DePaul Student Government Association calls on students to initiate changes

With a strategic plan put in place, students can critique where they couldn't before

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DePaul Student Government Association calls on students to initiate changes

ANNALISA BARANOWSKI | THE DEPAULIA

ANNALISA BARANOWSKI | THE DEPAULIA

ANNALISA BARANOWSKI | THE DEPAULIA

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DePaul’s Student Government Association want students to submit their own proposals to the benefit of the everlasting university experience. With a number of students submitting various proposals and sharing ideas, SGA’s new student collaboration system helps glorify the importance in having a proactive student body.

The strategic plan SGA has in place is to allow students who are objective state their opinions, while utilizing media outlets to allow students to reach out and contribute ideas.

“This year, Vice President Emily Hoey and I have tried to completely change the campus culture of SGA, beginning internally to create a strong foundation within the university and expanding on our personal relationship with students and our media outlets,” said SGA President Nahal Hashemian.

Junior Abbas Dahodwala of Radio DePaul management said he wanted DePaul to advertise student events better.

“I’d like to see DePaul advertise their student events more,” Dahodwala said.  “The media outlet of DePaul’s newsline doesn’t meet standards; instead of using it mainly to promote all events and student involvement, it is too propaganda focused.”

Students needing information that speaks out to everyone is the main concern, which is what Dahodwala inferred as a media-inclined student. This and ranging from upgrading buildings, services and campus happenings is a basis for creating ideas and proposals. Those proposals SGA receive carry weight to help utilize their own respective knowledge in creating a better campus for all.

Hashemian built off that notion.

“Our relationship and standing within the university and students has grown exponentially this year, and I believe that students absolutely want change on campus and now know that SGA is a platform here to do that,” she said.

Students on DePaul’s campus want different things, but when it comes to their needs it is seen more as a collective benefit.  Hoey has supported such community efforts through the student voice. Therefore, Hoey provided some perspective from students in regard to their current needs on campus.

“While some ideas offer new innovation such as the potential for an official student health center, most expand on preexisting resources that are presently serving groups of students,” Hoey said. “Such ideas include expanding the new Success Coaching initiative, the Chicago Quarter program and resources for first-generation students. Resources like these help particularly vulnerable populations, including our first-year and transfer students, better adapt and find their place more meaningfully here at DePaul.”

Hashemian and Hoey have worked toward a healthy collaboration with the SGA board and the student body. Hoey shone light on the importance of the student voice.

“The voice of DePaul’s student body is more important than ever,” Hoey said. “Grounded in the Mission, DePaul’s latest strategic plan offers numerous entry points for student input and involvement in the allocation of university capital and SGA’s task to solicit such input has been formative in helping our internal body grow in greater understanding of student priorities.”

To simplify this, every student on DePaul’s campus with their values and interests gets the privilege to sustain an empirical voice. Based on each student’s experience, they get to help define how DePaul can serve for the greater good. Students tend to find difficulty to expressing their voice, and SGA is here to provide them a medium. Which, according to the presidential duo, is exactly what has been accomplished: providing the channel for students to have a voice to the administration.

Proving that any student can express opinion toward administration, University Hall desk employee sophomore Alexis Johnson spoke on one of the more touted subjects, the quarter system.

“The quarter system expands the amount of classes you can take, though one of the big disadvantages is the rigorous pace of class,” Johnson said.

Looking at the big picture, she spoke out to all who can get more involved at DePaul.

“In the next two years, I’m hoping to have more resources to reach my goals as a science major. Research is really important to me,” Johnson said. “It’s about finding the right balance between all things at DePaul with extracurriculars and academics.”

Singular students don’t have to speak out for all at DePaul, but what really matters to SGA is nurturing the the student voice. To withstand a healthy collaboration effort between the student body and SGA, Hashemian provided the way students can get in contact with SGA.

“This strategic plan proposal campaign, while absolutely unique among universities and an incredible opportunity, is not the only chance for student input about changes you’d like to see at DePaul,” Hashemian said. “Any change, big or small, is something we want to hear about from students. So please, continue to email your ideas to sga@depaul.edu and we’ll work to connect you to the right EVP or senator for that particular initiative.”

“SGA feels a primary responsibility to serve as catalysts for the students in order to advocate, educate and influence university policy, and our involvement in the strategic plan is foremost informed by student ideas,” Hoey said.