USG leaders optimistic about term

By Gus Bode

President, vice president plan to tackle variety of issues this year

Factoid:USG will hold its first meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3.

With the first Undergraduate Student Government meeting a mere two weeks away, President Neal Young and Vice President Tequia Hicks are positive about what SIUC’s student government can accomplish for the fall semester.

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On top of its daily chores, USG is planning to act upon many issues involving both the campus and the city of Carbondale such as housing, parking, books and student participation.

By gathering information on housing rules and regulations, Young would like to approach the issue of off-campus housing. He wants to address this issue primarily because of the amount of complaints he has received from student tenants.

“Students do not deserve to live in substandard housing. No one does,” said Young, a senior in social studies and education from Springfield. “We pay a lot of money in an economically depressed area on housing in this town. I have heard horror stories that you wouldn’t begin to fathom of what’s going on in housing.”

While Young admits that what USG can do is limited, he hopes that by working closely with the city council, the mayor and student legal assistants, improvements for off-campus housing may be possible in the future.

Parking and transportation have also become a concern for USG. For students, there are more cars than parking spaces on campus. Young mentions how a student approached him and asked why there was a fee when there was no place to park.

Hicks believes that improving the current transit system would alleviate the traffic congestion.

” Improving the mass transit system will discourage students from driving their cars on campus, which in turn would allow less traffic on campus,” said Hicks, a sophomore in political science from Carbondale.

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By researching other universities’ means, USG hopes to combine a successful transit system with suitable parking, allowing students and citizens to effectively trek “from point A to point B.”

USG also would like to see more students become involved in activities around them. Plans are being made to have instructors discuss student organizations during their classes so more students are aware of what is going on around them. USG is also looking for interested students to fill its senate.

The agenda may also include an online book exchange program, which would help deal with the frustration of textbook buyback. USG also would like to communicate with each RSO president and treasurer to answer any questions their respective organizations may have. With the broad range of topics, USG realizes that many of the issues will take time to settle.

“Problems won’t always be resolved in a semester. It may take one year or two years to get in full swing,” Young said.

But he believes the student government is definitely up for the task.

“I think we got a really good start. I am definitely confident that we have done a lot of research on different subjects, so we should accomplish a lot,” Hicks said.

Reporter Leah Williams can be reached at [email protected]

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