When asked to create a two-minute video segment for The Daily Tar Heel, some of my campaign staff and I spoofed the Spice Girls song “Wannabe” in the Pit. Just like every student at UNC, there are a multitude of things that they “really, really want.”
Today, I’d like to tell you what I really, really want: a student government that works.
I’ve worked in the executive branch of student government in many different capacities over the past three years, and I believe that student government must become more efficient if we hope to accomplish our goals. My platform calls for an innovative reorganization of the executive branch to make student government more visible and accessible by connecting us with student organizations and making us more transparent by using technology more effectively.
Specifically, I plan to reduce the size of the Cabinet and create a new set of positions called the Student Life Team. The Student Life Team will be made up of liaison positions. Each liaison will be responsible for working directly with the leaders of different student organizations: political groups, religious groups, cultural groups, international affairs, GPSF, transfer students and the four Greek councils. Instead of hosting competing events with the groups that already exist, student government will be able to work with these groups and support them in any way possible.
Additionally, I believe student government has a responsibility to improve our relationship with the town of Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina so that we can truly be advocates for students in those arenas. I want to create a new executive board position, the town relations ambassador, to replace the town relations cabinet committee. The town relations ambassador will be responsible for working directly with the Town Council and Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt.
Each year, student body president candidates write lengthy platforms with hundreds of new ideas in an attempt to cover each aspect of campus life.
These platforms are often not designed to fit within the structure of student government. The new student body president, in an attempt to accomplish every plank on such an ambitious platform, would find him or herself creating a multitude of new committees and task forces just to try to get everything done.
My platform is different. In it, I tell you what I plan to do and also how I plan to do it.
My campaign team and I came up with a number of new ideas, including an iTunes U course catalog, a service database with all of the service opportunities on campus and a centralized Web site featuring information on post-graduate scholarships and research opportunities.
The bottom line is that student government desperately needs a change. By paring down the executive branch from its bloated state, student government will be more efficient and can more effectively serve the student body.
So today, don’t just help me get what I really, really want. Help me give Carolina what it really, really needs — a student government that works for everyone.
Shah is a junior political science major from Memphis, Tenn.