The Undergraduate Student Government at the University of Connecticut is something that every UConn student should pay attention to. Similar to how the national government attempts to serve citizens of the United States, USG has the potential to make decisions that affect the lives of UConn students.
Like taxes, every undergraduate student pays a fee to USG in their fee bill every semester. (It is also worth noting that The Daily Campus operates under a similar structure, although our fee amount is significantly less.) Students should be well-informed about what that money is being used for and how they can benefit from it. Without student money there would be no USG.
USG is responsible for representing the interests of the student body to university administration, talking to state officials about UConn, providing students with beneficial services — such as free Plan B, additional water bottle filling stations, Husky Market and Tampon time — and distributing funding to student organizations. While some students at UConn may not be interested in the politics of how those things occur, every student should still pay attention to the overall presence of USG.
It is the job of USG to represent student interests. By paying attention to what legislation is being passed and what other initiatives are being pursued by USG, UConn students can gauge whether their interests are actually being represented. If they’re not, students should know how to speak up and advocate for them.
Even if students can’t attend the publicly available meetings for USG, it is easy enough to follow the organization on social media, or even read The Daily Campus’ coverage of significant happenings. While it is ultimately USG’s responsibility to communicate with the student body about their proceedings and significant actions, it is also important that students care enough to pay attention at all.