Letter to the Editor

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

After reading “With Little Output, Adams And Smith Squander First Semester In Office,” it troubles me that the Tartan Board has characterized Kate and my time in office as inactive, unimpressive, and, wholly, without merit. Although we may not have communicated as much as we would have liked last semester, we would like to assure the Tartan Board, the student body, and all of our partners across the university that we are continuing to work for them, and that many of our efforts to improve the campus now and in the future will be seen in our final months in office.

Last April, students gave Kate and me the responsibility of leading student government for the 2010–11 school year. We campaigned on a number of issues, coupled with initiatives that would target the campus community and bring about “A College To Believe In.” Last fall, we decided to focus on issues we felt were most relevant to the student body in the long term, which brought changes to our plan of action. For example, we chose to herald internal reorganization, implement a more robust Tartan Rewards Program, launch the Campaign for Great Ideas, and refocus our “College Connect” idea. With our new focus, we are now more able to foster beneficial programming to engage the community and keep our promise to the student body: to continue to make Carnegie Mellon a home for its diverse students and their diverse interactions.

Kate, I, and our partners in student government have laid important foundations and taken impactful strides for the future of student government at Carnegie Mellon. We have and we will continue to reach out to constituents, especially those traditionally underrepresented by previous student governments, to ensure that they understand student government is an asset to them. We are now working with other student government leaders to create a capital fund that will allow more impactful purchases that benefit the Carnegie Mellon community instead of going forward with our Executive Grant Program. We have partnered with the Academic Affairs Committee in Student Senate and academic departments to bring about a robust, sustainable, and accessible undergraduate-graduate program for Carnegie Mellon students. We are continuing our partnerships with the Athletics department and student organizations to guarantee a sustainable Tartan Rewards program. And we will see to it that elections are heavily promoted this year to help students recognize the impact that student government has for the community.

Our vision has always been to bring together student government leaders to provide the best services for the student body, and in many ways we believe we have succeeded. Even so, we sacrificed adequate communication and transparency with the entire campus, and I am very sorry for that.

As the student body becomes quickly immersed into the activities of the Spring semester, however, I will be sure that we as student government make a concerted effort to help students understand the work we are doing. And I hope that our friends on the Tartan Board will keep us accountable and assist us in conveying to students the work we are doing.

I encourage anyone wishing to monitor our continued progress as we enter February to go to
I also encourage all students to feel free to contact me anytime at sbp@. Any questions, comments, or critiques are welcome.

Best Regards,