Student Association President-elect David Burt says one of his primary goals is to get more funding from the University for student groups. If he wants this goal to be a reality, Burt will have to pursue this objective – and all other objectives – with considerable energy and diplomacy.
To get anything accomplished, Burt will have to work with the SA Senate in a spirit of common cause – the cause of student advocacy. That means rising above the internal politics and pettiness that largely rendered the SA impotent during past years. The key to good working relationships is effective communication, something that has been perpetually missing between the executive branch and the Senate. To be a capable leader, Burt must listen to the needs and concerns of senators and students and respond to those needs and concerns in good faith.
Burt also professed that he is not afraid to take on the administration if necessary. To avoid the pitfalls of past SA presidents, Burt would be wise to first gain the respect of administrators by meeting his end of the bargain, which means attending all requisite meetings and functions. Before Burt can make demands of the administration he must first prove his worthiness as a student leader.
Another of Burt’s promises is that he will get new faces into the executive branch, a welcome move. But Burt should take care not to alienate those who have dedicated considerable time and energy to the SA.
SA Executive Vice President-elect Cathy Resler must focus on running the Senate efficiently. That means avoiding stalemates that too often tie up the passage of important legislation. As primarily a facilitator, she needs to keep the Senate moving forward. It will be important for her to focus on the big picture and avoid nitpicking over rules and procedure.
Ultimately, Burt and Resler are faced with a daunting task: turning around an organization that has shown itself prone to internal problems and inefficiency. But with the right attitude – one of diligence and cooperation – Burt and Resler can achieve their ambitious goals while making the SA a real agent for change.