by Peter Chen and Kelly Zegers
Last year, the Undergraduate Student Government executive council candidates pledged to make several changes to improve campus life. The Statesman reexamined those platforms to see if those candidates upheld their promises.
USG President Adil Hussain
In his election platform, Hussain called for increasing attendance at student concerts, bringing artists popular with students, scheduling concerts on days without exams and providing students with information about events early so as to accommodate busy schedules.
So far this year, USG held concerts featuring Mac Miller and Taking Back Sunday. The events were promoted on social media sites, weeks in advance.
Hussain’s platform also advocated for students to volunteer and help coordinate concerts and for the club budgeting process to be streamlined.
He decided not to run for reelection because he is satisfied with what he has done as president and is willing to give up the position for someone else to promote change.
He did not comment on his previous platform.
Executive Vice President Mallory Rothstein
Rothstein wanted to create an internship with USG that would allow students to see what the roles of senators and executive council members entail. Vice President of Academic Affairs Steven Adelson and Vice President of Communication and Public Relations Mario Ferone have had interns as a requirement for the PASS tutoring program.
Rothstein called for less paper consumption to save on administrative costs and use that money for clubs. She said the agendas are emailed and put on Facebook but are still printed in a smaller amount for those who prefer it and for club members that attend senate meetings.
As for the USG website, Rothstein’s platform called for redesigning it entirely. The site changed since last year and includes a newsfeed on the front page, links to USG’s social media, Campus Vine, documents, event information and SB Voice.
Rothstein did not comment on advocation to administer an open forum where clubs could learn about Campus Vine and USG policies and a club advisors conference that would help advisors become more knowledgeable about and helpful to their organizations.
Treasurer Brian McIlvain
McIlvain’s platform included organizing clubs into separate councils for better communication between clubs and with USG, creating a Bureau of Club Budgeting to increase the role of clubs in the budgeting process and revising the grants system and financial bylaws.
The USG senate meeting minutes from September show six grant applications were approved, totaling about $31,000. The total allocated amount for grants is $70,000. Grant requests for the fall semester were done in November and additional requests were said to be considered in this semester, according to the minutes for a November 2013 meeting.
The minutes for Fall 2013 do not suggest changes were made to the financial bylaws or creation of separate councils for clubs or a Bureau of Club Budgeting. The latest Spring 2014 minutes are not available on the USG website.
McIlvain could not be reached for comment on the platform.
Vice President for Student Life Garry Lachhar
Lachhar’s main goal as VP of Student Life was to improve overall student life. He planned to achieve this by increasing communication between the student body and USG so the students can have a voice in what events they would like to attend.
Lachhar explained the USG uses social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to not only promote events, but also as platform for students to voice their concerns and opinions.
Using Roth Regatta as an example, Lachhar said USG conducts surveys via social media outlets and in person to gather information on what themes students would like to do for the Regatta boats.
Vice President of Clubs and Organizations Kerri Mahoney
Mahoney called for extended open office hours and Campus Vine training seminar for those who need help and new club workshops to allow Special Services Council clubs to learn about USG and the processes to go through.
Mahoney could not be reached for comment. The available meeting minutes do not suggest training seminars or workshops for SSC.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Steven Adelson
Adelson had plans to provide additional resources and review sessions for major lecture courses. The result is PASS (Providing Academic Support for Students), a free tutoring program ran by the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. According to PASS’s website, the program currently offers tutoring assistance in the following subjects: applied mathematics and statistics, biology, chemistry, economics, mathematics and physics.
While the program is free for students, the Student Activity Fee pays the tutoring staff.
Another goal for Adelson as VP of Academic Affairs is to recognize professors, faculty and students for their hard work and contribution to Stony Brook’s academic community. The Recognition page on the USG website is one of the pages left blank with the “Coming Soon” message.
Adelson could not be reached for comment.
Vice President of Communications & Public Relations Mario Ferone
Mario Ferone’s platform focused on increasing communication between the student body and USG and organizing “SickNasty” events.
To help achieve these goals, Ferone promised to establish a communications committee to assist himself in informing the campus community.
SBVoice, an online comment board aimed for students to voice their concerns and communicate with USG officials, was created and is run by Ferone. Gaining attraction during the early periods of its release, SBVoice has been seldom used, but during the height of its popularity, it proved useful for students, most notably an issue posted by SBU student Tyler Morrison regarding Equal Blood Donor Rights. USG took notice of the issue and organized a panel for Blood Donor Equality.
Ferone said reviving SBVoice is one of the top priorities before his term ends because it is a direct line of communication between the student body and USG.
Correction: April 8, 2014
An earlier version of this article misspelled the first name of the current USG President. He is Garry Lachhar, not Gary Lacchar.