Associated Student Government (ASG) is working on new ways to gather student concerns and figure out what students at Miami University think needs changed. IdeasForMiami.com gathers thoughts and opinions from students, concerning everything from extending dining hall hours to adding a free bus route to Wal-Mart.
Daniel Sauter, technology director of ASG, said he wanted to create a place for students to post new ideas for ways to improve their experience at Miami.
“This Web site creates a platform which enables students to easily post their suggestions on a variety of things around campus,” Sauter said.
A main goal of this Web site is to increase transparency, which Sauter believes the site has achieved.
“We’ve allowed other students to see the ideas that have been submitted before them,” Sauter said. “(Students) can then vote ‘up’ or ‘down’ on each idea to voice their approval or disapproval of such a suggestion.”
Since the launch of the Web site, nearly 50 posted ideas have been posted and more than 3,000 votes cast, Sauter said. He added that ASG members receive alerts when new ideas are posted to check the relevancy of the issue.
“We’re alerted every time a new idea is posted to the Web site,” Sauter said. “(The alerts) allow us to make sure that suggestions are on topic and appropriate.”
Sauter said ASG also monitors the Web site to see which ideas are becoming the most popular among students. ASG then works with appropriate university personnel and individuals to discuss the idea, Sauter added.
The most popular ideas on the Web site include extending Dividend$ hours, revising the Nighttime Door to Door program and offering an option of recycled paper at the print center.
“I heard about Ideas for Miami through a friend,” said junior Alexandra Josephs. “I think that it is a great idea and so easy to use. I can vote on any suggestion and even comment if I wanted to.”
Jonathan McNabb, student body president, supports the measure for its accessibility to the average student.
“This Web site has created another easy link between student government and the student body,” said McNabb. “Most students do not have the time to attend a forum or discussion about issues on campus.”
According to Sauter and McNabb, advertising the Web site is the biggest obstacle to overcome. They have found that the first-year and senior classes are the most difficult to target.
“First-years are constantly inundated with new experiences in their first year of college,” said Sauter. “They may not yet know where to turn to get things done or be heard.”
Sauter said the Web site will be a quick and easy way for seniors to input their ideas and improve aspects of Miami for future incoming first-years.
For more information on Ideas for Miami, visit http://www.ideasformiami.com.