The Ithaca College Student Government Association is advancing its goal to promote “transparency” in its organization.
“Transparency is something that has always been important to student government,” junior Rob Flaherty, vice president of communications for SGA, said. “We are definitely working on finding new and creative ways to create opportunities for transparency.”
Among the new tactics is SGA’s recent collaboration with the Resource and Environmental Management Program, a group that promotes sustainable living on campus.
SGA is working with REMP to have a space for SGA updates in its monthly installments, which are located in bathroom stalls throughout campus.
Flaherty said the popular location of the installments makes for a creative way to reach the student body and inform it about upcoming SGA campus initiatives and events.
Though REMP has agreed to collaborate with SGA for space on its installments, senior Margaret Keating, an intern for REMP, said SGA should aim to focus on
sustainability in its updates, since that issue is concurrent with the theme of the notice.
SGA has been working with Mark Darling, sustainability programs coordinator of facilities services, about having space on the installments.
“It’s a great marketing tool,” Darling said. “It’s not a unique idea here. There are other campuses that do it. I’ve seen them in University of Vermont and other places.”
Flaherty said the contents of the updates are still being discussed, and that SGA is looking to implement this initiative next semester.
Last year, the organization attempted to reach out to the student body by hosting more events, conducting senate meetings in IC Square and holding a table at the Campus Center to be more accessible to the student body. This year’s executive board, the Constructionists, took office with transparency as one of its goals.
Freshman Rita Ouimet, who reads the REMP installments, said this initiative would be beneficial to the student body and have a general positive impact on campus.
“I honestly don’t know what they are doing at all,” Ouimet said. “I think that this would be a good idea to inform the student body of what they’re doing.”
In another effort to expand and promote transparency, SGA is also looking to hold a State of the Union address, which senior Scott Nachlis, the president of SGA, will deliver to the student body.
Based on the success of presidential addresses at other colleges, SGA decided to try to host an address next semester.
Flaherty said planning for the event is in its preliminary stages.
“We’re still working on the venue,” Flaherty said. “It’s still in the planning process, since it’s the first time that it’s ever been done. It would probably be a 10-minute speech presentation from Scott in person.”
Flaherty said transparency is a problem student governments face throughout the country.
“It’s the annual challenge of the person in my position and really in everyone’s position in student government to show people that we’re here and that we’re working for the student body and trying our best to advocate for them,” he said.