How Student Government executive alliance Anagha and Winston adapted and implemented their platform during their 2020-2021 term

Sheryl Lawrence

Editor's Note: This article first appeared in the March 12 issue of The Daily Texan.

Each March, the Student Government executive alliance is elected to serve as the voice of the student body. Each alliance team has a platform they set out to implement during their yearlong term.
 
To understand what policies the administration has completed, The Daily Texan spoke to student body president Anagha Kikkeri and student body vice president Winston Hung to see what is completed or in progress under each campaign point. 
 
During the 2020-2021 term, the Anagha and Winston administration focused on six platform points: Longhorn pride, engagement, sustainability, health, safety and inclusion and equity.
 
The administration published two documents addressing SG accomplishments in summer 2020 and fall 2020, which were sent to students who chose to opt-in for the newsletter. These documents were not published on the website, but they can be found in the linktr.ee SG posted on Twitter and Instagram. 
 
According to the SG website, the 2019-2020 Camron and Amie administration was able to implement most of their platform points or give the next administration the foundation to complete them.
 
Camron Goodman, 2019-2020 student body president, and Amie Jean, 2019-2020 student body vice president, said one of their main initiatives was to create a continuity committee to help fulfill platform points that take longer than a year.
 
Winston Hung, current student body vice president, said while the continuity committee did not take a formal role this year, they have documentation of all of Goodman and Jean’s initiatives.  
 
“Part of our continuity efforts were making sure that there's documentation of what's gone on in the past (and) where we are now,” Hung said. “That document is essentially the continuity committee.” 
 
Dave Dessauer, director of the UT Leadership and Ethics Institute in the Office of the Dean of Students, said the role of the legislative student organization advisers is to provide support for student leaders to complete their platform points and give them the resources to continue platform points from past administrations. 
 
Inclusion & Equity: Student Voices in Housing and Safe Physical Space
 
The administration planned to create a student-led housing commission to push for increased resources in Riverside but shifted their focus to affordable housing for all students, headed by the housing policy directors. 
 
“We're focused a lot on switching to affordable housing, how the University can support affordable housing, how the University can buy properties in West Campus or around campus,” student body president Anagha Kikkeri said. 
 
Kikkeri said safe physical spaces will be in place next year at the Texas Union. Kikkeri said they are updating the cultural spaces to be more modern and open.
 
Engagement: SG Success Fund and SG Email Updates
 
The SG success fund was going to create an endowment to assist students with test preparation tools and expenses for graduate and postgraduate school. Hung said they since learned this goal was infeasible, and they have refocused to provide funding to the Sanger Learning Center. 
 
In a profile published by The Daily Texan before the 2020 executive alliance elections, Kikkeri said the campaign wanted to eliminate the lack of communication between SG and the student body with biweekly email updates. 
 
They later decided against this because of the amount of emails students received from UT administration about the COVID-19 pandemic, instead offering an opt-in newsletter, Hung said in a previous interview with The Daily Texan. Students who opted in did not receive biweekly emails but instead received one email update at the end of the fall 2020 semester and one update March 9.
 
Health: Menstrual Equity, West Campus Farmer’s Market and Expand CMHC Virtual Access 
 
Hung said the Women’s Resource Agency began working to supply menstrual products in all the bathrooms on campus a few years ago, and the executive board is working to make the initiative more long term. 
 
Hung said they will not move forward with the plan of implementing a West Campus farmer’s market due to COVID-19 restrictions.
 
During the transition to online learning, the administration met with the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center almost weekly to convey what students needed and wanted, Kikkeri said. According to the SG fall 2020 in review document, CMHC hired more case managers and CARE counselors. 
 
Sustainability: SG Agency
 
The administration hopes to create a sustainability agency to focus on sustainability-related initiatives each year.
 
“It's a yearlong bureaucratic process to make an agency, so we are in the process of doing that,” Kikkeri said. “We have two sustainability policy directors, and they've essentially done the functions of an agency … and are pushing sustainability-related initiatives.”
 
Safety: West Campus Lighting and Sexual Assault Prevention
 
The administration, along with the City Relations Agency, released a petition  on March 6 to the student body for improved lighting in West Campus. The assembly also passed a piece of legislation ‌in‌ ‌support‌ ‌of‌ ‌installing‌ ‌lights‌ ‌in‌ West Campus‌.
 
The Interpersonal Violence Prevention policy directors are working on a campaign with the Title IX Office, according to the SG fall 2020 in review document. Kikkeri and Hung did not speak on the specifics of the campaign citing they are not working on the campaign.
 
Longhorn Pride: Spirit Week
 
The administration is working with the Longhorn Athletics Agency to implement an annual spirit week, which is set for March 22-28. When asked for specific plans, Hung said he did not want to reveal much but emphasized the blood drive scheduled for March 24-25.
 
Looking forward 
On Friday March 12 at 3 p.m., the next executive alliance will be announced. Two of the four executive alliance candidates have never participated in SG, and none of the candidates have identified creating a continuity committee as a platform point.