Allegheny Student Government is beginning another academic year and is ready to work, according to President Tess Bracken, ’17.
Bracken said this year she, along with Vice President Sofia Kaufman, ’17, Chief of Staff Hayden Moyer, ’17, and the rest of the cabinet, hope to see ASG working together more.
ASG had its first official meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 30, which was largely organizational. The shortened meeting was meant more to prepare ASG for its first normal meeting.
According to Kaufman, class senators are already working on initiatives to improve student life at Allegheny.
“One of the big pushes is the junior class wants to push to get printers in almost all the dorms,” Kaufman said.
Bracken said an issue she hopes ASG can work to address is the relationship with the Office of Residence Life and the student body. She said she hopes they can help to facilitate an improved dialogue.
“We are actually trying to get them to communicate more, and they know they have to clean up their act,” Bracken said.
Bracken said she feels the student backlash against the changes to housing policies last year—which included no longer releasing students to live off-campus—was largely due to the department’s lack of communication with ASG and the student body as a whole.
“Up to now, the dialogue has not been up to where it needs to be,” Moyer said.
For the upcoming year, ASG hopes to receive regularly scheduled updates from residence life. The ASG Ad Hoc Committee on Housing will also be working to improve the relationship between students and residence life, Moyer said.
Also also hopes to make the Statement of Community more visible for first-year students, Kaufman said. She said she hopes they can build the statment into the curriculum of the freshman seminar program.
“Ideally, everyone on this campus should have had a conversation about safe zone and bystander training,” Kaufman said.
The 2016-17 academic year will also mark the inaugural year of the ASG first-year liaison position. The position will be filled by Miguel Guillen, ’19.
The first-year liaison, according to the ASG website, will seek to guide the incoming class and its senators and address issues the new class may face.
Bracken said ASG is hopeful the Class of 2020 will be involved in the organization and will seek office.
“They seem like a pretty active class,” Bracken said.
In addition to addressing issues on campus, Bracken said ASG is also looking for ways it can improve and better serve the Allegheny Community.
Bracken said this means working to make meetings run more efficiently.
“We are hoping to make the meetings shorter and more worthwhile,” Bracken said.
According to Moyer, this year every senator will have a folder with hard copies of everything they need. He said in the past ASG has tried to limit the amount of paper used, but by having physical copies of everything they will be able to run more efficiently.
Attorney General Eric Chang, ’17, said he also hopes to make everything more accessible online. He said he hopes to make it possible for clubs and organizations to access their constitutions and other important paperwork online.
“They should have easy access to all forms and that is going to happen this year,” Chang said.
Bracken said ASG also hopes to bring back its monthly meetings in the Campus Center lobby in order to make meetings more visible and accessible to students.
ASG meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on the the third floor of the Campus Center. Meetings are open to the public.