In Kori Rady’s and Taylor Strickland’s time as Student Government president and vice president, the executive alliance completed 13 out of 28 of its total platform points.
The remaining 15 initiatives are still in progress, Rady said, although he said he expects them to be implemented in the coming semesters.
“When you see the final product you work on, it’s a nice feeling, and you know you’re helping people,” Rady said. “It’s unfortunate that some of the things we worked on, we won’t be around to see.”
Rady and Strickland are still working to finalize on-campus student tailgating for football games, which they said will occur for the upcoming football season.
Other platforms they list online as incomplete are increasing student parking on campus, increasing branding at the University, and seeing the use of student ID as a form of voter IDs. The legislature has not yet voted on the final issue.
“We’ve lobbied effectively on our end, but I’d really like to see that — not only for UT, but for the state of Texas,” Strickland said.
Rady said he thinks he and Strickland succeeded in representing UT’s diverse population as well as completing their most important platform points.
“There’s the larger umbrella that Student Government doesn’t always live up to, which is representing a lot of students and actually getting tangible things done,” Rady said. “We’ve done almost everything we’ve wanted to do. … It proves that Student Government is really effective.”
One of the first initiatives Rady and Strickland completed was the SafeRide/uRide program, which provides students free rides on weekend nights from downtown to on-campus dorms or West Campus.
Since the program’s implementation in September, Rady said more than 5,000 students have used the service.
“[SafeRide/uRide] was one of the first things we really got confirmed,” Strickland said. “We were able to really see how students used it, how students approached it, what they wanted to see change in it, and we got to modify it as it went along. I really think that was one of our best initiatives.”
The pair also succeeded in extending hours of the Flawn Academic Center to being open 24/7, as well as advocating for a week-long Thanksgiving break.
The Faculty Council approved the extended break last semester, but it needs to be approved by current-President William Powers Jr. and Provost Gregory Fenves before the break can occur in 2016.
Dean of Students’ Soncia Reagins-Lilly said she enjoys seeing legislative student organizations, Rady and Strickland’s included, make changes at the University.
“Every year is dynamic, is rich,” Reagins-Lilly said. “It is a journey and a learning experience … to watch the students take on these big roles with these big ideas. That process is incredibly dynamic.”
Rady said being president was a massive job, but it was one he said he believed was worthwhile.
“There’s a lot of pressure — there’s no doubt about that — but you grow, and you learn, and you make mistakes,” Rady said. “You look forward and you do a better job. You can see a tangible change.”