Student government rises from the ashes of the past

Thanksgiving break provides the perfect opportunity to reflect upon the semester thus far and figure out what we’re thankful for from the past semester. We want to commend student government for the work it has done so far this year.

Student Senate has been far more visible on campus this semester than in recent years. During Student Senate Week, Senate not only raised awareness by giving out plenty of free food and Student Senate gear, but it also pushed students to connect with their Senators and to make suggestions on how Senate could improve through email correspondence and tabling.

The level of activity on Senate’s Facebook page and the banner on the front of Doherty Hall, advertising Senate’s weekly open meetings, is further evidence of the better attempts Senate has made this year to reach out to its constituents.

The executive branch has also been far more visible and active than in previous years. Student Body President Will Weiner and Vice President Meela Dudley have made their presence known through town hall meetings, events for the national election, and their frequently updated Facebook page — a clear improvement over the silence of last year’s president and vice president.

Student Body Vice President for Finance Jon Mark has also been proactive in his attempt to better serve student organizations through his referendum for a raise in the student activities fee. Although the referendum vote had a disappointingly low turnout — only 18.11 percent of undergraduate students voted — it wasn’t for lack of effort on student government’s part: Mark held two town hall meetings on the fee raise, and there were signs up around campus urging people to vote in “The second most important election of the month.”

The Graduate Student Assembly has always been a strong, positive presence on campus, and this semester was no exception: The new bicycle racks and maintenance centers that it had installed around campus will serve members of the campus community for years to come.

We are glad to see that every branch of student government appears to be taking its duties seriously this year, and we hope to see even more action from them next semester.