Itâ€™s one of the most common complaints about Student Government: it doesnâ€™t really do anything.
Itâ€™s also something that SG President Tyler Montell hoped to disprove.
At the beginning of the Fall semester, Montell and his staff introduced the Campus 365 plan â€” a comprehensive outline of campus committees who would see to every aspect of student life and services in order to improve and better provide for UK.
The Montell administration was looking in the right direction when they developed the plan â€” organizing and taking a more business-like approach to things. Itâ€™s also a tool that will be used to ultimately hold Montell and his colleagues accountable at the end of their term.
Taking a look at the plan, SG has made great strides in some areas.
For example, giving students a voice. The group has held various forums throughout the year, including ones about the meal plan and library hours. They are also looking to extend the community Q & A session with President Lee Toddâ€”held in the Cats Denâ€”last year by bringing in various local leaders and politicians.
The Off-Campus Housing director of the Campus 365 plan, Jantzen Oâ€™Neal, is looking to provide a means of communication between students and non-students living in the area surrounding campus by creating an off-campus newsletter. It would highlight student accomplishments and attempt to fight the stereotype of students being nothing but a nuisance.
And a recent SG creation is the development of a one-number phone number consolidation service that is in the process of being finalized, Montell said in an interview with the Kernel. By calling the number, (257-SAFE) students will have access to the phone number of various campus services like SAFECATS, UK Parking and Transportation Services and taxis.
While these are a few highlights of SGâ€™s plan, it seems many things are â€œin the worksâ€ and the only recent news coming out of the sparsely-attended meetings is the handing out of funds to different campus organizations by the Appropriations and Revenue Committee. This is great for each of those organizations, but there is only so much money to hand out and only so many iPod Touches to give away to bribe students into attending events.
While January seems like the beginning of a new semester, in many ways it is the beginning of the end for Montell. SG elections will begin in a few months and soon a new president will be outlining his or her plan to help improve UK. Montell must act now to finalize some of his great ideas from the beginning of the year and make a real difference on campus.
Simply passing out funding to campus groups or handing out iPod Touches isnâ€™t leaving a legacy, or at least not one that Montell would be proud of. Unless SG can accomplish some of the big changes they outlined with the 365 plan, Montell is just another in a long line of presidents who left little more than an SG logo on a few T-shirts.