Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) wishes to address the concerns presented in the recent Merciad article. Last week, students were able to vote for their representatives for the upcoming academic year. In record numbers, students participated in the voting process.
More than 20 percent of the student body participated in senate elections; this is up from the barely 11 percent from last year. MSG is very happy to see such high student participation and hopes that this will lead to further engagement by the student body in events, and activities hosted by MSG.
This being said, the relationship between MSG and the students is one that involves student engagement as well. MSG meetings, held on Mondays at 8:30 in the MSG chambers, are open to any student wishing to bring issues to light.
In addition, students who do not serve on MSG are welcomed and encouraged to come and see how a meeting is run. The truth is, very few students currently take the opportunity to join MSG in their weekly meetings, and this is something MSG would like to see changed. However, this change cannot be adopted without effort from the students too.
The newly elected executive board is barely a month into office and have several new ideas and initiatives planned to increase MSG senator engagement and participation within the particular constituencies they represent.
As for effectiveness, MSG has accomplished several projects benefitting the entire student body this year, and has ideas for even more projects in the future.
The 2011-2012 senate passed proposals for Wii systems in both Baldwin and McAuley Halls, passed a proposal to remodel the Great Room of the Herrmann Student Union and have arguably represented the students more effectively than past boards.
Transparency is an issue that an organization with confidentiality is faced with, and the MSG executive board is given access to cofidential information that sometimes requires less transparency.
We hope that in the upcoming year, a more transparent senate carrying the message of the entire organization will provide students with the best possible transfer of information. Members of the executive board are compensated for the work that they do.
If students are curious about the work that these individuals do, members of the executive board are open to let students shadow them to see all that they do on a day to day basis. Just like any elected body, time will always be a factor.
So let’s give the new executive board and senate a little more time to get their feet wet and hit the ground running for an amazing year ahead.
Please remember, any student is welcome to join MSG during their weekly meetings, and we hope to see new faces in the near future.