SGC-MMC president charges senate to do a better job of representing students

By: Joshua Ceballos/News Director


The president of MMC’s student government council said to the SGC-MMC senate that the student government is not doing a good enough job of representing its students.

On Monday, Aug. 20, SGC-MMC president Jose Sirven gave a “State of the Student Body” address during the senate general meeting, in which he spoke on what the University is doing right, and what it can do better.

“FIU is a very, very very special place because of its world class faculty, a University President who believes everyone deserves a life of dignity, and students who have grit,” said Sirven.

Sirven went on to describe the student body as hard working and diverse, saying that 70 percent of FIU students work while studying and about half are first generation college students.

The Student Government Association, according to Sirven, should be representative of the diverse student body, but they have not been living up to that responsibility as well as they could be.

“We’re the voice of our students, and in order to represent them we must first understand them, and right now we’re not doing a good job of that. SGA can do a significantly better job at knowing our students and the issues that they face every day,” said Sirven. “When I say knowing our students I mean all of our students- the transfers, the students who come to class and go home, all of them.”

To remedy what he sees as a lack of representation, Sirven said that he has created two new entities within SGA: SGA External Relations and the President’s Round Table.

SGA External Relations will operate much like the University’s office of the same name, Sirven said to Student Media.  It will handle the public relations for the government and handle student outreach to get more involvement.

The Round Table is a collection of all agency and council presidents where we will discuss matters pertinent to the student body, according to Sirven.

Sirven said that SGA is also responsible for advocating for financial aid for students, as half of the student body receives need-based aid. Consequently, Sirven has been asked to chair the Florida Student Association Committee on Need-Based Aid.

Sirven also made mention of the upcoming merger of the student government councils at MMC and BBC, lauding it as the fix for decades of underrepresentation.

“In the future, our next president will truly be able to represent all students because of the merger of our two student councils who for the past 25 years have divided this university and prevented us from truly representing everyone,” said Sirven. “We will ensure that every student’s voice will be heard regardless of what campus they take their classes at.”

Another issue addressed was that of parking, as Sirven joked about the struggle of walking to and from garages in the Miami heat.

“It’s no secret that we have to address the parking and transportation issue on campus, because nobody wants to walk because Hace un calor de madre (it’s really hot),” he said.

To alleviate the issues, Sirven said he is in talks with Parking & Transportation to bring Freebie to campus: a free electric transportation app FIU previously denied, as Student Media reported on Feb. 10, 2018, due to it being “not financially sustainable,” according to Brenda Dome, assistant director of administrative services at Parking & Transportation.

“Freebie will help thousands of students who are living on campus to get groceries when they don’t have a car… and make it so students don’t have trouble finding a designated driver,” Sirven said.

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