Your Voice, Your Power: SGSU Releases Legislative Agenda

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Your Voice, Your Power: SGSU Releases Legislative Agenda

CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR

CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR

CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR

CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR

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The Legislative Agenda of the Student Government of Seattle University (SGSU) serves as a way to keep SGSU accountable as true advocates for the undergraduate student body. SGSU sent out its 2018–19 agenda on March 1.

The representative assembly approved the Legislative Agenda on Dec. 5. SGSU created the document with input from the answers students provided from the State of the Undergraduate Survey (SUSS) in the 2017-18 year.

The Legislative Agenda has four main focal points: engaging across difference with humanity to improve inclusive campus climate, support for historically underrepresented students, support for students’ mental health and safety, and improving budget transparency and financial literacy on campus.

CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR
CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR

SGSU Student Body President and Fourth-year Psychology Major Azrael Howell wants students to know that the document is an update to inform students on SGSU’s plans and central points for the remainder of the year.

“Overall the power comes from the students. SGSU’s role in this is to be representatives because we are in the position to directly speak to administration,” Howell said. “That is why it is important for SGSU to talk with other students and to listen to what they’re saying.”

Howell said that the representative assembly split up into four groups to begin working on the different parts of the SUSS. They are analyzing specific themes to inform students of the general population’s response to the survey. Next, they will present these points to different members of staff, faculty, administration, and the Board of Trustees in order to work on a solution.

The underrepresentation of students on campus is a pressing concern for SGSU. Howell wants to make sure that all underrepresented and marginalized students have a voice and are recognized on campus.

The Legislative Agenda concluded with Howell’s reflection on the importance of students sharing their voices to be heard on campus.

“A lot of the stuff we put out there can be very to-the-point. Though we are a group, we do have different views on certain things. The reflection at the end of the Legislative Agenda was for students to see how I think about things,” Howell said. “I came to Seattle U because of its mission, and if the students aren’t seeing the mission implemented, that is a concern.”

The Legislative Agenda also encouraged students to attend Mission Day. Mission Day will take place on April 11 and is a time for students to get together and talk about how Seattle U’s mission does or does not resonate with each individual.

In previous years, Mission Day has been a faculty event, but there is now a student Mission Day so Seattle U scholars can be included in the conversation. This year’s Mission Day will be community-based, and it aims to bring students and faculty together. The keynote speaker this year will be Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of sociology from Georgetown University.

The SGSU Vice President of University Affairs and Fourth-year Accounting Major Clara Cordova works to create events such as mission day for students to participate with SGSU in an open space that encourages communication between students and SGSU representatives.

“In the SUSS we found out that a lot of students don’t know what SGSU does. I want students to know that there are people who care,” Cordova said. “Change is slow but there are people working to solve problems on campus.”

SGSU is planning to hold a forum in the near future to hear what students want to see implemented on campus as Seattle U’s administration begins its strategic planning for the next five years.

Cordova’s committee of SGSU representatives is working on projects directly from the Legislative Agenda. Some of these projects include mental health awareness by working with Counseling and Psychology Services to get a video out to new students that emphasizes the importance of mental health, and increasing awareness for students with disabilities.

The committee is also working with admissions to increase admissions for students of color. They want to encourage students of color to feel more comfortable in applying to Seattle U, and they plan to hold more events that promote diversity.

First-year Class Representative Alvaro Vazquez is looking forward to how the goals of the agenda can positively influence students on campus—especially underrepresented and disadvantaged students.

“I think we have a good set of focuses this year as we try to find ways to better support underrepresented communities and increase our schools budget transparency, so students know what they’re paying for,” Vazquez said.

The Legislative Agenda is based on student input and SGSU plans to tackle all points mentioned in the document. When students communicate their thoughts and opinions on campus, SGSU then has the power to make sure each student’s voice is being recognized at Seattle U.

Myrea may be reached at
[email protected]