Taking first steps toward campus change

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

Hey Tartans,

With two weeks of school behind us, I’d like to welcome the class of 2012 to campus and congratulate the HOCs, RAs, and the entire Orientation staff on an extremely successful Orientation.

As you might have noticed, the Presidential Perspectives column has gone through a bit of a face-lift. For years, The Tartan has been kind enough to offer past student body presidents the opportunity to write a weekly column highlighting their issues and accomplishments. While Pooja and I are happy to continue this tradition by contributing to the new column on a biweekly basis, we’re just as excited to hear what other campus leaders have to say about the concerns their organizations face.

During elections, Pooja and I listed our “28 First Steps” to improving campus. While most ideas were positively received, many students viewed our plan as too idealistic. We understand the criticism. Previous administrations have left students feeling empty, which makes our “28 First Steps” seem unrealistic.

We encourage you to ask: “What changes on campus can I actually attribute to student government?” and “What impact has this year’s student government actually made?” Neither of us is nervous to answer these questions. In fact, I think we are both getting more confident that you’ll already know the answers.

Here’s a taste of what we’ve already done and the things we are working on currently:

Department-hosted football games — We have led several organizations to team up to get more excitement for Tartan football. Look for free food, giveaways, and activities at every home game as departments host the events.

Safety and dining benchmarking — These are two of our larger issues, and over the summer, we began prioritizing our goals. Task forces for both safety and dining are being formed, with a safe rider service and shuttle system and hours of operation and meal plan contracts, respectively, as the main concerns.

President’s Cabinet — Legislation is currently working its way through the Undergraduate Student Senate and Graduate Student Assembly that would create a President’s Cabinet, which would include a Chief of Staff, Public Relations Secretary, Attorney General, and Application Engineer. More students becoming involved in student government means we get more done for you. It’s that simple.

Come let us know your thoughts. Our weekly office hours are on Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. in UC 320.