Bongratz and Dykyj begin transition into Student Government President and Vice Presidential roles
Paulette Bongratz and Chris Dykyj are reminding students they are a big deal on campus as they prepare to take office next semester.
Bongratz, Student Government president-elect and a senior majoring in international business and marketing, said one of the things she and Dykyj agreed on early was that students were not in the forefront of administrators’ minds.
“[Students] weren’t being put first when a lot of positions were being made on campus,” Bongratz said. “As students, we feel that we should be put first in all those decision-making processes.”
Both Bongratz and Dykyj plan to solve the issues addressed through their platform by improving the quality of communication to students. They will send short, weekly emails to students letting them know the activities of SG during the week.
“Everything is founded in the idea of communication,” Bongratz said. “That is… the common thread in everything in our platform points.”
Bongratz said many students do not know of SG or their responsibilities and having the weekly emails would “combat the issue.”
She also said the emails will include a link to where students can comment or ask questions which would help SG continue to get information from as many students as possible.
“I just want to make sure that more students realize the opportunities that they have to communicate with us and realize that they actually have a voice,” Bongratz said.
She said the emails will keep SG accountable.
“If we know this week we have to send out an email to the students telling them what we did, we better do something this week so that we’ll have something to report to them,” Bongratz said.
SG VP-elect Chris Dykyj, a junior majoring in athletic traning, said the issue he cares about is connecting commuter students with on-campus programming.
“A lot of commuter students come to school and go home after classes and they don’t really feel involved,” Dykyj said. “A lot have actually complained about not having things to do on campus while they have big gaps in between classes.”
He said he could relate to these students because he felt the same way as a freshman.
Dykyj said he wanted to motivate student organizations to collaborate and bring bigger events and better programming on campus to keep commuters involved. He wants students to enjoy being on campus and have activities which will keep them coming back.
Bongratz said another reason students may not be returning is a lack of interaction with their adviser.
“We think the students should be able to be getting the information that they need from their advisers in some way, shape or form,” she said.
Bongratz said she understands the limits which prevent SG from making financial changes to the campus, such as asking to hire more advisers but she said she wants to be realistic and work with administration to better the campus.
To resolve this issue Bongratz and Dykyj want students to be given the information they need through tracks, which she said will allow students to have enough information to make educated decisions about their academic path instead of going to an adviser “every single semester or every single step of the way.”
When asked about the delegation of work between the two, Bongratz said they have defined roles between themselves in regards to who will work with the cabinet and who will work with administration. The two agreed separating the responsibilities will not only make them able to be more resourceful but will also make them more accountable to one another.
Bongratz will be a graduate student when she takes office and her class-load will be lighter which she said will allow her to devote more time to her position.
“I think it’s important not to forget that graduate students are part of the student population,” she said. “So there’s always things that can be done on both fronts.”
Dykyj said he and Bongratz chose to partner up because of their shared passions for UT.
“We both saw that in one another and she’s basically everything that I’m not and vice versa,” he said.
For more information about Bongratz and Dykyj, students can visit their website at http://www.youareabigdeal2012.com/
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