SIUE’s Student Government is all about keeping the students in touch with administration, and vice versa. However, not every student feels like their voice is heard.
Junior business economics and management major Jacob Graham, of Paris, Illinois is the current student body president within Student Government. His job is to help Student Government work to bridge the gap between the students and the administration. One of the many ways they do this is through sitting with administration members on boards at SIUE.
“We serve on university committees, such as the University Center Board, Parking and Trafficking Board, University Planning and Budgeting Committee,” Graham said.
Graham also said that by sitting on these boards and committees, he gets students’ voices heard more directly, and, in turn, hears what administration wants directly.
Another way Graham gets information from students to administration is through frequent meetings with the heads of the university. Graham meets with the Chancellor on a monthly basis, and also meets with the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs every other week.
“We do invite administration to our senate meetings, and if there was ever an administrator that a student would want to give feedback to, or talk to, they could always let us know, or talk to their representative,” Graham said.
And it does work to some degree- at least some students, like senior history major Liam Elliott, of Petersburg, Illinois, think so. Elliott said administration and students have a good connection.
“I feel like we have the capacity to reach out to administration, though I don’t know the process personally. But I do know I could more than likely look it up on the website and figure it out,” Elliott said.
Elliott said that SIUEs administration does a good job of using technology to get information to the student populus.
“I have my email alerts on. At any time, I get so many emails about SIUE and things changing, like buildings being closed, so as far as that goes, they stay pretty on top of it,” Elliott said.
However, Elliott admitted there were still some issues that administration could address.
“The only issue is individual voices, I believe we’re only heard en masse, so I think there’s a lot of different perspectives that kind of get overlooked,” Elliott said.
On the other hand, students like freshman mass communications major Jared Engelman, of Alton, Illinois think they do not have much of a say in what goes on at SIUE.
“I don’t voice my opinion often, but if I did, I feel like administration probably wouldn’t care, because I’m one person out of, like, 30,000 students that go here,” Engelman said.
Engelman also added that he wouldn’t care much about changes administration might make, but that he would discover them eventually anyway.
“If they’re pretty significant changes, I guess I’d have to find out about them at some point, but at that point my opinion wouldn’t really matter,” Engelman said.
Engelman also said he didn’t even know who administration was or what their names were, but he did explain a possible solution to that problem.
“Maybe administration could do something to let students know about them, instead of just talking to a couple students, because those students can’t reach everybody,” Engelman said.
For those interested in having their voices heard through Student Government, the senate board meets every other Monday in the Goshen Lounge at 6 p.m.