What Student Association senators can do to connect more with students
I read and mostly agreed with Corey Jacobson’s piece, “An SA conversation worth having.” I’m an alumnus of the Class of 2002, and these issues are nothing new.
If you want to reduce apathy, I believe the best strategy is to let students know who their [SA] Senators are, make them more easily accessible and show them what their senators are actually doing. The Student Association should assign each senator to represent certain residence halls – in addition to representing certain schools – and advertise that fact constantly in the residence halls. Students would then know exactly who to go to if they have an issue, question or idea, and those senators would have an actual constituency to represent. Having an entire school as a constituency is just too broad; although that should probably remain the way they’re elected.
In addition, most students aren’t going to go out of their way to attend SA meetings or find a senator’s office.?Senators and other SA officials should be required to hold regular office hours somewhere obvious, like Kogan Plaza or J Street. This way, students always see them and it’s easy to ask them a question or raise a concern. Plus senators, SA officials and students then have a chance to meet directly and often.
Finally, senate and other SA meetings should be shown on TV or at least recorded and posted on the Web. This would help senators practice speaking and debating and would let students see what the SA does – or in some cases, what the SA doesn’t do.
Andrew Wiseman is an alumnus of the Class of 2002 and a former Hatchet staff writer.
This article appeared in the February 28, 2011 issue of the Hatchet.