The newly inaugurated Student Government (SG) immediately went to work last spring after administrators cancelled the infamous Ibis Ride we’ve all come to love and hate.
SG President Lionel Moise and Treasurer Jeremy Kruger, both of whom are seniors, along with the 13-member executive board, held a town hall meeting for students and administrators to work towards reviving the shuttle. Despite SG’s success in bringing the shuttle back, Halloween transportation is not up for revival.
“We felt that this was a service that students do need,” Moise said. “We also need to be accountable as students.”
After their weekly Wednesday meetings in the SG office, located on the second floor of the University Center, members proceed to the Senate meeting where they bring new ideas and discuss initiatives such as a movie rental service for the UC. SG brought back the Key Biscayne shuttle due to great demand, ensured that 100 UPrint dollars would roll over throughout the year, extended library hours to 24/7 the week before classes ended last semester and instituted tray-less dining, among other projects.
“It’s hard dealing with situations like the Ibis Ride where we know decisions will upset people. But as long as it’s in the best interest of students, we know we can move forward,” Moise said.
While initiatives like tray-less dining means a change of culture, according to Moise, it is for a good cause and has helped save both the environment and money, allowing the dining halls to create a soup bar this year.
While some students may feel inconvenienced by the change, senior Kagherine Quinn, supports the measure.
“I never used trays anyway because I thought it was a waste,” Quinn said.
Although SG has implemented a number of initiatives thus far, they still acknowledge that not all the platforms they ran on were feasible for their term.
Due to university budgetary issues, plans for a Miracle Mile shuttle are now on hold as well as the possibility of increasing service to Key Biscayne beyond one day each month.
Among one of their central promises, SG expects to publish and distribute a universal advising compact this semester. According to Moise, each school can apply the compact’s principles in order to sort through an often confusing process for both students and advisers.
While frustrating for many students of the U, for FAU transfer student Nicholas Lee, a junior, advising here is simple.
“FAU advising is horrible; people have no idea how good they have it here,” Lee said.
Nevertheless, an advising compact will set a standard of guidelines for improved service.
Senate also drafted a standard attendance policy for the university, begging the question of what will happen to professor-student autonomy. Still, Moise appears optimistic of the bill’s implications.
“[The bill] will not take anything away from the students,” Moise said. “It will only streamline it so that students know the policy.”
The changes to attendance policies has already been approved by Student Government Senate, and will be presented to Faculty Senate for approval.
While not on the agenda, issues like security and transportation are always relevant, as SG continues to seek out student feedback through a campus involvement committee.
Kruger points out the complaints over commuter parking availability and refers to expanding the Mahoney/Pearson lots as an open-ended project still in need.
“We will keep listening and going to organizations to reach out,” Kruger said. “The next board will have some unfinished projects, but we want to keep working hard throughout our term.”
The executive board will headline a “State of the U” address next month to discuss progress thus far in the Moise administration, as well as set their goals for the rest of their term.
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS SPRING FROM STUDENT GOVERNMENT
-Advising compact between students and advisers that will standardize advising policies between the different schools in Miami
-A more standardized attendance policy for all classes will be presented to the faculty senate
-Mahoney/Pearson parking lot to be open only to commuters
-Library to be open 24 hours the week before finals
Elena Schmidt may be contacted at email@example.com.