising system, especially in the College of Arts and Sciences, is going nowhere. If this proposal shows no signs of advancing by mid-January, then Union members may have to write it off as a loss.
Inexplicably, the Union spent a great deal of time and effort promoting its classes to educate students on the university’s remote printing system. It really is a waste of time for the Union to spend resources and time educating students about a years-old university service that is in fact quite obsolete. Their role would be better redefined to analyze the service and recommend improvements to help students.
Still, this year’s Union has built a sturdy base of research and has a good start to begin pushing its initiatives. But to be fair, this base could have been built a lot sooner. Though it is now on tighter timeframe, this year’s administration has a good opportunity to create change on campus this spring, and should not squander the chance to do so.