USG carries great responsibility at BGSU

Ryan Sullivan and Ryan Sullivan

Not everyone within the campus community feels as if the USG is doing all it can to protect the interests of the students.

Even some current and former faculty members say they feel as if the USG is not strong enough to represent the student body.

Professor emeritus Errol Lam said USG needs to unite more to stand up for student rights.

“Some people you will talk to say the USG is great,” Lam said. “But I think the USG should be more effective and assertive.”

He said the biggest problem the student government faces is its lack of visibility. Because of this, he feels the group doesn’t truly represent the voice of the students like it needs to, to represent their best interests.

“USG hasn’t identified with the students,” Lam said. “Every year, the people running for president say they will do more to make the USG more well known and every year it doesn’t happen.”

Lam said he doesn’t feel like students and organizations can go to USG because their problems are always redirected out to some other group or committee.

Lam cited the parking issues as something he feels the USG should be doing more about.

“Parking is a disgrace,” Lam said. “How could [USG] let something like this go by? Why can’t USG take the initiative and go to parking? It would show something to the students.”

Lamb said the addition of being in USG to a resume, especially if elected to a higher position within the group, is another problem the group faces.

“They know before they run it is going to be on their resume,” Lamb said. “If you were to say don’t put this on your resume, most people won’t run. I can’t accuse everyone of doing this, but it might partially effect some people.”

USG vice-president Nick Gamero is one of the people working hard, attempting to fix the problems Lam brought up.

“We are in the negotiations stage to keep rollover for students,” Gamero said.

The best way to help the USG get things done is through strength in numbers and by getting the average student more involved he said.

“If we compare ourselves to other schools, it can be seen that we don’t have as much power or force,” Gamero said. “We have to try to get everyday students more involved. We don’t have the establishment yet to do things without them.”

Gamero said he has been working since getting into office to get out to work with student groups and organizations to try to find their needs and what the USG can do to better serve the campus community.

Lam isn’t the only person who feels the USG isn’t doing enough, though. Students can also be found complaining about what the USG is or isn’t doing.

Junior Travis Hazen agreed that the biggest problem facing USG is its lack of visibility unless something goes wrong.

“They [USG] needs to become more visible,” Hazen said. “I don’t know anything about them except them losing rollover.”

He said USG should have done more to protect students before rollover was taken away.

“USG should fight to protect students,” Hazen said. “It doesn’t belong to the school, it belongs to us.”

Sophomore Amanda Henderson said she learned about the USG because of the University getting rid rollover.

“I don’t know very much about them [USG], just that they are supposed to be the voice of the students,” Henderson said. “I was good until the increase in meal plan and the loss of rollover. It’s our money, our loans, our scholarships that we work for. We raise that money for food, not for use by the school.”

She said the USG could also do a better job of getting their name out to University students who might not have heard of them before. Henderson suggested going to hall council meetings and going out and educating students who don’t know about the USG or what they do for the University.

Lam said the USG needs to do more to present itself as the “voice of the students.”

“Things in the University change because of the voice and power of the people,” Lam said. “We won’t have real change until USG steps up and takes a stand against President Ribeau for students. They have to have courage and will and they have to work with other people to get things done.”