United Students Government Vice President Iddris Abass stood up at last Tuesday’s USG Senator meeting to announce that senators would no longer wait to bring the SUNY Buffalo State community needs to the forefront. They will instead go into the campus community and get the information they need from students to better serve from their positions as elected and appointed officials. To do this, an academic ad hoc committee was created from the meeting for a duration of two weeks.
“It’s time to step up our game and go to them. Whoever is picked has to work with them,” Abass said.
The committee is composed of four senators and picked at random. The senators chosen were Jhakiri Brooks, Desiree Diaz, Edwin Dzakpasu and Ja’dejah Ellis. None of the four could be contacted to comment, but USG President Terron Grant said that the purpose of the ad hoc committee is to create a way to better represent the student body.
“We need to let people know what we do,” Abass concurred. “People don’t really see USG helping them. It’s like going out there and taking the extra step.
“We meet Tuesdays, we advertise that … but we barely get anyone. At the end of the day there’s still issues. How much better to get these senators out there? So at the end of the year we go out with a legacy and show we’re for the students.”
Abass later wrote in an email that when it comes to the academic committee, USG is responsible for academic accuracy and cannot advocate without information. The committee will go out to find information and discover what’s working and what is not, in terms of tutoring on campus. Abass feels that it is USG’s duty to help students in this venture and opens his office to anyone with a problem.
“You show up here, I’m here to help you,” he said.
Marcel Baker, administrative vice president for campus affairs and government relations, also set up a two-week ad hoc committee at the meeting. Selected at random, three senators, Brienna-Lee Harris, Littesha Sankar and Vivian Ukah were selected to reach out to students and find out what they’d like to see in relation to food on campus. Baker said the idea was to find out what students really like.
Both Abass and Baker made it clear at the meeting that it was time for senators to find the needs of the Buffalo State students and bring these issues. This particular meeting was special because President Katherine Conway-Turner arrived to swear in the Senate.
Baker said after the meeting that homecoming was coming up, and that there were several events that students could voice their opinion on, and that senators in the field could help with this.
Abass agreed, saying that he felt that with senators approaching students. The effect would be that the senators would become highly visible and easy to talk to.
“You get to know them,” Abass said. “You know who’s going to be your voice.”
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