By Jonathan Smith, Editor in Chief
As the Students’ Association waits to fill out the 83rd Student Congress with freshman senators, residence hall and academic building representatives, communication is the focus for the executive officers.
“We’re trying to flood the channels of communication,” said Layne Rouse, executive president.
Elections will be Tuesday, as Congress will look to add five freshman senators, one sophomore senator and all the residence hall and academic building representatives. Petitions for those positions became available Monday and can be picked up throughout this week in the SA office.
Freshmen can vote early in their residence halls after curfew Monday.
Once the seats are filled with representatives, Rouse said they will begin implementing ways of “empowering the future,” beginning with a weeklong training session specifically for new representatives.
“We’re trying to create a template of what it means to be a rep and what it means to be a leader,” Rouse said.
The week, which leads up to Congress’ Sept. 11 retreat, will include eight training sessions about parliamentary procedure and writing bills.
Treasurer Tyler Cosgrove sent budget packets to all student groups this week, which will be due Aug. 31.
The packet includes what he said will be a more detailed list of budget procedures, and this year it also includes a new computer program designed to help student groups through the process of developing a budget.
Cosgrove said the program will essentially require groups to fill in certain boxes of information describing proposed projects so they would have a better opportunity to receive requested money.
Another goal, Rouse said, is to look for ways to get Congress and the student body involved in projects for the university’s Centennial Campaign.
Although he has explored several possibilities of what this might look like, Rouse said once a full Congress is in session and representatives can take on various parts of the process, SA should have a proposal to bring to the student body in the coming weeks.
Another SA project already taken shape is the Wildcat Express, available to freshmen at Passport sessions throughout the summer. What the executive officers call the “common language for student involvement,” the Wildcat Express is a compilation of information from all the student groups on campus. Melanie Booker, executive vice president, said that in the past there has not been a central place students could turn to to discover what groups are available.
“When a freshman comes to us and says, ‘I want to get involved, how?’ we want everyone to have the same answer for them,” Booker said.