Ohio University’s Student Senate is trying to bridge the gap between the senate and the student body after a poll came out that said most students don’t know what the organization does.
The poll asked students if they knew what Student Senate does. When asked if students would like to learn more about how Student Senate represents OU, about 27% answered “yes,“ while “no” had about 72% of the vote.
“Nothing,” Josh Green, a junior studying multimedia arts, said when asked if he knew what Student Senate does.
Another question asked if students knew how to reach out to senate to discuss an issue, 72% also said “no.”
Senate has provided reusable to-go boxes, sexual assault banners around college green, reusable grocery bags and the bobcat safety app.
The first step of rebuilding communication is by making sure all views are represented, Student Senate President Lydia Ramlo said. “We should have different representatives for different pockets at this campus.”
A way for this to be done is by making sure the election process isn’t based on popularity, but what the candidate can change for the better, Ramlo said. If these two statements reign to be true, Ramlo believes senate’s impact and voice will be heard.
This doesn’t mean students aren’t reaching out to the senate. In February, international graduate students went to student senate advocating for change in health care plans and pricing, according to a previous Post report.
Classified employees also went to a senate meeting to advocate for unionization as concerns of job cuts continue to rise.
Ramlo is working on projects to advocate for students such as the Survivor Advocacy Program, or SAP, and Counseling Psychologists Services, CPS. There are discussions about forming a student health committee, which would be a part of getting back free STI checks at Hudson health center.
The diversity of senate has been another critical piece of senate trying to represent all voices. With Black, International, LGBTQ and Minority affairs commissioners, to name a few, it’s been senate’s goal to give representation for different groups on campus.
“That’s our whole goal,” Treasure Jayden McAdams said.
Senate is looking at other methods of getting its message across. Using social media platforms like Twitter has been one avenue senate is using to spread its message, McAdams said.
McAdams started the “Ohio University Student Senate Podcast,” which is designed to talk to administration and members of senate.
With these plans both now and future, Ramlo said there is still more work to be done toward communication.
“We need to bridge this gap,” Ramlo said. “The lack of communication between senate and the student body has been an issue since my four years in senate.”