Behind the student government: Part ONE of a Five-Part series
Leaders of the Associated Student Government have been laying out goals in executive agendas for at least four years as a means to document what administrations set out to accomplish.
An executive agenda has been the primary tangible means by which students are able to access the intended yearly efforts of ASG. The ASG executive branch and senators have contributed to a formal document for the past four years.
Colter Ray, ASG vice president, said the campaign platform he created with Mel Ferrari, ASG president, included broad points as well as specific examples which were incorporated into their executive agenda. Ray said he attributes the foundations of ASG to former student body presidents, Kyle Morris (2006-2007), Reagan Pugh (2007-2008), Brett Baker (2008-2009) and Chris Covo (2009-2010).
“If they hadn’t done any of the things that they did, ASG would not be anywhere near what it is today,” Ray said. “Mel and I were almost coming in (to office) at the end of that really great era and it was time to accept the path for the next part of that.”
Despite not having a written document of stated goals, Morris said the initiatives he created were similar to those found in a formal agenda. Morris said he reorganized representation in the senate, established the bookstore scholarship and created an organization to open communication between other student governments in the state. He said he created the Bobcat Legislative Intern (BLI) program, worked to lay the foundation for the football movement to Division 1 during his term, as well as registered approximately 10,000 voters.
Reagan Pugh said it was paramount for his administration to make a public executive agenda for the media and student body. The referendum to move to the Football Bowl Subdivision, placing a Bobcat Statue in The Quad and adding Starbucks on campus are parts of his presidency still around today, he said. Pugh said the ASG Code of Ethics and the Bobcat For a Day program were also developed during his term.
He and Covo incorporated programs into their executive agendas that have been carried through to the current administration including Students with Alternate Transportation and developing alumni relations.
Baker said it is important for each administration tie the loose ends from prior terms. Baker said he focused on collaborating with the city to increase cohesion between students and residents and oversaw athletics’ proper utilization of student money during his presidency. The proudest moment of his term was reaching out and speaking with freshmen at University Seminar classes, Baker said.
“It’s important for everyone to know that when people look back on it, it’s not the executive agenda that makes you,” Baker said. “It’s how you deal with everything that comes your way. It’s great to give some insight to students about some of the things you want to accomplish. But once elections are over and you find out who wins, all that fluff and BS is thrown out the window.”
Covo did not publish an agenda until his spring semester in office. However, he said he accomplished some executive goals during his administration including creating an athletics liaison position and adding the university logo to the Comanche Street Bridge.
“The safe ride program obviously didn’t get done and it’s still in limbo right now” he said.
The S.W.A.T. program originally provided safe weekend transportation for students in the city before it was dismantled in late 2009 due to a reallocation of funds and lack of volunteers.
Ferrari said she is collaborating with a few ASG senators on a proposal to revamp the S.W.A.T. program after Texas A&M University’s C.A.R.P.O.O.L. (Caring Aggies R Protecting Over Our Lives) system before the end of this school year.
The current administration, Ferrari and Ray, created the Freshman Council, started the Bobcat Bricks program and are working on other programs to increase the amount of pride on campus.
“There’s a misconception that some people think all we focus on is pride and traditions and we don’t think about the other things like parking, transportation, food service and tuition,” Ferrari said. “All of that is still very important and top priority. Along with that we need to work on bringing pride because in the end that’s going to bring more prestige to our university.”
Ferrari said the Promise of Pride program has been mostly ironed out. She said the plan is to encourage students to attend athletic events by offering rewards through a point system via scanning student IDs at games.
The other pride programs, such as putting maroon and gold flood lights around the library, engraving the Alma Mater on the Alkek steps and having signs with facts about the university are works-in-progress, Ferrari said.
Morris Initiatives (no agenda)
Bobcat Legislative Intern Program – Intention was to produce future participants of ASG and for students to see how ASG operates, this was successfully implemented during term
Pugh Initiatives (no agenda on record, there was one that existed)
ASG Website – Intention was to provide links to master calendar of events at Texas State and keep legislation updated on weekly basis to increase transparency of the student government
Open door policy – Intention was to be available for students at all times
Empower students – Intention was to visit University Seminar classes and show an interactive presentation to encourage early involvement with the university
Bobcat for a Day program – Intention was to be implemented within term and goal was to make it throughout Texas and eventually nationwide to pair high school students up with a college student
Civic Education: Local and Presidential Election – Intention was to encourage early voting on campus and have local candidates come to campus
Master Plan and Construction – Intention was to expedite process and bring together parking task force committee
Bobcats for Life – Intention was to efficiently develop a strong Alumni Association
ASG Alumni Chapter – Intention was to be fully functional by December 2008 and eventually offer a scholarship granting organization for students and alumni
ASG Website – Intention was to frequently update records on weekly basis to increase transparency, hoped to add interactive tab for resources around campus, filing system for ASG election online for first time in spring semester of his term
ASG Replay – Intention was to utilize Texas State Public Access channel to show tapings of ASG meetings on the channel the evening after they are held
Constitutional Clarity – Intention was to create ASG Code of Laws to legitimize the separation and equalization for the branches of government and serve as structure for entire ASG, referendum vote required on amendments to constitution
Open door policy – Intention was to be available for students at all times
Comanche Bridge Project – Intention was to increase visibility of Texas State name throughout campus on the Comanche overpass connecting the East and West sides of campus
Pride Replay – Intention was to use the Texas State University Public Access channel to increase pride and awareness and promote student athletes’ efforts and fine art events
Solar energy project – Intention was to helped to foster the idea of a solar energy project on campus and helped develop successful ReRev project
SWAT revamp – Intention was to leave in place a short-term program that would be in effect until integration of bus system
Bobcat for a Day – Intention was to defer responsibility of the project to university as an institutionalized program and the program allows local high school students to spend a day with a college student
Bobcats for Life – Intention was to develop formal mixers for student leaders and alumni once a semester