Student Union Executive Board releases goals for 2019-2020 term

| Senior News Editor

The 53rd Student Union Executive Board (SU) released the 2019-2020 Executive Goals & Strategic Plan, prioritizing the Senate restructuring process and strengthening communication with the student body, Aug. 26.

The goals, sent out in an email to the student body, were divided into three categories — Equity, Representation and Access. Each of those categories contained more specific related goals.

In the Equity section, among the goals listed was the restructuring of Senate, a process which started at the end of last semester. Other items included making the Social Programming Board president an elected position and providing resources for marginalized and non-STEM students.

Under Representation, some of the priorities included making sure that SU programming appeals to students with diverse backgrounds and increasing representation in SU. It also included the creation of a presidential advocacy board, which would gather leaders of student-led movements.

Access, which was also a goal specified by the 52nd executive board, included a reform of funding policy and improving communication and visibility outside of SU.

Past executive boards have typically released their goals in April after the spring executive election in March. According to the Student Union President junior Tyrin Truong, waiting to release the goals afforded the five executive members more time to collaborate with each other and with the rest of SU.

“We wanted to do it a little differently this time,” Truong said. “We wanted to talk to the different entities and the actual people within Student Union [to say] ‘Hey, what changes do you want to see?’ ‘What are you excited about for the upcoming year?’”

For junior Ariel Ashie, vice president of finance, taking the extra time to formulate the goals was important for her to think thoroughly through their priorities and get used to her first official Student Union role.

“My biggest thing is how we ground our decisions,” Ashie said. “I think it’s very easy to come into a role with a bunch of new ideas, and that’s great, but for me, it’s about the long-term. Like, how do I make a decision that’s based in fact, that’s based in reality, really, and then build on that?”

Sophomore Beth Wiesinger, vice president of public relations, wants more consistent communication with the student body to be a major priority.

“I feel like the personal aspect [in SU’s public relations] is lacking, and I feel like if all of our exec and all of our leadership in general can just be more personal and present, like actually go to events, and go to GBMs and make sure that people know we’re SU, so that people can come to us for real-time feedback,” Wiesinger said.

Truong also sees communication with the student body as a major area for improvement, and thinks goals such as the presidential advocacy board will help address the issue.

“I feel like currently, Student Union is missing out on the opportunity to actually lead the student body,” Truong said. “For instance, with Title Mine, most of us didn’t know about it, we learned about it at the same time [as] all the other students. I feel like that was a missed opportunity, a place that we could’ve helped lead and gain trust from the student body. Partnering with these student leaders will help both of us.”

According to Charlotte Pohl, vice president of programming, restructuring Senate aligns them to the executive board’s main goals.

“We’re all on a similar page right now, which is great,” Pohl said. “I’m hoping that we can just continue to work efficiently and collaborate with the entities and just get a lot done in the next term.”

Ashie believes restructuring will also allow for collaboration within the executive board itself.

“A lot of our goals are very collective, so it’s not just limited to my role, which I really like,” Ashie said. “I think SU in its current capacity has a lot of potential, and I think a lot of times, we really miss opportunities to be as effective as we can, and so I’ve had that conversation with a lot of people in SU. I see [restructuring] as being the foundation for a lot of our other changes. Once we’re able to get a more effective structure, everything will come after that.”

Both Truong and Ashie emphasized that overall, the goals are designed with the student body in mind, and the executive board welcomes any feedback students may have.

“I want to encourage students to actually get involved,” Truong said. “We want feedback; we want participation. We’re open and we’re hoping to get participation. We feel like Student Union hasn’t done that in the past, have an open door policy, of ‘Hey, come on in, let’s talk about the things that matter to you.'”

“Sending out to the student body is about accountability,” Ashie said. “I want people to be able to hold us accountable, but also to be able to have their input. I would love if someone has a thought or opinion about any of these goals or wants to hear more about it. It’s supposed to be an open dialogue, it should be a living document.”

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