There was voting, a revote and then finally a runoff before Colton Becker and Mehraz Rahman were elected student body president and vice president this spring.
This summer, as they prepare for the upcoming school year, Becker and Rahman are meeting with students, faculty and administrators to figure out the best way to accomplish the initiatives on their platform.
Rahman, a marketing and Plan II senior, said she and Becker are working to make sure the student body has a better understanding of what people involved in Student Government do.
“One of the big things that we are trying to do is empower students to take on their own initiatives,” Rahman said. “(We want to) make sure that students who are passionate about the issues are the ones who are working on those issues, because those are the people who are going to do the best job.”
As vice president, Rahman serves as the chair of the Student Services Budget Committee. Rahman said the budget has not increased in many years, which does a disservice to UT students.
“Some of our larger initiatives … (like) the creation of a northwest campus gym and securing long-term funding for SURE Walk are or will be much more challenging and difficult to achieve under the current fee structure,” nutrition senior Becker said. “We will be pushing for a revision to that structure at the legislature.”
Becker said some of the biggest projects SG is working on right now include adding more reflection spaces around campus, specifically in the engineering school, instituting interpersonal violence training and improving the health and wellness of UT students.
“We’ve gotten verbal approval for consent education in all (First-Year Interest Groups) and (Transfer-Year Interest Groups),” Becker said. “So now all first year students at the University by March 2019 will be engaged in a dialogue and a discussion about consent.”
Becker said another way they plan to improve the wellness of UT students is through easier access to healthy food options around campus, and he plans to reach out to student entrepreneurs about drafting a pitch to Whole Foods and seeing about getting a vendor on campus.
“UT could serve as a lab, of sorts, for Whole Foods to identify and test out new ways of reaching college students,” Becker said.
Becker said that while the administration works on tangible solutions to pursue the initiatives they were elected to accomplish, they also want to ensure the student body feels like they are being represented in SG.
“We are getting ready over the summer to take on a year that is going to be difficult and challenging, but also really, really rewarding and fulfilling,” Rahman said.