|Volume XXVIII Issue 9||October 31, 2002|
Students should translate concerns to
action, SGA president suggests
Christian Wiggins - Guest Columnist
One thing I have learned in the past three years at Elon is that the student body is never short of things to talk about. Whether itís gossip, campus concerns or the latest news, we always have a way of voicing our opinions. In recent weeks, several issues such as campus safety, diversity, campus technologies and accessibility for disabled students have been addressed in The Pendulum.
I would like to take this opportunity to respond to some of the more pertinent concerns that have been brought to The Pendulumís readership. The Pendulum is a great outlet for voicing student opinion, however, in order to solve problems students must be willing to look beyond public attention to find solutions. The required step for action on any issue is to take the concerns to an authority that has the duty or power to do something about it.
The most effective voice for addressing student concerns is the Student Government Association. This is an organization comprised of 55 senators representing each class, major organization and academic discipline of the university. One of their main priorities is to represent studentsí opinions on numerous issues, find solutions for those problems and then make recommendations to the administration.
In the past, the Student Government Association has been able to take student feedback on issues ranging from meal plan options, recycling, safety, housing and student programs and work with the administration to formulate policies regarding these issues.
Through meetings with Aramark, students have been offered better dining options. Student feedback directly affected the design of the new Danieley Center apartments. Recycling has begun in Alamance building because of a student initiative. The Student Government Association participates in safety walkthroughs with university officials to look for poorly lit areas. Each of our efforts to address campus issues result in changes within existing standards.
The Student Government Association has taken a number of steps to better inform students. There is an ad in the Pendulum each week to better inform students. We also launched a new Web site that contains information about all of our events. All Student Government Association representatives are also listed on the site. Students also have the chance to electronically give feedback and offer suggestions to the Student Government Association.
This year, the Student Government Association is taking an active role to solicit student opinion. Students have the chance to talk with elected and appointed senators about who can take their concerns and translate them into action. For the first time ever, students are able to speak at senate meetings during an open forum time.
The Student Government Association executives have made a pledge to be at campus events as often as possible. Brian, Katie, Kate and I have made a sincere effort to attend both student and university events. Our attendance at these events all us to represent the student body but also allow us to inter with the students we represent. If at any point, an organization would like us to attend any event, contact us and we will do our best to be there.
The Student Government Association is here to represent the students and their opinions. We enjoy a productive relationship with the administration that has benefited the students and their concerns. As the president of the Student Government Association, I would like to extend an offer to any student to take advantage of one of the forums provided. The other executives, senators and myself would welcome the opportunity to talk with any student about any issue at anytime.
A speech or letter about an issue, and its implications, is a one-sided conversation. A real conversation between someone with a problem and someone with the desire to solve it is the way to get action and solutions. Take that action that only you can take and contact the Student Government Association. I promise that I will do all in my power to help you solve your problem.
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