University Politics

Barillari: With New Year’s resolutions, SA officals look to better student life in 2013

There is no better day to start fresh than Jan. 1. The brink of 2013 is upon us, and as the New Year’s Eve tradition suggests this is the time for making resolutions to ensure the next 365 days are better than the last.

But many pledges made on the first day of the new year tend to fizzle out by February. This is not only true for you and me, but also for the student body government at Syracuse University.
This year, let’s change that.

During Winter Break, as you regroup and recharge, make decisive plans for the betterment of yourself and your return to SU. Allie Curtis and her team of Student Association leaders need to do the same to kick the spring semester and her tenure off right.

Janine Savage, SA’s current chief of staff, knows the importance of using time off resourcefully to work at her highest potential. Her oath is to help make SA initiatives into team efforts more than individual goals. Savage believes a more unified organization will allow additional capable representatives to contribute different ideas in the process of forming and executing initiatives.

This concept of collaboration is the key to a successful 2013 for SA. A larger conversation concerning initiatives not only allows the best ideas to be heard, but it also means the chances of initiatives actually being completed with tangible results are increased.

Representatives can divide up the work that needs to be completed, as they are also balancing a heavy course load like you and me, and strengths can be utilized to create quality results.
Curtis’ resolution in January is to begin working on stalled initiatives and pushing them through to completion. This includes making take-out boxes available for non-traditional dining halls like Schine Dining.

The process for allocating student activity fee money to SU’s registered student organizations can always be improved, a fact recently re-elected Comptroller Stephen DeSalvo realizes. He is embracing the challenge with a resolution to implement new reforms that will allow more students to find a way to connect with, and participate in, the events student organizations organize using the student fee allocations.

To make DeSalvo’s vision a success, he should work closely with the Public Relations Committee, currently headed by Colin Brown. Promoting these events to ensure their success is a process the comptroller, the PR committee and the leaders of student organizations need to implement collectively.

Concerning the PR committee’s specifically, Brown prompted a resolution in which he will work to increase SA’s social media presence on campus to create a strengthened, direct connection with the student body and facilitate conversation.

Now it’s your turn to make a resolution. Make an oath to follow SA’s Twitter account or “like” its Facebook page to stay up to date on the latest happenings of your student government and the actions it makes, all which affect your life at SU.

Better yet, stop by the SA office in the Schine Student Center and meet with your representatives. Give feedback on their plans and pitch your own ideas. Everyone in that office really does want to hear them.

Most importantly, you should make a resolution to hold SA accountable for the pledges that have been made to you. This is how an effective government-constituency relationship works.

Don’t let 2013 be another year of unfulfilled promises and resolutions you wish you and your student government stuck with.

Rachael Barillari is a junior political science and Middle Eastern studies major. Her column appears weekly. She can be reached at and followed on Twitter @R_Barillari.



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