The U of C’s SU is a devoted group of students who advocate on behalf of the student body. They sit on many decision-making and administrative groups at the university.
This year’s executive team have set out attainable goals, but with only four months left in their positions, time is slowly slipping away for them to finish what they set out to do.
SU president Hardave Birk has shown a commitment to keeping the U of C in students’ hands, leading a diverse team of student representatives through the ups and downs of the fall 2012 semester. The MacHall Master Plan, the proposed $150 million renovation of the student building that is now off the table, was brought into fruition.
The SU consulted over 4,000 students to gauge their opinion. Though many showed apathy and distaste for the plan, Birk feels that the widespread consultation efforts were positive and gave a good vantage point of the U of C’s direction. He said more focus groups, such as clubs, were not consulted and will be a large focus as the consultations continue.
There was also an increase in tuition and fees for students. Birk advocated for transparency around student fees. He is proud of his efforts with the space exchange, halting meal plan increases and raising awareness of Dinos athletics.
Birk feels good about the SU’s commitment, but does believe increased communication with students is needed. Birk said students can look forward to an SU mobile app, which is expected to launch next September, increased consultations, the second annual Frost Bite festival, a new learning management system and the opening of the Arts Lounge.
“We need to continue to work hard and stay on track for the next four months,” said Birk.
There is no doubt that Birk’s efforts have gone a long way, but there is still a lot of work to do to ensure the SU strums the right chords, stays harmonious and works to keep the U of C in students’ hands.