TOP HAT

Working to improve outreach

It’s crazy to think about how quickly this past year has gone by! With the GM Week 2019 Election right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about all of the goals that I had for myself during my term as grand marshal. I think the most intimidating goal is partnered with my hope to increase diversity within the Student Senate and student government – increased outreach to all campus constituencies.

This week, at the Senate general meeting, we had a discussion about how we can better communicate and solicit feedback from the student body. This conversation stemmed from the concern that there is a lack of education of the general student population on the initiatives of the Student Senate’s committees and how to get involved, as well as the concern that there are issues that students are facing that are not being recognized and addressed.

It seemed that the general consensus during the discussion was that the Student Senate already has a good structure to invite feedback and opinion, but we are not going out into different social circles and seeking out feedback and concerns in students typical campus environments. As members of the chief legislative and policy making body, it is important for each member of the Senate to reach out to our constituents and bring concerns or issues to the floor that are pressing and relevant.

During my time as Student Government Communications Committee chairperson, the committee saw similar issues. The main topics we spoke about within the committee were how frequently we should be sending out information and what method is the most effective in encouraging feedback, but I think a more important question is in regards to where these interactions of soliciting feedback and informing are happening. It is my hope that the members of the Student Senate, as well as members of other governing body, will actively seeking out opportunities to attend club meetings, go to events, and strike up conversations in class to gauge opinions and concerns that we can then bring back to student government and address.

I will personally be making a more conscious effort to go out and speak with groups of students that I don’t get to interact with frequently, so if you have any interest, please do not hesitate to reach out to me about meeting with your group, organization, or just one-on-one to provide better insight into student government and to also listen to any improvements you’d like to see made!

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to reach out to me at gm@rpi.edu. Your thoughts, feedback, and suggestions are always welcomed!