After a fall semester with varying degrees of success on its major initiatives, the Boston University Student Union has chosen to begin this semester with a new approach to the biweekly General Assembly meetings. The decision to alter the meeting format to focus on one topic a week will not increase productivity, and may prove to be a hindrance. Changes need to be made at the Union, but a rearrangement of the GA meeting presentation is not going to make a significant difference.’
The problems that the Student Union face have nothing to do with the structure of the GA meetings. The purpose of these meetings is for committees to give progress reports of what they are working on to the GA, and a change in the meeting design will have little impact on getting important initiatives accomplished.
One purpose that the GA meetings do serve is to hold committee chairs accountable to every Union member. The previous format ensured that a committee would come up with at least something to present each meeting. The pressure of having to report to the entire Union is a good motivator to put forth the best effort possible. When committees are not making major presentations to the general assembly for months at a time, it is less likely that they will be working diligently on their issues the entire semester.’
The most important issues on the Union agenda this semester, advancing the medical amnesty policy and revising the College of Arts and Sciences advising system, are too critical to be passed over week after week in the GA meetings. If only one issue per meeting is brought up, everything else is being put on the back burner. Without constant updates on the progress of these initiatives, significant progress before the semester ends may be unachievable.
To bring about positive change for the Union’s future, more must be done to right last semester’s wrongs. The Union needs to figure out how to bolster meeting attendance, a problem that persisted for much of the fall. It also must learn last semester’s lesson that there needs to be communication between outgoing and incoming committee and task force leaders so that they don’t have to start over from scratch each year. Overhauling the meeting structure is not the solution the Union seeks and will not produce actual results.