Student Government kicks off the 2014 academic year

in Local Sports/News/SCSU News by

On Thursday, SCSU’s Student Government met for the first time this year, kicking off a hopeful year in student politics. Around 30 new and veteran senators were in attendance for the meeting, all eager to begin the new political year. The meeting was led by the president of the student body, Lindsey Gunnerson, and Vice President Alex Bryson.   

It was a quick meeting. However, many important topics were brought to the attention of the senators. Before the meeting kicked into full swing, an ice-breaker challenge was initiated. Groups of student government were challenged to a “Selfie Scavenger Hunt.”

After the scavenger hunt, introductions, and a basic breakdown of the student government system,and hot topics that have been circulating throughout campus were brought up. 

Gunnerson and Bryson both talked in a synchronized fashion to the senators, reiterating that all of the new policies that have been implemented on campus should be enforced to an extent by Student Government.

For instance, the electronic cigarette ban was initially brought up as a hot topic and new policy change. President Gunnerson and VP Bryson both informed Student Government officials to not only educate there fellow students on the new policy change, but also enforce it to a certain degree.

Another hot topic was the new SCSU Husky logo. Both Gunnerson and Bryson urged members of Student Government to embrace the new logo despite expressed disappointment from fellow members of the student body. Bryson also stated that the new logo is giving the university a lot of publicity and increasing alumni involvement.

A few topics concerning upcoming improvements to campus were also discussed, such as the creation of two new Starbucks locations on campus in the Miller Center and the ISELF building. Gunnerson and Bryson both expressed personal excitement for the campus Starbucks evolution.

The progress of the Eastman project arose at the meeting on Thursday, which discussed the immense use of space at the disposal of the university. Gunnerson mentioned that the empty building (the Eastman Building) will be used for all departments and issues concerning student health and student health services. Bryson called it a “student health kingdom.”

The final topics discussed at Thursday’s meeting were the recent budget cuts that Student Government as well as the Finance Committee will be facing this year, as well as a new constitution that is looking for a hopeful push into action by student votes in the upcoming fall elections. Student Government is hoping that if a fall election votes the new constitution in this fall, implementation can start as soon as spring 2015.

“My hopes really are that we can engage the student body,” Bryson said during a small recess. “In the past we’ve seen a really poor turnout in election and I’m hoping we can see a drastic increase in turnout, and I really think that’s going to take drastic participation by myself and our members. But hopefully if we can put in the work it will pay off.”

“In out last election we had about a five percent turnout rate from the student body,” Bryson said. “I think we’re not doing our job if we’re not getting the word out and not encouraging students to vote,” Bryson continued to explain. “I really don’t think it’s their (student body’s) fault. I really think it comes down on us and I think that’s something we can directly control, and you can’t force everyone to vote but you can make everyone aware and make a change in that aspect,” Bryson said.

After the short recess, student government officials conducted a mock meeting to allow themselves to get back into the swing of things and allow new senators a run through before their next meeting.

Student Government will meet every Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Casscade room in the Attwood Memorial Center.