Continued dedication moves SG forward



Column by Ryan Smith

Hey, everyone.  I know with midterms either in progress or coming up next week, we’re all busy studying hard. Spring Break is only a week away so remember to stay in those books and just study hard.

Student Government has been busy working for you. We wanted to take this time to tell you a few things SG has done in the past year during our administration:

  • We are currently working with the Board of Trustees to renew a 40-year-old policy to allow students, faculty and staff increased opportunities to speak at Board of Trustee meetings.
  • We also have created a groundbreaking involvement program called TallyCats that has been a model for universities around the country. This program has increased involvement and in the first year nearly 4,000 students have participated. They’re earning prizes for simply attending campus events.
  • This year, SG broke ground and partnered with UK head coach John Calipari and UK President Lee Todd on a $250,000 scholarship drive. We have worked hard with the development office to create this program and we have already raised over $30,000 in pledged contributions in the first semester alone.
  • Working with UK Parking and Transportation Services, we helped to offer parking passes for finals week to off-campus students, giving you easy access to the library.
  • We are continuing to work with the city on the most recent housing proposal and have been in the discussion over alternatives to the city’s proposal. We’ve had three meetings this week alone and are continuing to advocate on your behalf to prevent any negative effects on students.
  • We have worked with the administration and other students to select a new vice president of Student Affairs.
  • Our administration created a forum with UK Police Chief Joe Monroe to get student input on important decisions made by the police department.
  • We helped provide free shuttles to Keeneland during racing season for students to enjoy the fall meet.
  • Over the past year, the amount of Leadership Development Program applicants for has doubled, preparing more students to serve campus.
  • SG will also continue to work with Faculty Senate to create a fall break and split finals week for UK students. Many of UK’s benchmark schools follow this calendar style and we have been meeting with Faculty Senate and are currently negotiating the specifics of such a plan.
  • Most importantly we have created personal relationships with Dr. Todd, the Provost, the Board of Trustees and other high level administration.
  • This has allowed us to get our ideas on the fast track with the support of UK. The personal relationships with Board members, UK faculty, staff and administration is a major factor when wanting to get things accomplished and the relationships we have built over the past year are a crucial to a successful student government.

These are a few highlights from the year so far but we are certainly not finished. We still have two months to go and we will not stop working hard simply because the year is coming to an end.

We have a number of big projects we are continuing to focus on. We look forward to finishing up the semester and the year on a strong note, and as always please let us know if there’s anything we can do to improve your experience at UK.

My personal email address is [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you if you have any suggestions or issues we can help with. Good luck this last week before Spring Break.

Ryan Smith is a political science senior and Student Government president. E-mail [email protected].