Student senate plans to update its website after months of inactivity

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Adam McDonald, Staff Writer

The Associated Student Government discussed updating their website and stipend initiative to attract more student officers in a Zoom meeting on Friday morning.

Discussions around their incomplete website and a proposal to use state money for a new stipend payroll system were left inconclusive. The student senators took no votes and postponed discussion until future meetings.

“The main reason why the website hasn’t been completed is due to a combination of the overall lack of website traffic,” said ASG President Carson Mitchell in a subsequent interview. “As well as [the] need to prioritize a mountain of important tasks.”

As of writing this article, much of the ASG’s website is outdated and many of the pages have missing information. The most recent entry on the “update” page is from Aug. 27, 2020. The student senate’s goals, roles and biography pages all say “coming soon.”

In the same interview, Mitchell said the website is not the primary source of interaction between the student government and the students.

“Many times students aren’t inclined to search for our website every time they want to see what we’re doing,” he said.

The ASG uses email campaigns and social media outreach to connect with students primarily. 

“The platforms most used for ASG outreach are the emails Carson and myself send out to the student body and campus-wide regarding meetings, also the ASG Instagram account,” ASG Student Program Advisor Amy Collins said. 

The most recent post on the ASG Instagram account is from Jan. 15, 2021. Collins said students can also go to the weekly meetings and contact her or any of the senators for information. 

In Friday’s meeting Mitchell took the blame for the website lacking content. He said updating the website takes a lot of work to which the other senators offered their help. They scheduled a meeting for Monday, March 1, to start filling in the blanks. 

Another way the ASG is trying to facilitate engagement is by further expanding the stipends to all members. On Friday, Mitchell related a conversation he had with the Vice President of the School of Extended Learning Joyce Coleman regarding stipends to the board. 

Based on this conversation, Mitchell said a plan is in the works to propose that the ASG receives a portion of the $2.8 million in CARES Act grants to fund the stipends. He said this proposal would include expanding paid stipends to all ASG positions, thus implementing a payroll system on which all members are paid the same hourly wage. 

“I think it would probably be advantageous to open it up to everyone,” he said. 

In a separate interview on Feb. 17, Mitchell said the details are unclear as of now. The senate scheduled a non-weekly meeting on Feb. 23 to debate the specifics of the proposal. 

The ASG is next scheduled for a regular meeting on Friday, Feb. 26.