Lines of Communication with Students

Judge Ronald E. Spivey describes initiatives to make Student Government more accessible and visible and to foster two-way communication between it and students.

Interview on 2014-12-15


00:00:00.000 We tried to draw students from different aspects of the university to be in sort of a cabinet
00:00:06.803 so that we would, I hate to call it tentacles, but have connections with different aspects of student life and different schools,
00:00:15.347 and hopefully make it a two-way communication between students and Student Government.
00:00:23.776 Again, I thought that the formal lines of communication, though they existed, were probably not used very often by a run-of-the-mill student.
00:00:32.878 I thought, if I were concerned about a particular issue, I wouldn't necessarily march up to the student center to see if I could meet with the student body president or student senate president about something,
00:00:44.580 but if I saw them in the dorm or something, yeah; I could talk about this. So this Six Pack was designed to make sure that we had folks in various aspects and various communities within the university
00:00:55.679 among the students who could not only gather information but be the contact person who would directly bring that information back to Student Government, not just to me but to the student senate, to raise concerns.
00:01:09.285 We also tried to be very visible on campus. We had a kiosk in the library and we tried to do whatever we could.
00:01:15.531 It was all about constituent services, and again this goes back to watching people like Chancellor Thomas, his meeting with the students.
00:01:23.658 I thought that was so important that there be not only a formal process but an informal process to have communication go both ways, so constituent services, I thought, was a very important thing.
00:01:36.730 Again I realized that my time in this position was going to be very brief, it was going to be a year,
00:01:43.463 and you know you come back and get started in the fall and by the middle of the spring semester your successor is being picked by the electorate,
00:01:50.731 so your time is really compacted and your ability to get things done is very limited time wise unless you really hit the ground running.
00:02:00.042 So those are things we wanted to do initially to make sure that the lines of communication were open going both ways, and it did go both ways because if something important happened on campus
00:02:10.188 we used that same system to get the word out about a particular issue to the students, so it was a two-way street.