Student Government hosted a Town Hall on Nov. 7 to offer students a chance to meet elected student officials and ask them questions directly. The event was also designed to allow executive officers, senators and other officials to give students an update on Student Government's progress.
Davis Latham, a second-year political science and economics student, serves as the chief of staff for the Speaker of the Student Senate. He led the Town Hall event, posing questions to the panel of Student Government speakers.
“We hear a lot throughout the year about how we need to listen to students and get student feedback,” Latham said. “We think it’s really important to give them an update and also take questions.”
The event was split into two 60 minute sessions. Both sessions introduced a different panel of Student Government speakers and allowed for prompted questions as well as questions asked by the audience.
“Student government is working for [students],” Latham said. “A lot of time, the work is really monotonous. So, it’s a lot of in the office, it's lot of emails and everything, but we are working constantly, 24/7, and also we’re trying to listen too. So, we’re trying to listen and to work at the same time, so I hope this shows that.”
The event was streamed through Facebook Live for those who could not physically attend. Nearly 40 live viewers tuned in during the first session.
Third-year broadcast journalism student Cheyane Bligen was excited to attend an event of this nature where she was able to voice her thoughts about what could be done to make the university better.
“I think we should have more events like this,” Bligen said. “Even though we voice these opinions, it’s good to be in front of an audience that is actually working and doing something to try to make the university better.”
Danica Leaphart, a third-year criminal justice and psychology student, liked that she had the opportunity to directly voice her concerns to the different representatives that she elected.
“I enjoyed the fact that Taylor spoke a lot, our president, because I never really get a chance to interact with him,” Leaphart said. “But, I also like the fact that we got to meet the head of a lot of the different committees and a lot of the representatives that we elected. I hadn’t seen them since election, so to get a chance to meet them and hear what they’re doing is pretty great.”
Latham is confident that an event similar to this will be held in the future where students and Student Government officials can interact and discuss concerns.
“I find it valuable that we get a chance to hold our Student Government officials accountable for what they do and what we expect them to do as students,” Leaphart said. “I think it’s important that yes, we can ask these questions, they can give us feedback onstage, but I want a chance to follow up with the things that we asked ... I’d just like to see further improvement in our campus and to just keep moving forward.”