USG members proud of senate this year

With a new Undergraduate Student Government having recently been elected and sworn in, some members of the previous administration have two things in common: pride in what they have accomplished and acknowledgement that USG needs to improve.

Throughout the semester, some both within and outside USG have expressed concerns that this year’s senate has lagged in terms of productivity.

Former USG Speaker of the Senate Kasie Durkit said she does not believe productivity to be a problem.

“The amount of legislation that is passed to some is a mark of [productivity],” Durkit said. “That makes no sense to me.”

In previous years USG had passed more resolutions, Durkit said, but they may not have all been well thought-out.

The resolutions that have been passed in the past year, Durkit said, are more thoughtful.

Durkit cited broader improvements such as this year’s higher USG election voter turnout as marks

of success.

“To me, I saw 17 percent of the student body participate,” she said. “For a modern day and age of apathetic voting in elections, that’s huge.”

Former USG President Brian Kochheiser agreed that the year was overall a positive experience, including the reorganization of the committee


“We’re proud of the direction that we’re going,” he said.

USG has also received some criticism for a perceived lack of diversity within the senate.

Included in those who have criticized USG have been Nadia Alzamami and Ashley Robinson, who ran for USG president and vice president respectively this year.

“You’re not going to go to a party you’re not invited to,” Alzamami said at the March 31 presidential debate.

Several members of the debate audience voiced their concerns about USG lacking diversity overall.

Durkit said she agrees that there are several roadblocks for under represented groups to get a foothold in professional politics, but she believes it’s easy for anyone to join USG.

“The onus is on the students to run,” she said.

In the past USG has somewhat lagged, Durkit said. Many of the common criticisms she heard in the past were reflected in previous years.

“I think we look a lot different, we act a lot different, we have different goals now,” Durkit said.

Kochheiser said he believes the new senate will improve upon this year’s, and continue to grow.

“I think you can always improve,” he said. “I think in the next year we’ll continue to grow and get better.”