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USG seeks to improve communication

By Nicholas Shigo
On April 3, 2014

After a disastrous attempt to improve communications with students, the University of Connecticut discussed alternatives to town-hall-style discussions as a way to improve senators' connection with their constituents.
The most recent town hall meeting hosted on March 3 was attended by only one student, preventing any meaningful discussion.
Senators blamed the poor attendance on a failure to expose students to information about the meeting.
"People don't show up to anything, they don't listen to anybody talking and they don't care about us," said Senator Kevin Alvarez at the USG caucus on Wednesday.
Town hall meetings have been effective in the past when centered on a specific topic that students feel strongly about.
Senator Colin Ng said that the meetings devoted to gathering information during the Title IX disputes last semester yielded lots of useful information.
Senators led information sessions and guided conversations about Title IX and compiled the feedback they received into an official statement.
Ng led a discussion at the caucus on what kinds of events students might be more eager to attend.
"I had no idea USG existed my freshman year," Ng said. "Our communication sucks."
He proposed hosting a "Slice for a Thought" event in order to help students connect with senators and give their opinions about UConn and USG.
Senators will gather on Fairfield Way handing out free slices of pizza to students in exchange for them giving suggestions to USG on spending and policy, which will be recorded by other members of USG.
According to Ng, this is the first event of its time hosted by USG in the current administration.
"We want to get students to tell you what they want," Ng said.
The event will be held on April 17 at 3 p.m.
Ng explained in the caucus that the time was set between lunch and dinner to ensure a smaller amount of students, allowing for more direct face time between senators and students.
USG tends to get more ideas from students when they reach out to them, as opposed to asking students come to them, according to Ng.
The "Slice for a Thought" event will be the format for the next town hall meeting, but not for meetings to come next year.
Ng hopes that events like this will help USG enter the public eye and get students talking about their government, or at least know it exists.

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