Though elections for class senators concluded last Thursday, students continue to wonder what Student Government has always been about. Established in 1956 by the Board of Trustees, Student Government has since served as the representative assembly of the student community at the University of Dallas.
Consisting of three branches, Student Government has elected representatives from each class to function as the voice of UD.
“Each class has four representatives,” Cierra Houchins, New Hall sophomore representative, said. These representatives are part of the Senate, the first branch of SG, which consists of 30 representatives.
The second branch, called SPUD, consists of eight committees including Special and Musical Entertainment, Academics, Socials, Sound, Publicity, Associate and TGIT master. The last branch – the Executive Council – consists of the president, the vice president of the Senate, the vice president of programming, the secretary and the treasurer. This branch oversees the other two branches. It also makes sure that students are able to voice their concerns.
“SPUD and SG are like an eagle,” said senior Mark Kubisch, president of SG. “We make sure to keep an eye out on everything.”
The executive council consists of Kubisch as president, senior Nick Lopez as vice president of the Senate, senior John Norton as vice president of SPUD, senior Stephanie Ossowski as secretary, and junior Claire Holman as treasurer.
“The purpose of SG is to improve campus life, to promote community and to act as a bridge between the student population and the administration,” Holman said.
Some of the powers of SG include determining club funding, organizing fundraisers and talking to the student body. SG presents surveys to the administration in order to enable the students’ concerns to reach the school administrators. Before the start of every school year, the Senate determines the budget for each club. The funding is reviewed, and a proposed amount is presented for each club.
“We are using every dollar we can for this semester,” Kubisch said.
Among recent changes that SG has helped bring about, one of the most significant has been the speed of the internet. After many complaints, SG worked to make sure that the internet would run faster. In comparison to past years, the speed of the internet has had a significant change this year.
Besides the speed of internet, students have also manifested their desire to see the hours at Haggar Café extended. Because many students have scheduling conflicts, they are not always able to grab a to-go box before class.
SG helped extend the hours in the Café by one hour for dinner. Instead of dinner running from 5 to 7 p.m., it now goes until 8 p.m. everyday. SG was also able to extend open house hours in student residences.
“Last semester, school was cancelled for about a week because of snow storms,” Kubisch said. “Since open house hours were not in effect until late in the day, a lot of students were upset that they couldn’t be with their friends. We then proposed a snow day policy where open house hours are extended.” This policy is now in effect for the entire school year.
One of SG’s best known events, Sunday Sundaes, has also served as a way for students to be able to meet the members of the executive council and voice proposals and concerns about the university.
“Sunday Sundaes is a fun event that helps students meet members of their council as well as be comfortable in telling us about any issue they may have,” Houchins said.
According to the Board of Trustees, SG has always served as the structure that holds the UD community together.
“There are a lot of new people that don’t know who to go to if they have issues,” Houchins said. “Our whole job is to be there and listen to the students and faculty about anything they want improved.”
Along with Sunday Sundaes, Student Government provided a table last year where students were able to write down issues they were concerned with.
This semester, members of SG will focus on improving the service in the cafeteria and on making meal equivalency in the Rathskeller more convenient for students.
Each SG representative is assigned a faculty advisor with whom they often meet to enable the faculty to voice concerns and advise about different aspects of school life.
SG also holds a weekly meeting every Tuesday in Carpenter 220 at 7 p.m. to discuss important issues of the week. The meeting is always open to the UD community.
The positions filled in last week’s elections were four representatives from each class, one student apartment representative and one commuter representative.
Freshmen: Michael Reardon, Alex Taylor, Jessie Johnson, Will Chavey
Sophomores: Alex Macdonald, Claire Sexton, Jose Lucas Lopes, Anthony Guerra
Juniors: Tara McCrorey, Johnny Lappe, Jimmy Hesson, Patrick Brehany
Student Apartments: Anna Heimes