Thursday, March 4, 2021

USG Makes Progress With Room to Grow

The most in-depth analysis focused on USG’s Sexual Misconduct Task Force and efforts to increase campus sustainability.

The Sexual Misconduct Task Force, co-chaired by Caroline Corwin and Nicholas Sawicki, is already off to a promising start thanks to strong leadership and USG’s commitment. Hosting a speak-out, a question-and-answer session and a workshop, USG heightened awareness of a serious issue on campuses across the country. With a number of member clubs involved, including RHA, CSA, PRIDE, CAB, Peer Educators, Student Athletic Advisory Council and Peer Health Exchange, the task force is already making progress on a number of its goals.

While there may be no simple way to assess progress in a statistical sense, as underreporting will always find a way to persist, a surge in awareness is a sure sign of progress.

USG’s progress on sustainability issues has been commendable as well. More recycling bins on campus, an upcoming guide to campus sustainability and larger outreach efforts are elevating the campus on an important issue.

If anything is missing from the mid-year report, it is an apparent neglect of free speech issues. With March marking two years since USG’s free speech report — and some progress already being made because of it— there is some room for improvement on this front.

Although several notable events happened last semester, including a “die-in” organized by a student group, a police brutality vigil and a speak out, we believe that USG should propose more liberal posting policies; an opinion that is shared by most of the student body.

While there exists a community board in the McGinley Center, and much of what gets posted in academic buildings remains there, expanding community posting boards to the fence surrounding Edwards Parade would be a welcome addition to campus life. Similarly, less stringent policies regarding posting in residence halls would benefit the community.

This issue not only can elevate the voices of students, but can also exemplify greater trust in the student body to vocalize its opinions on important issues affecting students both inside and outside of the campus gates.

Another item on their platform was increased communication. Like free speech, this was missing from USG’s stated goals this past semester. It could be tackled by sending out a weekly newsletter via email to students, informing them of USG’s doings.

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