SU outlines goals for upcoming year at state of union address

Emma Baker | News Editor

Student Union president junior Grace Egbo announced SU’s new goals of expanding administrative and student interactions, increasing diverse representation and encouraging greater election participation Tuesday.

The goals, compiled in the “52&You” initiative document, are collectively intended to connect and realign the student body’s interests with actions by SU.

Egbo opened her address by acknowledging the series of op-eds published in Student Life regarding sexual and physical assault on campus.

“It is very clear that the University needs to and can do better. I said it before and I’ll say it again—Wash. U. students are powerful, passionate and driven,” Egbo said. “The demonstration and discussions that are taking place as a result of this profound issue [brings] hope that positive change is inevitable.”

Egbo emphasized accessibility as a necessity for SU-student relations and ensuring that there are more avenues for communication than just structured hours and meetings.

“SU needs to be available to hear student needs informally and at a deep level, not just at formalized events,” Egbo said.

Egbo then continued to explain how students and administrators should have open lines of communication, in addition to describing how there needs to be increased representation to adequately advocate for all students on campus.

“Student Union can never make effective decisions when the student body, and the individuals who make up Student Union, are not truly representative of them,” Egbo said.

“By not being representative of you, how are we able to best serve you? We just can’t.”

To accomplish this, Egbo suggested launching outreach initiatives and holding information sessions to encourage more students to participate in SU.

“How I first got introduced to SU was not through the general election process,” Egbo said. “Someone actually reached out to me and encouraged me to join…[I was thinking], ‘If I can get involved in SU this way, why can’t we do the same as a whole?”

In addition to the goals outlined in the “52&You” document, some representatives assembled task forces to effectuate targeted programming.

VP of Finance sophomore Shelly Gupta plans to outline the goals for her task force this summer so she can execute them when the fall semester begins.

“Now that I have a team assembled, [I'm going to be thinking of] how to take the energy and passion [of the members of the team] and turn it into a vehicle for change in the future,” Gupta said. “One of the things I’m going to be thinking about this summer is what I want the end goal of that task force to be.”

VP of Administration freshman Steven Kish, who will co-chair the constitutional council task force with freshman Senator Mia Hamernik, hopes to address the contradictory language across different SU legislative documents.

“The whole purpose behind this task force in particular is to take the documents we have now in both our constitution and our statutes as well as some of our entities’ constitutions and make them consistent within themselves, with each other and with the way that we operate,” Kish said.

According to Egbo, these directives, paired with the the central objectives of the “52&You” document, reflect the ambitions of all SU-affiliated programs.

“We made it clear that we did not want these goals to be of our own doing, but the collective goals of all in SU,” Egbo said. “After talking with others about how they would like to see Student Union grow, we came down to fostering a culture of three things: access, collaboration and progress within SU and outside SU.”