Student Government established a Continuity Committee this semester to advance and maintain initiatives introduced during past administrations, starting with initiatives from last year.
Student body President Camron Goodman and Vice President Amie Jean had the Continuity Committee as one of their seven platform points. Finance senior Goodman said the committee will ensure SG makes noticeable, long-term changes.
“The turnover for SG is high,” Goodman said. “Next year, someone else will be talking about their ideas. That creates a notion in the student body like, ‘What does SG actually do? Do they create actual, tangible change?’ And we want to provide examples that we do.”
Goodman said the committee will focus on ideas other administrations in SG did not finish.
“We want to make sure there’s a legacy of ideas, because students voted for us and wanted us to represent them,” Goodman said. “Not just because of us, but because of our ideas and what we’re striving for. We want to make sure their legacy is being carried forward, not so much as ours.”
Committee chairman Nicholas Senktas said the committee will consist of a chairman and five members, who will run four subcommittees that specialize in past initiatives of safety, health, student empowerment and logistics and systems.
Senktas said the committee will first research important initiatives SG may have forgotten once an administrative term ended. He said it will first focus on programs such as providing free feminine products in buildings on campus, securing a permanent source of funding for SURE Walk and possibly creating additional reflection spaces on campus.
The original plan outlined a larger committee, but it changed after SG realized it made the committee less efficient, Senktas said.
“There were so many different topics we wanted to cover, but we realized we were getting to the point of a committee with too many cooks in the kitchen, so we decided to streamline it,” Senktas said. “The four (subcommittees) were broad enough that they captured so many different initiatives, but also limited enough that an individual could specialize in each one.”
Andrea Vazquez, a committee member and government sophomore, said she plans to introduce the idea of an SG database to compile legislation and initiatives in an accessible way. Committee member Genevieve Miller said she plans to record not just initiatives, but also University administrators and other resources involved in implementing an initiative.
“I’m part of the Improve UT Agency, and the Improve UT idea winner last year was putting bike lanes on Speedway,” said Miller, an accounting junior. “We’re still working on getting that implemented. We want to make sure we have records of that process years down the road to keep it going.”
Senktas said working at the Texas State Capitol inspired him to lead the committee, which has not scheduled its first meeting yet.
“It was interesting to go from a situation where I saw important work being done that impacted people’s lives to an SG environment, where a lot of initiatives only last one year,” Senktas said. “That’s why I was so passionate to take on this program and help lead it. Really well-done initiatives need the infrastructure for long-term continuity.”