Three weeks into the school year and the North Dakota State Student Government has hit the ground running. They got started with three of their platform points in the summer months prior to school and are currently working on three more during the fall semester. Their goal is to implement all nine of their platform points before the end of the school year.
According to Student Body President Chase Grindberg, some things they are currently working on include open education resources that include free online textbooks for general education courses. This is an attempt to save students some money on required course materials.
Student Government is also working toward increasing cellular reception in the basement of the Memorial Union. To do this, they have been working with Verizon and hope to get other providers to partner with them as well.
“We can’t work on everything at once,” Grindberg said, referring to the mentorship program mentioned in their campaign last spring. Grindberg does wish that Student Government had a better grip on the “match a mentor” program that was talked about during the campaign season. “Match a mentor” is a mentorship program where college students are matched with professionals in the field so they can gain a better working understanding of their potential careers.
Student Body Vice President Marisa Pacella has other concerns. “I am nervous that students feel uncomfortable coming into the office or communicating with Student Government members,” Pacella said. “We are all here for the students and view it as a privilege to serve our peers.”
Pacella is most excited to make Student Senate more efficient and effective, stating: “This includes a comprehensive education process with relevant and consistent guest speakers at every meetings, dissemination of information through senior senator groups and increased accountability for the individual senator.”
Some programs that Grindberg said he is excited to work on include implementing interactive technology throughout campus, such as smart boards in the library, which he anticipates Student Government will get started on within the next couple months.
Grindberg said he believes this particular project is relevant because of the amount of work he’s seen students in majors that are heavily reliant on math and science spend hours on a problem, only to erase it once they go to class. A smart board would allow students to save their work and return to it later. He also likes smart boards for group collaboration because it means everybody can use their screens together and see what the rest of the group is doing.
One thing Grindberg and Student Government are particularly proud of is the freshman survival guide. The pamphlet includes things like a campus map, estimated time between buildings, how to get involved on campus and much more to make freshman year go by with as much ease as possible for new students.
Grindberg wanted to remind students that there are still seats on Student Senate and Student Court. If students want to get involved, the application is open until Sunday, Sept. 9.
In Student Court and Student Senate, students can expect to have an opinion about NDSU and the community. “On Student Court, we have four associate justice seats open and one assistant justice seat open … applications can be found on the Student Government website,” Pacella said. “We have at-large commissioner spots open as well for Congress of Student Organizations (CSO) and Finance Commission. If a student is interested, they can email our Finance and CSO team to inquire. In addition to the appointed positions, we are always welcoming new members to our open commissions for Public Relations, Academic and Student Affairs, Technology and External Affairs.”
And if students want to get down like their campus president and VP, they can look up their favorite bangers: for Pacella that means “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago and for Grindberg that’s “Chicken Fried” by the Zac Brown Band.