Advocating greater transparency and more communication with students, the Your SG executive slate has launched a high-profile, multimedia campaign aimed at illustrating the centerpiece of their platform: improving relations between Student Government (SG) representatives and their constituents in new and different ways.
Led by third-year Scott Duncombe, the current chair of College Council, You SG has brought the executive slate election to new frontiers, launching a blog and YouTube series in which the candidates contemplate prominent issues, respond to questions from students, and provide a behind-the-scenes look at the campaign.
Joining Duncombe are first-year Hilary Fruitman, seeking the position of VP for Administration, and second-year Matt Kennedy, the VP for Student Affairs candidate, both of whom currently serve on College Council. The candidates have emphasized efforts to create lines of communication between the student body, SG, and the administration.
Toward that goal, the slate has promised online accessibility to minutes for every SG committee meeting, the introduction of bulk constituent e-mails that would keep students notified about SG projects and discussions, and the creation of an SG message board to facilitate debate about hot topics facing representatives.
“We know how the system works, but we’re clearly not happy with how it is working. We want to change things, and that’s clear in what were campaigning for,” Kennedy said.
The candidates dismissed charges that their experience as current SG representatives would be detrimental to the campaign or their ability to understand the concerns of less politically active students or RSOs.
“We’ve all only been in elected office for a year, and I think we’ve made some really big steps in that time,” Duncombe said. “Groups like the Uncommon Application, like STAND, like the Coke Campaign have seen SG as a place that they can come and talk about the issues that they’re concerned about, and that wasn’t the case before.”
In addition to promising improved transparency, the slate has proposed a number of more tangible initiatives, including an alternative late-night study space to replace Regenstein Library’s A-level, the improvement of the University’s environmental impact with green programs, and the introduction of an online student portal that channels University webpages to an easily accessible central page that could also be used to advertise upcoming events or campus news.
“We want to try to push SG forward, and really...try to get more than one or two things accomplished,” Kennedy said.