Finals week is upon us; however, it doesn’t feel like our normal finals week. No late nights in Fenwick, no free scantrons in Roger Wilkins Plaza, no rushing between closely-scheduled finals. And for many of us, we are already home, so packing up for the summer is nonexistent – a bittersweet result of COVID-19. Like many of you, through the positives and negatives, we are all trying to stay afloat, and perhaps one constant we can all agree on (for good or for bad) is that the semester is coming to a close.
Just this past week Student Government hosted its final meeting of the academic year. Normally a low-key event, this year’s final meeting was different. Many Student Government members felt a renewed sense of drive looking forward into the fall semester.
Peter Roberto, a new Senator, described the last two weeks of meetings as exciting, “I have never been apart of any student government before so this is really new to me.” Peter later lamented that he had to eat dinner in his bedroom this past week as a result of the long meetings but I mean, come on – it’s part of the fun, right? Peter told us he had big plans for the fall focusing on academic related initiatives. He went on to say, “[I want to] help students who are on academic probation and fight for free scantrons/blue books.”
On the Executive side, Jenny Dinh, the new Secretary for Public Relations has plans to re-imagine Student Government’s public image. She discussed the importance social media plays in today’s world, especially as we transition to a more online-focused social environment. When asked specifically about the impact of the transition to an online environment Jenny said, “I think [the transition to online interaction will] be a positive thing because this way people are forced to pay attention, because it’ll be right in their faces which is different from on campus. There people will just walk right past [adverts] and pay no attention.” So, Patriots, if you’re not following us on social media yet, do so now @masonstudentgov.
Our veteran members have big plans, too. Cassidy Whitehurst, Speaker of the Student Senate, said, “Next year I plan on having the Student Senate attend a great number of registered student organizations (RSOs) and other departmental organizations events and meetings. We cannot advocate for the student body if we are not making connections with them and listening to them. Natalia Kanos, [(Speaker Pro Tempore of the Student Senate)] and I have plans to expand upon what we call an “Outreach Hour.” This is one hour a month where Senators listen to the students about concerns and other issues at George Mason. We will make sure that Senators, and ourselves, are consistently in contact with different organizations and RSOs across campus.” Much like Jenny, Cassidy had a lot of great ideas for our social media presence too, “I think the best way for Student Government to connect with the student body in the future, especially if we are on a virtual platform, is to utilize our social media presence. […] Now is a better time than ever to have a strong social media presence.”
As we look towards summer, one Executive Cabinet member, Ethan Brown, Undersecretary of Parking and Transportation, said, “I look forward to laying in the sun on the beach and hiking a few trails in the mountains with my friends. I am also starting a small shade garden in the backyard.” I think Ethan has the right idea. Relax, relax, relax.
Patriots, from all of us in Student Government, we hope you have a relaxing summer. We’ll be ready to hit the ground running in the fall. Until then, see you soon!