Leaders in Penn Student Government are changing this year’s upcoming PSG Week to create more opportunities for students to meet their representatives.
PSG Week, beginning on Nov. 11, will feature five events with one held each weeknight. Through offering study breaks, free food, and class-specific events, PSG leaders aim to foster a space where students can learn about each of the six government branches and feel comfortable advocating their concerns to student representatives.
In years past, PSG Week has consisted of The State of the School event, which is hosted by the Nominations and Elections Committee. The NEC hosted this open forum of speeches and reports from the six student government branches. This fall, however, the State of the School is an invitation-only event for leaders of major student organizations and will be held this upcoming Wednesday.
“I often see that a lot of clubs do amazing things on campus but we don’t necessarily collaborate with one another,” Vice Chair for Education of NEC and College junior Suchait Kahlon said. “So I wanted to create a mixer to foster that collaboration.”
PSG week will also feature greater collaboration and dialogue with students, Kahlon said. The first event will be Monday evening’s town hall, run by the Undergraduate Assembly and the 6B minority coalition to address student concerns related to minority groups on campus.
The Tuesday following the town hall, the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education will host a pop-in study break, SCUE chair external and College and Wharton senior Arman Ramezani said. Over hot chocolate and Insomnia Cookies in Huntsman Hall, students can hear from SCUE directly on how they address educational concerns on campus.
“My goal of Penn Student Government week is to get students in the door,” Kahlon said. “I'm trying to think from the perspective of students that aren’t in Penn Student Government. I try to keep the events entertaining, fun, and approachable to show students on campus that we genuinely care about them.”
Last spring, SCUE recorded survey responses from nearly 20% of the student body about educational policy concerns and feedback, Ramezani said. In spring 2020, SCUE will release their educational white paper, released every five years, which will review concerns brought up in their survey, including overall student wellness and equitable access across the undergraduate schools to academic resources. Ramezani said a common complaint is restricted access to group study rooms in Huntsman Hall for students outside of Wharton.
Ramezani emphasized how essential student feedback is in addressing Penn policies.
“Pretty much everything that we are doing right now is based on a survey we sent out or one-on-one conversations we've had with faculty and administrators or just from one-off conversations," Ramezani said.
Next Thursday, each class board will hold various activities for their respective classes to meet their student leaders, Kahlon said. On Friday, The Social Planning and Events Committee will host a Winter Wonderland pop-up in Houston Hall, which will include crème brûlée, a hot chocolate station, and free giveaways.
“Hopefully if PSG week goes well, we’ll get more engagement from the student body,” Wharton freshman and Class of 2023 President Derek Nhieu said. “While we’re doing something fun, we’re also trying to inform the student body what PSG actually does here at Penn.”
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