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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Welcome Back to Stony Brook!

    As President of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), I wanted to be one of the first to welcome you back to another year at Stony Brook University, and to first-year students and transfers, to thank you for choosing Stony Brook! I hope you all have enjoyed your summer and will have a wonderful time here, as well as take part in our many worthwhile activities on campus, and also that you do well with your classes this year. In my capacity as President, I would like to let you know about some of accomplishments that have already taken place over the summer as I have worked diligently to prepare for this year.

    In order to be more responsive to student interests, I have worked with Dr. Dallas Bauman, Assistant Vice President for Campus Residences, to provide the YES network on channel 70 on-campus as part of our channel choices at no extra cost to you. So, now Yankees fans across campus can enjoy the Bronx Bombers as they race to yet another pennant!

    I am very proud to inform you that in working in close consultation with Kevin Kelly, the Executive Director of the Faculty Student Association (FSA), that we are very close to the implementation of an off-campus meal plan, so you would be able to use your meal ID cards at certain vendors in and near Stony Brook village. The USG will be conducting surveys so that you can choose which off-campus locations you would most like to use your meal plans at. This was one of the USG Reform Party’s major promises in the Spring campaign, and now the FSA will be voting on this very important option to be added to your meal plans this Fall.

    To better serve the clubs and cut costs on administrative expenses, I have advocated for the establishment of a comprehensive online block-booking and events planning system for clubs and organizations, which is in the final stages of testing, and should be ready for the upcoming year. Hedieh Resciniti, William Neris, and Richard Wolcott of the Office of Student Activities and the Dean of Students office were integral to making this possible, and I’d like to thank them once again. Instead of standing in line to plan event

    s, soon clubs will be able to go online! As a cost-cutting measure, I have worked with the Office of Financial Aid so that work-study students can work for the USG starting this semester. This way, we are offering job opportunities to the students that need on-campus employment the most, and a certain amount of USG employees will not need to be paid out of the student activity fee, which will mean more funds can be devoted to campus activities and to the clubs.

    To better promote the USG, I spent part of my presidential discretionary fund over the summer on a large door mat located in the SAC lobby, three-hundred ‘I love USG’ t-shirts, and other give USG giveaways to distributed during opening activities and involvement fair. I have also begun work on the centralized communication system for the USG (new website), which will be ready this academic year. It will include a responsive content management system so that the website can be updated rapidly and will have a full-time webmaster to administer the website.

    In addition to these many accomplishments and initiatives, I am pleased to inform you that the USG will be working on revising the USG Constitution to be in accordance with the SUNY’s Chancellor’s Guidelines, to be less vague, and to reorganize the manner the USG operates. We are also working to revise the Financial Policies and Procedures of the USG to be in compliance with established legislation, and to create more financial accountability and protect clubs’ budgets from being arbitrarily frozen, and to create an appeals process if vouchers are rejected unjustly.

    When I ran for President last Spring, I promised to leave the USG twenty-one times better than I inherited it, and these immediate accomplishments and the proposals we are presently working on are just the beginnings of greater things to come! I invite you to come and visit the USG Suite in SAC 202 and share your ideas with us on how we can better serve you, or call us at (631) 632-6460. With your help and cooperation, this year has the utmost potential of being the greatest year that The USG has ever experienced!

    Romual Jean-Baptiste is the President of the Undergraduate Student Government.

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