Change is really hard

HUSC leaders strive for flexibility and transparency in addressing complex campus issues.

Lydia Hansen, reporter

The Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress (HUSC) has two primary goals for the year: to continue addressing food insecurity and to improve accessibility on campus.

Members of the executive board, including student body president Liam Davis Temple, are also prioritizing responsiveness and transparency in their approach to student government.

“I think in some sense, it’s as simple as we have two main goals that we for sure know we want to work on right now: food insecurity and accessibility,” said Davis Temple, a junior and Education major. “But I think a lot of the role and how we envisioned it is we need to respond to the ever-changing needs of students.”

What those needs might be, Davis Temple said, will depend on the input and ideas of newly elected student representatives and the issues they bring forward that impact their constituents among the student body.

“We have the power to set HUSC in one direction, but the reps have the power to pass resolutions and have new ideas and create new things that we also have to support,” Davis Temple said.

Although the executive board intends to move forward this year on their primary goals, they have yet to commit to a concrete response to either issue. Davis Temple said that both are systemic problems that are too complex to be resolved in one year.

“We should have goals in mind, and I think it would be great if we could by the end of the year figure out how [to] address some of it,” Davis Temple said. “The reality is it’s such a big problem. It’s not something that we can just solve in a year or two years or even three. Change is really hard.”

Student vice president, senior Ikram Mohamud said HUSC intends to tackle these issues in targeted ways, like joining with the Feed Your Brain campaign to fund a food pantry or working with the capital improvement fund to pay for new accessibility features on campus.

“The hardest thing is how long things take to be accomplished,” Mohamud said, “which I think is one of the reasons maybe students don’t necessarily voice their concerns because they don’t think anyone can get it done.”

Transparency about the process of moving issues forward is something HUSC intends to improve this year. One thing Mohamud hopes students will understand is that the number of moving parts and people who need to be on board with any project means that even getting started on an issue can be time-consuming.

“If you voiced a concern as a first-year, you might literally have left Hamline before you see the change,” Mohamud said.

Being open about what HUSC can accomplish, what it can not and where it is in the process is one of Mohamud’s personal goals for the year.

She said making sure representatives “can be the voice we say we are” is something she will be working to address.