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Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

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Students to USG, come in USG…

Two weeks ago, members of the Undergraduate Student Government administration were quoted quite a few times in this newspaper about how they wish to effectively communicate with the student body who elected them.

“One of our many goals this year is to have a more informed student body,” said USG President Johnnie Lewis in an Aug. 20 story.

The USG Vice President, Nick Gamero, said: “Communication is our philosophy. … We want to know the administration on a personal level [and] we want to be visible to the students.”

And the USG Speaker, Jeremy Lehman, said: “We will do everything possible in order to reach out to the students and let them know who is representing them.”

We like that USG has these goals. So what a shame it is to navigate to their Web site and see how actions are not, so far, consistent with words.

The “brand new newsletter” advertised on the front page turns out to be from November 2006 – apparently the only one last year’s USG bothered to create.

A link where supposedly we can see the minutes from each meeting is outdated, too.

That page hasn’t been updated to reflect this year’s meeting schedule. Even then, out of the 19 meetings from last year shown on the site, only three have minutes accessible. USG gave up posting them around October.

Out of the six pieces of legislation listed as available for download, only three have working links.

Such information – minutes, legislation and so on – are great ways for students to quickly catch up on what their government is doing and how it’s coming to those decisions.

Not only that, it’s a staple in any democracy where the government wants its voters to be actively deliberating and offering opinions on what it’s doing. Yet USG isn’t meeting these basic offerings.

But this small list of easily-fixed problems underscores a longer list of serious ones USG needs to address with their Web presence.

The site is hidden under a way-too-long URL. (http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/sa/studentgovernment/usg/). There’s poor and inconsistent punctuation on it.

On the “Links of Interest” page they’re listed as “Undergraduate Student Senate” for some reason. And no one seems to have been active on their Facebook group in months.

OK, it’s the beginning of the semester. Things get lost, ideas are never followed through on – lots of other student organizations, including The BG News, have these problems too.

But at the very least, take the old stuff down. Having it available as your only content is embarrassing. Then, tell us when we’ll be able to see updates.

We’re all for communication. But both sides have to make an effort for it to work.

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