ISG senator resigns

By Piotr Fedczuk, Staff Writer

Patrick Porter, senior in LAS, said he intended to rebrand ISG and create change. But now, Porter said he feels that ISG failed to adequately represent students.

“There were better avenues for me to actually advocate for the student body,” Porter said. “If anything, it was more of a hindrance than it was an asset at that point.”

According to Porter, ISG often fell short of its goals. Many of the resolutions passed this year had little meaningful impact. Rather than advocating for students, Porter said many representatives pretend to be politicians and “don’t actually do the job.” The biggest issue facing the organization is the lack of outreach to the student body, Porter said.

Although senators passed a resolution to go on the Main Quad and engage with students, no action has been taken. Porter said the lack of in-person communication is “embarrassing” because it is the “bare minimum.” He noted that only a little over 3% of students voted in the elections last spring.

“You can’t scratch your head and wonder why students aren’t engaged when you aren’t really giving them anything to engage with,” Porter said. “You’re barely even advertising yourselves.”

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In the last election, four graduate students ran for 11 graduate seats. Three people dropped out of the organization, which left a single graduate student in the senate. Graduate students “ignored” ISG because they do not see any benefit in participating, according to Porter. For the people that ran, Porter said many lacked commitment to create change for students.

“At the end of the day, one person can only do so much,” Porter said. “It’s a failure, not so much on myself or any one particular individual. It’s just an organizational issue.”

Garrett Forrest, president of ISG, agreed and said he focused on “burning down” previous systems in the organization this year. According to Forrest, people view the organization as a government with full autonomy because of its name, and the mentality the title brings is “so destructive” to its ability to create change. People get stuck in the idea of being a legislator rather than an advocate, and passing resolutions lets people feel like they enacted change without doing any of the work required, Forrest said.

Forrest changed the system to encourage students to talk with the University to see what work needs to be done. By setting clearer expectations, Forrest said senators can feel more confident in their roles and what they can change.

This semester, Forrest said his focus is to get an on-campus achievement for the organization.

“If we can see (our current projects) through, people won’t feel like their time is just getting sucked into this black hole where nothing comes out,” he said.


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