The Undergraduate Student Government is focused on increasing members’ involvement both within the organization and on campus this upcoming spring semester.
Senate leadership is working to resolve a scheduling conflict that prevents resident assistants from being senators, making the legislative process easier for new senator, and putting a heavier focus on student advocacy.
“One of the big concerns that I’ve had… is that RA’s are not allowed to be senators,” USG Speaker George Wang said.
Currently, RA staff meetings and USG senate are both held on Wednesday evenings, forcing RA’s and senators who are interested to in both to choose between the two.
USG Parliamentarian Stephanie Goebel said USG could benefit from RAs heavy involvement on campus and leadership experience.
“It seems silly to be missing out on the resource they provide,” Goebel said.
Goebel also said RA’s could provide a different perspective senate has non’t seen, both from residents and residential services on campus.
“RA’s interact on a day to day basis with students in a way senators do not,” Goebel said.
Wang said previous senate leadership has brought the issue to the table, but it ha’s never been pursued very far.
If fixing the scheduling conflict can happen this semester and allow RAs and senators to possibly be involved in both organizations for next fall semester, I’ll be very happy,” Wang said.
Another way USG is looking to increase involvement in the organization is through a new legislative coordinator position.
The new legislative coordinator, Lauren Oldziej, will be assisting senators with getting their legislation through the correct committees and helping to make the process less intimidating to new senators.
Goebel said many new senators joined USG this semester and many are younger students.
“We want to find those key players for years to come,” Goebel said.
Wang said he’s happy with how well new senators adapted to USG. Moving forward, he hopes to see more legislation on behalf of the student body.
“I’d rather leave stuff like event planning to other organizations like SUBOG [Student Union Board of Governors]… and see us focused more on advocacy and going to state legislature and meeting with administration and saying, ‘This is what students want,’” Wang said.
Wang said he saw a senate active in advocacy towards the end of the fall and hopes to see that continue to grow this semester.
Schae Beaudoin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.