Presidential Perspectives

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

Sometimes the best ideas and relationships are discovered accidentally. I would like to report that I think I have found one such relationship for student government.

Through the involvement of Student Senate and the student body president with the suggested amendments to the Students’ Rights Policy, the people at Campus Conversations would like to host a deliberative poll on students’ rights.

Not only have I been in contact with them, but Michael Bueti, the chair of the Academic Affairs committee, has also been providing background information for the development of the document used to teach about this movement on campus. This document has been a work in progress for most of the semester; it does a spectacular job explaining the national and campus movements for students’ rights.

When I vetoed the Students’ Rights Resolution, I questioned the input from constituents on their thoughts on the need for the proposed changes; deliberative polling would allow student government to gather data to make decisions that accurately reflect the feelings of the student body.

I’m not suggesting that such polls should always be used, but for major initiatives, more data would be beneficial to the cause.

This will be the second deliberative poll to occur on campus. After talking about the first poll, I learned that participation was lower than desired. Thus, the poll will now be held on a weekday night, instead of on a Saturday morning. Also, instead of just randomly e-mailing students and asking for their participation, we will put up posters and send requests for student organizations to send a few representatives to the event, which should help to increase turnout and provide a statistically significant set of results.

I hope that this poll will have a high turnout and be a useful tool to student government. I would like to see this partnership grow into a fruitful one that helps form a more representative relationship between student government and the student body.

The poll will occur on Wednesday, April 12, in the evening. If you are interested in participating, please send me an e-mail. If the results are gathered and analyzed prior to my final article, I will report the findings to you toward the end of April.