The spring semester has presented the University of Dallas Student Government (SG) with a variety of new challenges — or, as senators may be more inclined to consider them, new opportunities.
Many of these opportunities have already been widely recognized as successes.
One of the best such examples was the immense popularity of Groundhog’s on-campus Party in the Park, put on by Student Programming at UD (SPUD).
Though originally in response to flooding in Groundhog Park, the success of the move may have set a new precedent for bringing Groundhog back to campus.
More recently, SG has striven to include students in discussions on campus safety.
Student Body President Joey Kelly has become the direct student representative on the new campus safety committee, formed in response to the university’s new campus carry policy preventing concealed carry weapons on campus.
Kelly, along with the senate, is working on several events designed to invite the student body into the discussion regarding safety at UD.
“[The] senators are working to generate a diverse and inclusive conversation … in order to gather a sense of what the students want campus security to look like,” junior senator and Treasurer-elect Mike Woodrum said.
These events are ongoing, with senate members from each class leading forums for their respective constituents within the student body.
The junior class forum was held last week; the other three classes will hold their own forums in the coming weeks.
Already, these forums have garnered impressive results.
“We had a fantastic turnout and generated a wealth of survey data, which we have already presented to the administration,” Woodrum said of the junior forum.
He added that he is confident that the information gathered from the forums will help the administration form a plan that is both safe and welcoming.
Other initiatives taken to involve students in safety discussions include the town hall meeting last month following the administration’s announcement of the weapons policy.
SG has taken initiatives that are less publicized but no less important.
The creation of the Student Clubs and Organizations Grant has benefitted a number of clubs across campus, including the UD Women’s Society and UD Irish Dancing (UDID).
The Senate has also allocated more money for SPUD’s Spring Formal.
Other plans remain largely behind the scenes.
Senator Rachel Parkey, a junior, is heading a committee that will encourage the administration to incorporate Holy Thursday into Easter Break.
This movement, titled the Holy Thursday Resolution, has now been sent to the administration, where its fate is to be determined.
In the minds of the senators, the endeavor is already a success.
“[Parkey] put a lot of great work into responding to student opinion and drafting the resolution,” Woodrum said.
He was involved in the creation of the resolution.
In fact, none of these efforts would be possible without a great number of enthusiastic and motivated individuals.
SG Secretary junior Annamica Reding’s list of senators who have done “exemplary jobs” is lengthy and varied, suggesting all on its own the scope and quality of the Senate’s work.
When combined with numerous achievements and several works-in-progress, it appears that the spring semester has been eventful for UD’s Student Government.