SU hopes to address image, accessibility concerns in coming year
Student Union—Washington University’s student government organization—has expressed many goals and aspirations for the coming school year, all of which are in accord with their very reason for existing.
“Our three main missions are to advocate, allocate and program,” Jordan Finkelstein, the president of SU, said, referring to SU’s primary functions, which are advocating for the needs of the student body, allocating and giving to over 300 groups on campus a percentage of students’ tuition and funding and advising programs.
These goals, however, are not always as clearly communicated as they could be.
“One of the biggest roadblocks [for us] is a disconnect between what SU actually does and how the student body might see us,” Finkelstein stated.
Some students and groups do not truly see SU as a student resource, leading to misunderstandings about how the organization can serve them properly. In Finkelstein’s own words, the organization exists purely “to serve the undergraduate students.”
One of the ways SU hopes to rectify this misunderstanding about their aims is by making their mission more transparent and truly serving as the voice of the student body to the University administration. This includes conveying student concerns to the higher-level administration.
A large goal in this area is to see more socioeconomic diversity. The class of 2019 is one of the most socioeconomically diverse ones ever at Washington University, and according to SU, students from less privileged families should not be underserviced.
“[Some] students are really missing out on an opportunity,” Finkelstein said, referring to extracurricular activities that are offered on campus. “We are going to try to use some of our financial resources to offset the cost [for them].”
“I want to help make purposeful events that don’t overlap,” Bonner Williams, vice president of programming for SU, said, stating her own hopes that larger numbers of students be able to participate in more activities.
Essentially, SU’s hope for the whole student body is simple: to listen to the students themselves and then make their voices known, so that their hopes can become a reality.
Williams said, “One big goal…is making sure everything we do is for the students. And to do that we need to hear the students’ voice.”