RUSA successfully serves student community
I would first like to thank the author of yesterday’s letter to The Daily Targum, “Student government needs to establish real purpose.” Although the information is not found in our mission statement, the Rutgers University Student Assembly always wants to hear student concerns, by any means and in any form, to better improve our standing with the student body. This is one reason why we have a public sector portion of our open meetings every other Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Activities Center on the College Avenue campus. That being said, I would like to personally invite every student to come out to a RUSA meeting to voice their concerns about the University. Tonight’s meeting will be a Town Hall with President Richard L. McCormick. RUSA is giving students a rare opportunity to address their president directly and ask questions about any issue they have on campus. I personally feel this meeting will be time well spent and beneficial to every student that comes out, even if they do not want to ask a question.
Aside from the author’s recounting of a fellow representative calling the meetings “a waste of time,” he went on to say that RUSA was a “useless body because it has no purpose to fill.” I understand the mission statement was not easily accessible on our website, and that is something we will improve upon. But when one looks at this statement, one sees that RUSA is fulfilling its purpose.
Representation by the governing councils of the University on RUSA allows a full range of diverse opinion to better serve the University student body. In addition, the two bills just passed and brought up in the piece are also examples of how RUSA represents the student body. A bill was passed to eliminate plastic bags in the dining halls. This bill passed unanimously and will now be taken up by the University, Student and Legislative Affairs committees to reach out to Dinning Services and resolve the issue of plastic bags in the dining halls. The bill condemning action by the New Brunswick Police Department shows RUSA’s support for the New Brunswick community and was covered by the Targum for its overall student support. These are just two examples of the bills RUSA passed this year.
Not only does RUSA serve University students, but we also empower students through major events like tonight’s McCormick Town Hall and last year’s “Walk into Action.” Hundreds of people attended the “Walk into Action” rally on Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue campus where speakers talked about rising tuition at a public university. Speakers included former RUSA President Yousef Saleh, current RUSA President Matt Cordeiro and Vice President-Elect Thomas Nicholas. This event — along with the subsequent talks with administrative heads like McCormick, former Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Philip J. Furmanski and Vice President for Student Affairs Gregory S. Blimling — allowed students to have a summer memorandum on transcript fees. I submit this event was in the minds of the Board of Governors when they decided to enact the lowest tuition increase in 20 years: 1.8 percent.
As you can see, RUSA fulfills its mission. It is disheartening to see any student, such as the author of yesterday’s letter, who has gotten the wrong impression. We always look to improve our operations and welcome students to come out to meetings, especially tonight’s Town Hall with McCormick. For any questions you may have, please contact email@example.com and follow us on Twitter @RUAssembly.
Joseph Cashin is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in English with minors in history and political science. He is the RUSA corresponding secretary.