By Brittany Schaefer, Staff Writer
The University of New Hampshire student body president and vice president have been hard at work piecing together and accomplishing their plan that will help this campus.
Although there was no competition for the pair when they were running last semester, President Joseph Sweeney and Vice President Garrett McGlory are qualified.
Sweeney has been serving as a New Hampshire state representative since December 2012. After doing some research, Sweeney believes he is the only student body president that has also been a state representative at the same time.
He has also been involved with the executive board of five different student organizations (Student Senate, Phi Mu Delta, SCAN-TV, Hunter Hall Council and UNH Students for Innis).
Sweeney even has his own page Wikipedia.
A reference on the page from Adam Swift states “At 20, Joseph Sweeney is helping get things back on track in Concord.”
McGlory serves as the vice president of finance for the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
He has also served as a non-resident student senator for the past year.
One major goal the duo hopes to accomplish this year is increasing student engagement in the decision-making process.
“Our overlying goal for this year is to make the student body more active and engaged in the decision-making process of the university,” Sweeney said. “There are a lot of areas which makes it hard to have student voices heard by the administration, and we’re working to change that.”
This is something that the student government seems to have been struggling with for quite some time.
Many believed that the reason that no one ran against the pair was because of the lack of student involvement.
As for McGlory’s main goal for this semester, he says his vice president position allows him to adjust to whatever he feels the campus needs work on at that given time.
“Now our focus is shifting towards working on another two-year tuition freeze. We feel that would be of great value to the student body,” McGlory said.
A big goal Sweeney and McGlory recently made is keeping the campus safer, which is of high importance due to the recent incidents occurring at the beginning of this school year.
“One of our bigger accomplishments as a student senate was updating our school’s stalking policy,” Sweeney said. “It’s our hope the increase in clarity — when in terms of stalking, and the protections survivors have and the punishment for stalkers — will make the campus safer.”
McGlory agreed by stating that safety was one of their top priorities at the beginning of the semester.
He also said there are more accomplishments to be made soon because, “many of our council chairs are getting settled in their roles, and I expect them to produce many valuable contributions in upcoming months.”
Talking to a few students on campus, it was clear that the student involvement was low because many students were not aware of what accomplishments have been made or what the overall plan was for this year.
“I haven’t heard of anything they have completed or of their plans for this year,” said UNH senior Meghan Wright. “My main issue here on campus is parking, and I know many students agree. It has always been an issue. I live off campus but don’t qualify for a commuter pass, so parking makes it very difficult for timing my day.”
Another issue besides parking that students tend to focus on is budgeting.
UNH senior Chad Becker believes “the student government needs to focus more on distributing money to the student organizations that are having a hard time getting enough funding.”
All in all, after speaking with the student body president, vice president and students, there seems to be a lack of communication between student government and the student body.
Sweeney’s and McGlory’s largest goal for this year is to engage students so all voices and opinions can be heard.