A grocery store on GWorld, weekly town halls and linking Student Association senators directly to student organizations is just a sampling of what SA leaders said they want to accomplish next year.
SA President Nicole Capp and Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger have laid out their goals for “a shared vision for student advocacy.” The list, with eight general categories of goals, includes expanding GWorld, setting up services to communicate better with students, instituting an online test bank and improving the Colonial Coach shuttle service.
“This isn’t to restrict us … it’s just to keep us focused,” said Capp, a sophomore. “In the beginning, it’s very easy to go off in different directions.”
Capp said the senate and members of the executive branch all met to discuss ideas and “find common ground.”
“Everybody had different agendas,” said Kroeger, a sophomore. “So we sat in a room … and we said this is what we want our priorities to be. This is what we want to accomplish as a whole.”
Two of the SA’s biggest goals, bringing back the Colonial Invasion pep rally and the GW Reads program, were met two weeks ago when University officials announced that both are likely to return next fall. Both programs were cut last year due to budgetary constraints.
Capp and Kroeger are now working on their next goal – expanding the GWorld Colonial Cash program. Capp ran on the campaign platform “GWorld All Over.” She said the SA is making progress in bringing a local grocery store onto the GWorld system.
Two of Capp’s other campaign promises also made it into the shared vision, GW411 and GWInformed. These programs aim to connect students directly with the SA.
“GW411 and GWInformed are going to be two initiatives in everything the SA does,” said Capp, noting that a new, interactive SA Web site will launch before the start of Colonial Inauguration.
This new Web site will feature blogs from Capp and senate committee chairmen, allowing for what Capp calls constant accountability.
“We want to increase transparency,” Kroeger said. “Part of that transparency is defining what you’re working for (and) letting students know exactly what your vision for that organization is.”
Part of Kroeger’s election platform was increasing support for student organizations. The shared vision calls for linking senators directly to student organizations to act as an advocate for that group.
The SA is also cutting the executive branch’s budget this year and reallocating that money to student organizations. He said that upwards of $40,000 had gone to the executive in the past will now be going to student organizations.
Kroeger, like Capp, stressed that the shared vision was to limit senators’ own initiatives.
Student reaction, so far, is mixed. Nicole Sweeny, a freshman, thinks the shared vision is a good idea because it “gives the SA a sense of direction.”
“As a freshman, I have nothing to compare it against, but the goals seem achievable,” Sweeny said.
Junior Turner Payne said one of the goals, a grocery store on GWorld, may not be realistic immediately, but could be realistic as a long term initiative. She said she thinks it’s smart to have a set of goals to achieve, however.
“You have to have some sort of direction, otherwise what are you going to get accomplished?” Payne said.
Others are more skeptical of the goals.
“Sounds great,” sophomore Charlie Burgoyne said. “But I don’t think they’ll probably be able to pull off the stuff they say they’re going to.”
Linnea Bruce, a sophomore, thinks that all the goals are good ideas.
“I don’t know if they’ll get them all done, but it’s definitely good to have something to aspire to,” she said.
Kroeger said the SA will get its goals accomplished.
“Every single thing that’s outlined in the shared vision is achievable,” Kroeger said. “The record is already speaking for itself … and what will put faith back in the SA is results.”