UVUSA president accounts for campaign promises
During last year’s campaign, Workman, along with his team, ran on a slate that focused on a four-point platform: simplicity, feedback, unity and growth.
Simplicity dealt primarily with increased internet access, a faster and easier Wi-Fi. Commitments were also made to improve UVLink interface and user-friendliness, create a UVUSA website to facilitate better communication with students and upgrade the entire system to accommodate smaller digital devices.
The administration checked off most of these promises. UVLink was revamped, and Wi-Fi is connecting to thousands of laptops and smart phones all over campus.
However, students are still waiting for a UVUSA website to go live. Workman explains the site was designed and developed, but the wait is on the university’s busy IT Department. The department’s job is to complete online implementation and device compatibility upgrades.
“It should all be completed by the end of this semester,” Workman said.
Until recently, Workman claims most students had no idea what was happening with the student government, or that it even existed. UVUSA site creation and utilization of social media was planned to help change that.
Workman said that when the site goes live this spring, students will be able to use several features to directly comment on and provide feedback about virtually any aspect of the university experience, from drinking fountains to parking and beyond.
The Facebook page “UVU Students” was created last year and now has over 2,500 followers. The page seems to be useful in voicing Wolverine opinion.
Recently, the Academic Calendar Committee proposed a cancellation of fall break this year. Workman’s team posted the information on the page. Numerous objections immediately came in, which were relayed to the President’s Council and “helped advocate the students’ point of view,” Workman said.
Prior to the current student government, Workman said there existed a negative image of UVUSA as an elite, isolated group that didn’t work with other organizations. His administration sought to project a more open, friendlier persona while boosting overall student participation and unity.
Now, student organizations are cross collaborating with UVUSA on projects and campus events. Workman said the Facebook page has also helped with unity.
Workman points to the successful “UVU Game for Fame,” an initiative created three months ago to promote more involvement and competition. Student’s pick up UVUSA pennants and take photos of their activities holding the pennants. Prizes are given to all entries and bigger prizes for great entries.
The Daily Herald reported last month that Wolverine “enrollment is projected to explode to more than 46,000 students by the end of the decade.”
“UVU is the biggest university in the state, in terms population, and the least state funded,” Workman said.
With so much growth and a lack of cash, Workman said it was imperative that UVUSA assist President Holland in lobbying for state funds at the Utah Legislature.
The joint effort seems to have worked. Funds were obtained for planning a new classroom building situated on the northwest of campus, next to the library. If approved, construction will begin immediately. The structure would open 66 new classrooms, create additional faculty office space and provide a 1000-seat auditorium.
Workman said UVUSA continues to assist in the planning process for the new Wellness Center, currently under construction. They provide on-going feedback on interior structural design, which he says will be similar to BYU’s Wilkinson Center.
“A place where students can come and feel at home,” Workman said.