Student Government Leaders Vow to Have Voices Heard On Campus

Since their return, students may have noticed the multitude of fliers and posters around campus advertising Welcome Back Week. While the Student Government Association (SGA) sponsored event is sure to create quite a buzz, it is only the beginning of what SGA President senior Ram Parimi and SGA Vice President senior Casey McCormack have planned for the year ahead.Parimi first became involved with Student Government when he was elected Junior Class President last year. He soon realized that that position was more of a social one, and that he did not have power to bring about the changes he wanted.”We were sick of student governments that were not directly affecting the campus,” Parimi said. He and McCormack became senators in the SGA and quickly recognized that there were several issues that needed to be worked out.”There were petitions and legislation that took three to four weeks to resolve,” McCormack said. The two set the stage for this year by helping to push through legislation to prevent those kinds of bureaucratic backups from occurring in the future.The pair then tackled the task of producing their own brand of “in-your-face” politics. “We felt the student government was responding to the school too much last year,” McCormack said. This year, Parimi and McCormack tried a different approach. “We went door to door talking to students,” Parimi said. “We want to implement their views and their ideas.” Welcome Back Week is the first of the SGA’s projects to spring from this kind of political approach. According to Parimi and McCormack, it will not be the last. “We want to try to rearrange the cruiser schedule to make it more convenient for students,” Parimi said. “We also want to install covered, heated cruiser stops.” Other items on the agenda include instating medical amnesty for students, issues between the administration and the Greek system and proposed changes to the Residential Life plan.”We want to give students more control over the little things,” McCormack said. “A lot of those little things will add up.”The twosome’s plans do not end with more comfortable cruiser stops, though.They are tackling more abstract issue as well. “We want to bring pride back to the campus,” Parimi said. “We want to make students more proud of the school’s traditions and history. Right now the alumni have that pride, but we want students to have that same kind of pride while they’re on campus.”The goals sound challenging but the only problem the pair foresees is student apathy. “In the past, there have been efforts to decrease student apathy, but they’ve gone about it in the wrong way,” McCormack said. “We want to be so proactive that students feel bad about not being proactive.” They have accomplished this by going door to door soliciting student opinions and basically making themselves impossible to ignore.The two leaders also plan to set up a table in the lobby of the Coop every day from 11 am to 1 pm where students can share their opinions.”I see myself as an implementation tool for students,” McCormack said. “That may mean compromising my personal beliefs, but if that’s what the students want that’s what they’ll get.”If Welcome Back Week goes well, it will be a good preview of the kinds of things the SGA might accomplish in the coming year.”It’s what we’ve been dreaming about,” Parimi said. “It’s a great introduction to what we can do,” McCormack added.One thing is clear – the S.G.A.’s primary goal is “to make students happy,” according to Parimi and McCormack.