For those new to campus, Student Government may seem like an unattainable association. Leaders Drew Williams and Sophia Rodriguez want to squash that stigma, reassuring that it’s a welcoming group meant to help and involve all students on campus.
Fourth-year history major and Africana studies minor Drew Williams is serving as President of SG this year.
“Student Government is an organization to join if you want to know more about your campus and you feel as though you want to give back,” Williams said. “Student Government actively tries to make campus better for students.”
The group’s Constitution, available on their webpage, utoledosg.org, outlines their mission: “We the members of The University of Toledo Student Government, dedicate ourselves to embracing and empowering our student body through the principles of independence.”
The webpage also includes a suggestion box feature, providing students with an opportunity to voice their opinions and ideas.
The projects SG take on have the sole purpose of improving students’ experience on UT’s campus, Williams said.
Last year, the group worked on a transportation overhaul in collaboration with TARTA, improving student transportation between campus and the surrounding city.
According to Williams, this year’s SG agenda includes the reintroduction of the Bowling Green Ball Run and a increased focus on student rights.
He wants to address controversial points in the Student Code of Conduct, including the student amnesty policy in regards to student organizations.
SG is also planning their annual leadership conference at the Kalahari Convention Center. They encouraged more than 60 student organizations around campus to send representatives.
Putting aside policy initiatives and plans for the year-ahead, Williams and Vice President Sophia Rodriguez acknowledged the benefits stemming from their positions.
“It is rewarding and good to know about what is going on in your campus and being able to have a say in it. And just like any other student org, you find a network of people that support you,” said Williams.
“It has helped me step out of my comfort zone. I was only involved in certain aspects of campus, like Greek life, and I didn’t really know what else was out there,” Rodriguez said.
Both leaders stressed the fact that SG is open to and for all students around campus. Everyone is welcome to attend meetings and is not obligated to officially join, Williams said.
This year’s first meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 4 at 8:15 p.m. in Student Union room 2592.