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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Response to Open Letter

Kevin, I would first like to thank you for the letter. Students are the reason why I got into Student Government and I am glad that you found an effective forum to voice these concerns.

The first concern I would like to address is the fee increase. Student Government leaders have been opposing the fee increase since news of it reached our ears. Many of those leaders worked in coalition with Massachusetts Students Uniting (MSU) to get commitments to go to Dartmouth, call the Governor, and much more. However, you also have to realize our administration was in favor of the fee increase. In fact, Judy Keyes, the director of Financial Aid, was a major force in shaping the proposal. We were asked outright by administration to support the fee, and we answered with a resounding ‘No’. As you can imagine, that somewhat limited our resources. The administration is NOT our enemy, but they weren’t truly an ally in fighting the fee increase.

On another note, I am sad to hear that you had not found the Senate until recently. I have personally been doing my best to meet students across campus. I speak with students whenever I can. I know many of our new senators are doing the same, and I think this semester’s Senate has done an amazing job.

We have written a new Constitution which will hopefully be passed by the student body before this is printed. We are also revamping our bylaws. These two documents define the Student Government’s powers. Quite simply, the Constitution and Bylaws are so dated and vague that we do not have the ability to do much of anything aside from fund clubs and voice student concerns. But that is changing. I am glad you want updates, as that is something we are already looking at including in our bylaws. We want to implement a weekly newsletter sent to all undergraduate students at the University.

We encourage student participation. I advertise Senate meetings to anyone I can. We want you to be there. We are sick of only seeing the students asking for funding. We meet biweekly on Wednesdays in Ballroom C from 2:30p.m. to 4p.m. I want to see as many students there as possible. However, we will work with the Mass Media to make sure our meetings are in their weekly calendar along with their location, and I hope you will also let students you know about these meetings.

Furthermore, we want students like you not just to come to meetings, but to run against us. Hold us accountable. Campus Connect is the beginning of what I hope will be a new tradition and our greatest tool in spreading news and getting students involved. We recognize the powerful political machine students can be when mobilized. That is why I am involved in both MSU and our Student Government. The two should work in conjunction with one another. MSU should deal with the statewide issues, and Student Government should notify students of these issues. However, the Student Government must also work on finding solutions to the problems students face in their day to day life on campus. The two working in conjunction should make students’ lives easier on campus and making sure they are provided a quality, affordable education.

Dan Macdowell, ’13Student Senate (CLA)