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SG conducting first open forum

Student Government wants to find out the truth from students about how they judge their college experiences.

To hear what students are looking for, SG is having the first-ever open forum in the Martin Luther King Plaza today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., open to all students. SG members will be taking comments, criticisms and any other feedback students have to offer.

“The purpose of (open forum) is to gather students all around campus to retrieve feedback, to collaborate, to network and to interact with student government leaders,” said College of Education senator Julie Baumann, who is organizing the event. “It provides a social atmosphere and a more informal fashion, rather than a business meeting. It’s a chance for students to interact with us and get to know us.”

The event will be more than just a place to submit comments.

According to Baumann, there will be a “Spin the Wheel” trivia game for students with specific USF questions. Students who answer correctly will receive promotional giveaways and prizes. Baumann also said there will be free smoothie samples, free pizza and a DJ.

Open forum is the brainchild of the Organization Outreach Committee in the SG senate. The OCC’s main purpose is reaching out to students by addressing their feedback and concerns on campus-wide issues, providing them with opportunities and lending them a hand when they need it.

In previous years, SG hosted a general assembly each semester. It was a formal dinner in the Phyllis P. Marshall Center. The main focus of the general assembly was to get campus leaders who were heavily involved with campus organizations together for a formal dinner. According to Baumann, although all students were invited, not many came, and feedback and participation was lacking.

SG hopes the new format will encourage more “everyday students.”

“We’ve changed the name to attract a lot more people,” Baumann said.

SG also organizes Bullsit, which is an informational booth set up at Patio Tuesday or Bullmarket once a month. But according to Baumann, the open forum event will be more effective than just one booth.

SG is responsible for handling the more than $8 million in Activity and Service fees paid by students as part of their tuition. SG is also responsible for the operation of several agencies that serve students, such as SG Computer Services, SAFE Team, WBUL and the Student Resource Agency.