The University of Miami Student Government exists to represent and act in the interests of the students.
Student Government (SG) has created an academic and extracurricular environment through its programs, which the organization works to sustain and improve each year.
Power is balanced among three branches – the executive, legislative and judicial – similar to that of the national government.
The executive branch includes the president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. These are elected positions and the students picked to fill them are selected by undergraduate students during a voting period that takes in the spring semester. The elected officer team appoints an executive committee to help implement platforms and SG’s student representation.
“Our first task was to put together an executive board and then we started assigning projects,” SG President Lionel Moise said. “We wanted to get to work immediately to address our campaign promises such as expanded recycling, a frequent diner program and a movie rental service in the University Center. We will also be working on any other issues that arise during our term.”
Moise and his cabinet campaigned with the following initiatives: online ticketing for sporting events, movie rental service in the University Center, expanded shuttle options, increased GreenU initiatives, improved campus safety, more class options, frequent dining programs, a printer in the UC, expanded quiet zones in the Otto G. Richter library and improved advising for students.
The legislative branch is directed by the speaker of the senate and the speaker pro tempore. The senate and its four committees work on projects and pass legislation. The senate is represented by the different academic colleges, class rank, residential colleges and specific organizational groups. However, they all collaborate as a group to work with SG and complete legislation for the campus as a whole. Some of the senate accomplishments include expanding peer advising in all the academic colleges, lengthening computer lab hours and working on organizational listservs through UM.
“I enjoy senate because we are able to work together for a common goal. Through our bill process, collaboration with various offices and work with students, we make sure the student voice is represented in the decisions that affect us,” Speaker of the Senate Christina Farmer said. “I know through the Student Government Senate I will be able to say after graduation that I made a difference at the University of Miami.”
The judicial branch is comprised of SG’s supreme court, which is responsible for upholding the provisions and powers of the Student Government. That branch is empowered to interpret and enforce the Student Government Constitution and statutes. The court has a chief justice, an associate chief justice and seven justices that function in the same structure as the United States Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court of SG is a small, but cohesive group of hard-working and talented individuals that are dedicated to serving the UM students,” Chief Justice Kartlik Telukuntla said. “We make sure that SG as a whole works in a fair, unbiased and just manner.”
Student Government’s structure offers students the chance to practice and develop leadership skills while representing their peers. It allows students to work together with university administration and faculty to get the most out of their college experience. Student Government members are respected as leaders of the student body and their input is sought in important decisions made by the university.
“Serving our student body was absolutely one of the greatest experiences that I have ever had. It is truly amazing to get the opportunity to do things at the University of Miami that truly benefit all of us, the students,” last year’s SG President Brandon Gross said. “We worked very hard on completing the projects that we promised during campaigning and also continued to reach out throughout the year working on many other things that came up along the way. I will definitely miss the ‘U,’ but will always be a Hurricane.”