Greek community and RUSA go hand in hand


Column

Rutgers University Student Assembly elections will take place from April 8 to April 10.  Traditionally, voter turnout for student government elections at the University is very low. Why should greek life care about this particular election? In this election, there are two very strong candidates running for the position of president. However, Pavel Sokolov and members of his ticket, Rutgers Students First, will focus on the issues that matter to the University greek community.

Historically, Rutgers student governments and greek life have worked together to solve issues that affect off-campus life and specifically the off-campus greek community. A significant example of the relationship between these two communities occurred in the early 1990s. Rob Hill, then-president the now-defunct Rutgers College Governing Association, worked with the greek community to stop the New Brunswick City Council from allowing vacancy decontrol. Vacancy decontrol would have allowed landlords to raise rent without any regulations. The student government and Greek Life came together on the issue and stopped the city from hurting thousands of off-campus University students. If elected, Pavel Sokolov’s leadership would help rekindle this relationship.

Greek life has a vested interest in this RUSA election because it could offer several structural changes that might take the student government in completely different directions. If members of Rutgers Student’s First are elected, they will re-establish a subcommittee under the RUSA Legislative Affairs Committee called the New Brunswick Legislative Subcommittee. This subcommittee would connect with the City Council, as well as the City of New Brunswick Board of Education, to express the views of University students to these elected officials. After all, the University has an undergraduate population in New Brunswick of more than 30,000 full-time students, while the city itself has a total population of more than 55,000. Rutgers Students First will make it a priority to have student voices heard in the greater New Brunswick community.

Every year, the University sees another greek house demolished and replaced by a new apartment complex — the most recent being Delta Upsilon and Delta Phi on Union Street. Sokolov and company would establish relationships with New Brunswick officials and individual landlords to examine this trend.

Another way that Rutgers Students First will benefit the greek community would be by co-sponsoring and marketing greek-sanctioned events. Let’s face it — greek life offers a lot of programming ranging from philanthropic events to campus cleanups. Sometimes, only negative events get recognition on campus. Greek programing could be made even stronger with added publicity from the student government. The student government has the ability to share event information with the entire undergraduate population.  For this alone, it is a clear no-brainer that greek life should vote Rutgers Students First.

The Rutgers University Student Assembly is attempting to tackle common-sense parking-meter reform, which was spearheaded by School of Arts and Sciences senior Spencer Klein. Don’t you hate getting a parking citation for your meter running out? Sokolov wants to start a dialogue with City Council and the New Brunswick Parking Authority that would make parking in the 6th Ward more feasible for students, as well as having new meters installed that would accept RU Express.  Additionally, alternate-side parking started again yesterday. How many of you got a ticket because you forgot about this rule?

Rutgers Students First would make students aware of this city regulation and look into having it only apply between the middle of May and late August, a period when many students are home for break.

Above, we have laid out a plethora of tangible reasons why members of the greek community — and the off-campus community as a whole — should vote for Pavel Solokov and his ticket. If a historical relationship between the student government and greek life isn’t enough of a reason for you to vote for Rutgers Students First, then hopefully all those parking tickets are compelling enough to garner your support.

Ian Wolf is a School of Arts and Sciences junior and president of the University’s Sigma Pi chapter. Robert Yannazzone is a Rutgers Business School junior and president of the University’s Theta Delta Chi chapter.    


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