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Executive board seeks out student population with Awareness Week

Senior Student Government Senator Robert Renfro gives junior Olivia Gassner a raffle ticket at the “Get To Know Your Senators" event, hosted as part of Student Government Awareness Week, Wednesday afternoon on the Lakeside Patio. Hallee Meltzer // Photo Editor

Senior Student Government Senator Robert Renfro gives junior Olivia Gassner a raffle ticket at the “Get To Know Your Senators” event, hosted as part of Student Government Awareness Week, Wednesday afternoon on the Lakeside Patio. Hallee Meltzer // Photo Editor

Student Government (SG) Awareness Week aims to make the Executive Board more accessible to students by listening to their concerns and sharing in-progress initiatives.

SG kicked off the week on Monday on the Lakeside Patio with free Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a lottery for a $50 gift card to The Campus Store. The event served as a casual introduction to the student leaders on campus.

President Vikesh Patel, Vice President Ashley Pittaluga and Treasurer Morgan Owens were elected during the 2016 spring semester. They are now  setting their sights on goals for the upcoming year.

“We want to advocate for students; to work with faculty and staff on what they want to see,” Patel said. “We are very student oriented, listening to what they want and help deliver it to them.”

SG aims to forge a bridge between students and university officials. With 103 initiatives already planned, SG sees Awareness Week as a platform to learn more about student needs.

One initiative is Wi-Fi on shuttle buses to the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) campus.

“We were targeting RSMAS because of the commute and we worked with Parking and Transportation for this,” Patel said. “We got the phone call around two weeks ago that it was all set and finalized, ready to be launched within the week or two.”

Another in-progress plan is improving the university’s directory by expanding search options. Owens said the proposed directory would allow students to search for people based on their positions and appointments.

“This is a resource for students to find not only professors but other faculty members that they may not be able to find on Outlook,” he said.

With many more initiatives in mind, Pittaluga also wants to raise more awareness to students about SG to let them know that they are there to help.

“Outreach is in the plans, we are here for the students and want to be that point of contact for them,” Pittaluga said. “We want to be present and available.”

After being elected in March, the three leaders quickly sought out their predecessors to learn more about their roles. During the summer, they met with administrators to discuss potential initiatives and future university plans.

Being among the first few to learn about the changes allowed them to hit the ground running this semester. So far, the SG leaders are enjoying their positions.

“A second ago I feel that we were at the BankUnited Center during Orientation, seeing the seniors in Student Government address us,” Pittaluga said. “And now, I’m thinking, ‘How did we get here?’ It all happened so fast. We see our futures and all the potential of the future of the incoming students. The future of the university.”

SG Awareness Week

Thursday – First late-night dining, hosted by SG as a way for students to meet the E-Board, will be from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Friday – Canes After Dark “Around the World,” from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

September 21, 2016

Reporters

Marcus Lim


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