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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

USG focuses on next semester goals

A senior is looking forward to his last semester both as president of the student body and a student at the University.

“Looking at the semester, we worked through a lot of issues,” said Alex Solis, president of the Undergraduate Student Government. “I’m happy with the progress.”

USG started out strong with two resolutions passed at the beginning of the semester, Solis said.

One resolution formally stated that USG supports Not In Our Town, a grassroots campaign designed to promote diversity and inclusion.

The other resolution said USG supported the chant “Ay Ziggy Zoomba” to become an official fight song along side the current fight song, “Forward Falcons.” This resolution was passed to the Board of Trustees, who just recently passed it themselves.

“Even though it’s a small change, it’s nice we could make that change,” Solis said. “It’s the song that students know.”

Vice President David Neely is happy with the Not In Our Town resolution and the USG involvement with Call To Action, a group that was formed in response to racially charged tweets directed at the Black Student Union.

“I think in regards to diversity and inclusion, USG has taken great strides for Not In Our Town and Call To Action,” he said. “We look to continuing relationships in the future and to support their cause.”

Kevin Lewis, president of BSU and involved with Call To Action, is hoping for more support from USG next semester.

“If they do, I will appreciate that for Call To Action,” he said. “I think it’s necessary to be there and support us, work with us and advise us. I would like a resolution to show unity between us.”

Neely and Solis have had the chance to work on goals more than other USG presidents because they have been in charge for two years in a row.

One of the projects they have been working on since the beginning has been to tackle the Academic Honesty Policy, which they have found to be inconsistent and unfair to students.

“The work with the academic honesty policy has been ongoing and been working for two years now,” Neely said.

Even though they have only been successful in forming committees to address the issue, Neely is hopeful they will have the policy changed before the end of their term.

“We hope to change the policy before we leave and have a good chance,” he said.

Solis plans on continuing his work on the policy next semester as well.

Lewis has noticed USG interacting more with the student body this year than in his previous years.

“I have seen them [take on] more of a role, pushing students to go to their open forums and informing people what’s going on with them,” he said. “I really appreciate their involvement this year.”

He said he didn’t know about USG and its role with the students before and didn’t vote as a result his freshman year. He has noticed the difference in how they have tried to reach out this year.

One thing he hopes USG will continue to do next semester is be an advocate to all student groups.

“I hope they continue to be there for new student initiatives,” he said. “Call To Action isn’t the only thing going on, so make sure they are present in all student groups.”

Speaker Katie Post believes USG has accomplished a lot this semester and has several projects in store for the University next spring.

USG has formed new committees and worked on the green fund and sustainability, she said.

“We are looking into outreaching to our constituents; we are always working on that,” Post said.

USG is also looking to fill some empty seats in the senate so it can start out strong next semester, she said.

Dean of Students Jodi Webb serves as the adviser for USG and has worked with Solis and Neely throughout their presidency.

“Overall, the group had a good fall semester,” she said.

She said they didn’t accomplish everything they set out to, but that was expected with all the initiatives they took on this semester.

“By no means did they finish everything they wanted, so it’s important for them to keep the momentum going and hit the ground running when they come back [next semester],” she said.

One of those issues they will work on is the Academic Honest Policy.

“I don’t know if they will be able to finish the policy before they leave or not,” Webb said. “But I think they are establishing a good foundation for the future.”

In all, Solis is looking forward to the last semester for him and his vice president.

“I’ll be happy when we work hard to the very last day,” he said. “Looking back, we want to leave [the University] better than we found it.”

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