New structure fosters student voice

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Last Wednesday, a paradigm shift was presented to the Student Senate.  Collectively, new and veteran senators alike support this face lift to the way the Senate will function and consequently the Student Government (SG).

You would think the Senate would serve as the voice of the student body. Yet too many senators represent their own personal interests over their constituencies and as such, communication between the executive and legislative branches of SG have soured over the past few years. It has been envisioned that by making changes to the standing committees of Senate and the elections of senators that this will bring a greater amount of clarity to the legislative process.

These changes will enhance the credibility of senators by reworking the standing committees of Senate. A revamping of these forums will better allow senators to follow up on specific initiatives.  Furthermore, senators would be organized into relevant standing committees by the seat that they were elected into; by taking this action, this ensures that the student voice is being heard equitably. Officers of the Executive Branch will be integrated into standing committees to keep the lines of communication open. Even though Senate will be more structured, all senators will have the opportunity to make their opinion and experience heard both in standing committees and on the Senate floor on all matters.

This was inspired by the failure of communication between the legislative and executive branches, a sense of hubris among senators, and lack of vocal representation of the student body. Undertaken and planned by members of both the legislative and executive branches, this reform is passionately supported by members across student government – but your voice is still needed.

Come to the UC Ballrooms C & D at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday for the opportunity to enact these changes.  We encourage you to contact your senator by going to the SG site or, even better, come and voice your opinion so that your voice will be heard in the future.

Austin James Sedaghatpour is the College of Arts and Science senator.

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4 Comments

  1. Both Hailey, the speaker of the senate and the ECO agency chair are Greeks. They sit on the executive board with everyone else. Senate has an IFC senator, Greek row senator, Panhellenic senator, NPHC senator, and MGC senator. On top of that there are Greek students spread throughout other branches as well. Greeks are students, just like Non Greeks. Remember that while your voice as a Greek student is being heard so is your voice as a student- because you will always be a student first, before any involvement.

  2. Working with Senate is doable and accomplishments can come out of it. Don’t be so quick to judge them Margaret! As for Greeks in SG, the Senate has a specific Greek Senator and the Speaker of the Senate, Hailey Bush, is in ZTA. Trust me, our voices are being heard!

  3. Just wondering, but how is having zero Greeks on SG exec affect it? Past members of SG Exec have had Greek members and comparatively they seem to run the same.

  4. Margaret Patterson on

    “Yet too many senators represent their own personal interests over their constituencies…” this is just like the American Congress, nothing new here. SG is just inefficient and doesn’t represent the UM Student Body in general. The SG Exec has zero Greeks on it, Senators fight and the election process involves violations every year.

    New faces every year, same SG.