Volume I, Issue 3           Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003           Florida State University - Panama Student E-Zine

FSU-Panama Student Government Speaks Out
by Kristin Hoyer

     A school as new as Florida State University–Panama experiences rapid changes and, we hope, improvements, and the new Student Government is just one example of a change that is taking place on campus. Students soon will determine whether the new president and their representative body are bringing improvements to the school and to student life.

     Ricardo Agurcia, Student Government international student representative, says that the newly-elected student council is “hardworking, and wants to get things done.” “We are busy doing activities while we settle in and get organized, and soon we hope to achieve larger goals,” Agurcia said.

     This semester, students voted on a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and other positions to represent them, rather than working as an egalitarian counsel. “This is a better way to hold each other accountable, and to assure others that the work gets done,” said Philip Denis, Student Government president. “As a Student Government, rather than just a Student Council, we reflect the same form of student governance as other United States universities,” Denis said.

     Xiao Wei, Student Government treasurer, cited the Night of the Arts and student participation in the lighting of the Bridge of the Americas to show what the Student Government is trying to do for the student body.

     “It pretty much comes down to keeping people happy,” said Luciano Gomez, SG vice-president. “The Student Government helps students get what they want or shows them how to get what they want.” He said he ran because he wanted to make a difference. “Instead of complaining, I wanted to do something about the problems we experience,” Gomez said.

     Secretary Melissa Lam says she feels the council helps students by addressing their problems. “Right now we are trying to cope with all the complaints and problems of the students,” said Lam. “We are trying to solve them one by one.”

     The Student Government now has an office in the library where students can go to talk to a representative in person. “I encourage students to come in and talk about how they feel about things here at FSU-Panama,” Denis said. He said one of the goals of the SG is to conduct an all-around student survey, then share the results with everyone, so they feel their evaluations are taken into consideration. “My biggest goal is for the student body to take a more active role in their academic experience,” Denis said.

     Computer Science Junior Kyle Akin said he has not noticed a single change with the new Student Government. “I hope they can do more than I do.” Akin said. “I’m a one-man army right now. But I expect it will take them a little time to get going.”

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