Central Student Government’s University Council may have had a rocky past two years, but Public Policy junior Bobby Dishell, new UC chairman and CSG Vice President, is not deterred.

The UC — which consists of delegates from each individual school in the University — was formed in 2010 but has been plagued with poor attendance and low functionality despite attendance by top administrators such as University President Mary Sue Coleman.

Dishell said the goal of the UC has been to “expedite” CSG’s legislative process as students
can propose ideas developed in the council to the general assembly, which could lead to efficient implementation of popular ideas.

“It’s a really powerful tool to go into this review path,” Dishell said. “And this upcoming year we’re really looking to utilize it and legitimize the organization.”

The issue of UC functionality has been discussed in the past, particularly among CSG vice presidential candidates who, in the last election, argued the council could be better utilized in a more active role.

Dishell said one reason for the lack of functionality on the UC is because the bylaws that govern the meetings are still in the process of being written. Another issue is a lack of public information — the council’s website has yet to be completed.

Former CSG Vice President Omar Hashwi said he felt the UC still has an ability to contribute to CSG.

“The UC has yet to reach its potential,” Hashwi said. “Do I believe we’ve exhausted the UC’s potential? No, but do I believe that we’ve established a strong and united foundation for the years ahead, most definitely.”

Hashwi said the council was similar to the U.S. Senate in both form and function.

“In the future, it is important that the UC remains a body that views all colleges equally and bases their decision- making on not only what is most beneficial to their college but also to the student body at large,” Hashwi said.

The University has one of the few student governments with multiple legislative bodies.

Hashwi said having the UC allows more projects to be brought to the table and the council has been “more helpful to the individual student governments than to CSG.”

And with a full year ahead for CSG, this additional help may prove necessary. With the help of the UC, CSG looks to achieve off-campus bus routes, a new North Campus café and a school-sponsored tailgatefor the Notre Dame football game. Other goals include increased funding for student organizations and efforts to help to create increased campus diversity.

Dishell said his plan for the upcoming year is to ensure the UC achieves its purpose by giving students a more powerful voice, and he is looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish in the coming year.

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