Transparency, lack of communication discussed during SG town hall

Former and current Student Government members, as well as a small group of non-SG students, discussed how SG could foster stronger communication at a town hall on April 23.

Most representatives saw a lack of publicity about what SG was doing, and some suggested a stronger presence on social media as a way to communicate SG’s goals and accomplishments to students.

“People would take a more vested interest [in SG] if they knew what was happening,” 2016 Sen. Alex Bradley said, a member of the committee that held the town hall, SG’s Committee on Communications, Outreach and Transparency.

Members of SG argued that communication between the students and SG needs to come from both sides.

Lack of communication falls on the students, executive board and undergraduate senate equally, according to former SG president Sarah McBride.

“We can’t shove information down someone’s throat,” McBride said. “Students have a responsibility to seek out that information.”

Bradley also stressed the importance of student input during the process of advocacy. This will be augmented by the addition of the chair of student voice next year, which is a new executive position with the task of collecting student input for SG.

“We can’t begin to advocate without having an idea about what students want us to do,” Bradley said.

SG representatives discussed the advocacy that they had worked on this year, including the research done by the shuttle commission, the creation of sexual assault prevention group Stand Up AU and the success of the divestment referendum.

Some students, however, thought that advocacy could go further.

Kathy Kim, a freshman in the School of International Studies who is not in SG, agreed many students felt alienated as a result of the opaqueness of the organization.

Kim, who is part of the American Dream Student Group that advocates for undocumented students, thought SG sometimes did not give some student groups appropriate attention, calling this phenomenon “cherry-picking.”

“Student Government is honestly a pretty big mystery,” Kim said.

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