SA's Fall term sees hits and misses
This year's Student Assembly executives, one"third of the way through their tenure, are learning it takes more than good ideas to effect change. As student leaders, they also must often garner the support of College administrators before changes can be implemented.
Whether or not a major Assembly project is implemented can largely depend on whether or not administrators decide to give the green light to the idea. This year's Assembly has allocated funds for student community service awards, a student-professor coffee break program at Dirt Cowboy Cafe and the recognition of good first-year faculty advisers. But larger projects, such as posting course syllabi online and a proposal to enact co-ed rooming, remain in the works.
In contrast with the casual meetings of former Assembly leader Janos Martin '04, Hildreth has set a more organized, professional tone, adopting parliamentary procedure for Assembly meetings.
This approach has garnered mixed results. At one meeting, Hildreth appealed to Assembly members to stop stifling discussion via motions to close the list of people allowed to speak on an issue.
But if people want to speak, they can find a way around the rules, as in one meeting where discussion on funding a voter registration drive devolved into a debate over "the ratio of pizza to iPods" that would be used to help get students to vote.
Despite some problems, Hildreth remains optimistic and says a number of projects will come to fruition next term.
"Things take time, and for the most part I've seen a lot of effort for us to help get the ball rolling," she said of the Assembly's relationship with the administration. "I think we're definitely on track to meet our goals by the end of the year."
Next term, the Assembly will work on following through on the BlitzMail terminals, bike project, vending machines and co-ed rooming, Hildreth said. In the end, only time will tell whether Hildreth and others can work up enough support to translate these ideas into reality before the clock on their terms runs out.