Officer’s summit decides what issues matter most
Immediately after the Officer’s Summit finished on Friday, Sept. 17, Dexter Earney, a senior public relations major, was on his way to pick up his work-study check from Financial Aid. Earney, also the SGA Sergeant-at-Arms, said he hopes eventually he won’t have to make this trip.
He proposed direct depositing of checks for student employees at the Fall 2010 Officer’s Summit. It was the top issue, with 56 votes, selected out of 21 issues. About 80 student leaders voted on his/her top issues. Each leader was given five votes.
“I thought of what to give to all students who work on campus. It’s not another thing we have to do on a Friday,” said Earney. Select student leaders will present direct depositing along with four other issues to an administrative panel including President Elizabeth Stroble and Provost a Julian Schuster at the Delegate’s Agenda on Sept. 30. The presenters either volunteered or were selected to present.
Earney said he tried to think of an issue that would benefit undergraduates, graduates and non-traditional students. “It was brought up in the spring but landed sixth or seventh,”Earney said. “I think it has the potential to go all the way.”
An issue brought up several times was parking. Kearston Harris, a junior public relations major, spoke out against campus parking. As a commuter who lives nine minutes from campus, Harris says she leaves her house 30 minutes before class to search for parking because construction has taken up spaces.
“I drive around like its Wal-Mart to find a spot. I used to get on the third floor comfortably, but now I find the fourth floor full,” Harris said.
Although parking was the third most popular topic, some students, like senior Kelsey Risman, public relations major, thought the issue was redundant.
“Don’t waste your vote on parking,” Risman said as leaders went to vote. Risman said there are enough spots on campus for each student in class to have a parking space. “It’s an issue that has come up over and over and over. The administrators can hear you,” Risman, SGA Vice-President said. “If it was going to be solved, it would have been solved by now.”
SGA President Justin Raymundo and Risman said they would like the parking issue to be presented in a new way to the administration to make a change plausible. They suggest to pair parking concerns with the concerns of accessibility.
Jeremy Clements, senior broadcast journalism major, addressed maintenance of the talking crosswalks, saying they are hard to hear. Clements said when and if they are fixed, “don’t do it half way.” Risman echoed his thought, pointing out that Sverdrup is the only handicap accessible building at Webster.
“Something that is inherent to their existence keeps them from accessing a learning resource,” Risman said. “It’s not fair to be excluded from the rest of campus.”
Ashley Rawie, a senior psychology major, said her psychology classes were in Webster Hall but needed to change to Sverdrup. Because information for psychology classes is posted in Webster Hall, Rawie said she missed out on some opportunities. And then, she has issues with the uneven sidewalks.
“The sidewalk that connects the art building, Sverdrup and the Quad really freaks me out,” Rawie said.
Ted Hoef, Dean of Students, said departments and SGA will address the 16 issues not presented to the administration at the Delegate’s Agenda. Hoef expects “sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth on the list to be more toward the top of the list in the spring if it’s still important to students.”
John Ginsburg, University Center director, said that when presenters research an issue, sometimes they discover the issue gets tweaked along the way and the preparation for Sept. 30 is about “defining the issue.”
“Students have a concept but don’t have enough detail on what it is,” Ginsburg said. Raymundo said the process has dramatically changed since his freshman year.
“The issues used to get presented and go under the way side,” he said. “This is a good list. The issues presented are quick fixes in my opinion and there are a lot of awesome solutions.”