LSU Student Government is finding new ways to address the issue of students being unaware of what SG is and what SG does.

The student senate hosted a two-hour meet-and-greet event in the Live Oak Lounge in the Student Union on Jan. 31. SG senators representing each college major met students and offered them free coffee and donuts. University students were able to learn more about what the senate does and make personal connections with the senators from their colleges.

Mass communication sophomore Frederick Bell, senator for the Manship School of Mass Communication, came up with the idea for the event and worked to bring it into existence.

“I had a lot of folks tell me, ‘I don’t know what senate does, [and] I don’t know what senate is,’” Bell said. “[So I] decided to hold a town hall style event. This helps put a face to the name and the organization.” 

There are currently 54 members of the student senate. Each college major has a number of representatives in the senate based on the number of students within the major.

“Each college has their own problems that you can’t see unless you’re in that college,” said senate speaker pro tempore and mechanical engineer junior David Hunt. “So, it helps to talk to people in your college to get ideas about what you need to do.”

Biology and philosophy senior Christina Black, who is the senate director of development, said one of the biggest reasons her branch of SG is relatively unknown by the student body is because of the election process. Most students hear about the spring elections because that is when the executive positions are voted on, like the president and vice president of the student body, Black said.

Black said she noticed many students were not involved in the voting process at all for the senate positions in the fall. She said she wants this to change to serve more effectively for the student body.

“When [students are] aware of who represents their college, and they have the opportunity to speak with them face-to-face, it gives them that more personal contact so that if they do have issues with their college, they’re not just sitting there complaining about it, wondering what they can do about it,” Black said.

This event was a good start to growing student awareness for SG, Black said.

“They have a direct contact they can reach out to and say, 'I have an issue with this, do you know if there’s any way you can help and improve this?'" Black said. "So, I think it’s really important to establish that connection. It also helps remind students that SG is here, and that we are here to help everyone.” 

Bell emphasized the importance of continuing to grow a connection with the student body.

“Students need to understand that SG is here for them,” Bell said. “We work for them. We were elected by them, and so it’s important that they play a part in the process. This is about transparency. It’s the power of knowing what’s available to you and being able to utilize that service.”

Computer science freshman Connor Hebert enjoyed a donut and coffee while he got the chance to talk to the senator that represents his college. He admitted that without taking part in an event like this, he would not know much about SG.

“I knew [SG] was a thing, but I really didn’t know what they did,” Hebert said. “It’s important that it’s there and that everyone knows what it is.”

Editor's Note: Frederick Bell is a former columnist for The Daily Reveille. 

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