Boca Student Governor’s Address: FAU’s involvement “bubble”

Ferreira highlights Student Government achievements and discusses the issue of lack of student involvement around campus.

Photo+by+Logan+Penrod

Photo by Logan Penrod

Bibi Patel, Contributing Writer

The Boca Raton State of the Campus Address emphasized the need for student involvement through numerous social media platforms.

To bring the point home, the entire address was streamed live on YouTube and is available for viewing here. During the event, about two to five students were tuning into the stream; it currently  has 48 views.

Boca Governor Christopher Ferreira planned to start his speech with a video from his “#GovernTheStudents” project he made a week before the address, but there were technical difficulties.

In the video, Ferreira went around campus with a microphone in hand, asking students what issues should be addressed at his speech. While several students were caught off guard and replied with “I don’t know,” one student specifically mentioned the issue of water conservation.

The video has about 1,900 views.

Ferreira instead began by listing off the achievements made during his time as governor.

These achievements are as follows:

  • Students Advocating Volunteer Involvement went from a support staff of zero students to four. SAVI has also expanded the service sites available during their Day of Service to allow more diverse options for students to choose from. 
  • Night Owls program has been reverted back to its original purpose: safety. The new program operates on the two tiers of convenience and safety. A newly established route improves the convenience of the program, while the allocation of more golf carts to the program is intended to heighten safety.
  • During the summer, the Boca administration spoke at every single orientation where we welcomed one of the largest freshman classes in the history of FAU.
  • The Boca House of Representatives collaborated with the Peer Education Team to expand the monthly breakfast-on-the-go event for commuters, from one site to four per month. The Peer Education Team has also shown a spotlight on mental health through events such as the suicide prevention lecture on Sept. 16.
  • Boca Council of Student Organizations hosted one of the largest showcases of student organizations at FAU during Get WOW’d Week, right before the start of fall semester.

Ferreira then segued from his achievements by saying the greatest boundary that Student Government faces preventing its progress is “the involvement bubble.”

This bubble is a division of students: those who are involved on campus through different organizations and those who aren’t involved at all.

To emphasize the bubble, Ferreira asked a series of questions: “What about the student who hasn’t ever set foot in the Student Union? What about the student who’s never been to an FAU football game?”

Former Student Government member Ian Dunne shared a question of his own regarding this involvement issue through Facebook, asking how can Ferreira better advocate for the whole student body, and not just those involved with Greek life.

He added that an event that affects the student body should not take place in a room the size of House Chambers. He also made the speculation that a majority of the students in attendance at the address were members of Student Government, and not regular students.

Ferreira spent the second half of his speech discussing how he planned to resolve this issue.

He believes that these are the students who can elevate Student Government to another level and allow current problems to be fixed. The current problems he was referring to are parking, the nature preserve, Lot 5, Breezeway congestion, study spaces, library hours, restaurant choices and more.

With voter turnout rates ranging between 2 to 6 percent, Student Government is having a hard time fighting for change on behalf of the entire student body, according to Ferreira.

He responded to his earlier questions that the answer to this “un-involvement” is reaching out to students online. This was also his explanation for why this event was streamed live, unlike other Student Government sponsored events.

This live stream was an experiment conducted by Ferreira to see “if you try to reach students where they are — which is online — can you effectively engage them?”

He believed the live stream, and his online project #GovernTheStudents was a risk, but also a success, allowing Student Government to communicate with students in a way it has not done previously.

It allows for students to take part in discussions of campus issues while sitting in their dorm room or studying in the library.

The speech was concluded with a challenge directed toward Boca Raton students: to meet Student Government through social media, resulting in better interaction with students and SG officials.