Reflections on UD Student Government

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My name is John Frank, senior politics major, and I’m honored to serve as your current student body vice president. This is my second year being involved with student government, previously having been elected junior class senator and serving on the Administrative Functions Committee. 

As a senator and a member of that committee, the bulk of my work focused on helping new clubs edit their constitutions to ensure their success, and recommending them to the administration for approval. As I approached the end of my term as junior senator, I started considering a bid for an executive position. I enjoyed my time working with the previous executive council, but I had ideas for how we could improve SG’s efficacy so as to better serve our school.

I remember speaking with Molly Zepeda about my potential executive candidacy, and we quickly realized that not only did we not want to run against each other, but we really wanted to be able to work with each other. We met with Hannah Wilmes and Liliana Bitter, both dedicated servants of the school who were also interested in serving on the executive council, and we started to see real potential for an excellent executive line-up. 

It ended up working out beautifully — Molly had all the necessary attributes for presidency — and more — while my strong suits and ideas fit the vice president position perfectly. Hannah had the flair for being secretary, and Liliana already had experience as treasurer. After the student body voted in support of each of us, we got to work planning for the new year. 

We decided to pursue a more service-oriented agenda for the 2022-23 school year. Molly had ideas for working with the St. Vincent de Paul charity, and trying to get more people involved in truly serving the poor in our area. We are never as far from poverty as we may sometimes like to think. 

I myself was interested in making our senate meetings more accessible for new senators, as well as making them more efficient. While I have found that running SG meetings is a never-perfected art, I think we have seen a real improvement, and I have gotten good feedback from new and veteran senators alike. 

I have been extremely lucky with this year’s senators. I could not have asked for a more competent, dedicated, and creative group of people to work with. No matter how tired I may be by the time our evening meetings roll around, I inevitably end up having genuine fun, and I always leave feeling impressed and grateful for having such excellent senators to work with. 

From addressing constitutional concerns, to addressing crime on campus, handling student concerns with Aramark, or chipping away at the eternal effort to make our campus more beautiful, it is inspiring to watch my peers passionately use their talents to serve our community. 

At the beginning of the semester, I told the senate that the power is in their hands, and the executive council is here to serve them. That is not just a line; it’s very much true. Executive council members have no vote in the senate, and so every decision that SG makes, every allocation of funds or new initiative is a result of senators proposing and voting upon their own ideas. Every week I think our agenda gets longer and longer as people have more ideas about how they want to serve our school. 

A spirit of civility and openness in discussion has proven invaluable for our work at SG, and I have to say I attribute that excellence in discourse to the ethos cultivated by the academic and social community at UD. Without the courage to introduce new ideas, challenge old ones, and think independently and with intellectual and moral excellence, neither our Student Government nor our community at large would be what it is.

I am excited for the rest of the year working with our SG team, and I can’t wait to see what else we end up being able to achieve for our school — there’s plenty in the works, and we have some of UD’s finest on the job.

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