Student government to tackle honesty policy, communication

In Focus Editor and In Focus Editor

For the people who represent the undergraduate student body, communication is important.

The Undergraduate Student Government is working to increase communication between students and representatives this year.

“We are that student organization that really advocates for students and is the liaison between the administration and the student body,” said David Neely, vice president of USG. “We will have a presence at Campus Fest and try to utilize social media as much as possible, along with just showing our presence around campus.”

Katie Post, USG speaker, agreed with Neely.

“We are trying to improve our communication between campus and students,” Post said. “We will also be posting on Facebook about speakers because the information we get from them is important to students so we want to give them an opportunity to see what’s going on.”

This is the second year Alex Solis and Neely have been USG President and Vice President. Neely believes having a year under their belt was benificial.

“It’s a good thing,” Neely said. “Staying with the consistency in leadership is good. There is definitely a learning curve, it took Alex and I five or six months just to learn what the job entails and to establish connections with the faculty. Now we have all of that knowledge, it makes this a lot easier to focus on the students at the start.”

Solis plans to continue what he started this past year.

“We will focus around different pieces involving student success,” Solis said.

During the summer, Post has been working on the academic honesty policy.

“We have been trying to revise the different degrees of academic honesty,” Post said. “What is defined for the schools so far is plagiarizing a sentence on a paper is the same as a whole paper and we don’t think that is right.”

Solis is also concerned about the school’s academic honesty policy, which has the same punishment for any kind of plagiarism.

“We have made steps to approach academic honesty,” Solis said. “The last time the policy was updated was about eight to 10 years ago, and we have had great conversations with the faculty and staff. We want the process to be fair.”

Neely understands the importance for revising the academic honesty as well.

“We need to make it more current and understandable for people,” Neely said. “It can’t be a one size fits all policy.”

Neely has also been working with the library to change the hours for exam week.

“We have been working with the library pretty closely for new hour arrangements for exam week,” Neely said. “We will be sending out surveys to the student body to see if students will use 24-hour library hours the week before and week of to make it a hotspot for students.”

Solis and Post have been watching over the new Falcon Health Center being built during the summer.

“I have spent a lot of time on the health center,” Solis said. “I have done walks through the building with the Wood County [Hospital] staff.”

USG passed a resolution calling for gender neutral bathrooms to be in the health center last spring, something Post is happy was included in the building.

“We want it to be inclusive for all people,” she said.

Starting off the new year, Solis has his focus on Not In Our Town, a campaign started last semester to help bring awareness to issues and tolerance of diversity.

“We will be supporting and focusing on Not In Our Town this year,” Solis said. “We will be reviewing it and see how we can take part, why it’s in place and see what we can do.”

We have the opportunity to build on what we already have done, Solis said.

“We want to continue to do better, we learned a lot about what we can do so hopefully this year we will get an opportunity to be successful for the student body,” he said.

The first USG meeting is Aug. 26 in room 308 of the Union at 7:30 p.m.