Video produced by Robert Horan, General Manager of Mason Cable Network
Student Body President Phil Abbruscato and Vice-President Dilan Wickrema spoke with Fourth Estate and Mason Cable Network during the first State of the Student Body address where they detailed what Student Government has accomplished this semester and what they plan to do in the future.
Abbruscato and Wickrema want to make it clear that student government is consistently working to have the voices of Mason students heard.
“We’ve had members of student government sitting on nearly 40 university wide committees,” said Wickrema
According to Abbruscato, Student Government is specifically working with the City of Fairfax to improve relations between the university and the city, while also improving student life.
“We had members attend all the sessions of the three day long Vision Fairfax Mason charette,” Abbruscato said, “where we expressed to the Mayor, members of city council and other leaders in the Fairfax community that [there is a] need for more affordable housing, [an] increase in late night public transportation and more entertainment venues downtown. All of which received positive reception”
Wickrema discussed Mason’s news medical amnesty program which ensures that if someone needs medical attention in a alcohol related incident, the person who calls for medical help will not be penalized if they are intoxicated. However, the caller must follow specific guidelines if they are to qualify for amnesty with the Office of Student Conduct. The program, according to Wickrema, is an effort to “increase student health and safety on campus.”
Inspired by the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign, Mason is also working to prevent sexual assault through its “Patriots in Action” initiative. The first awareness week for the initiative began Monday, Nov. 17.
“We should recognize all opportunities to discuss sexual assault and gender violence,” Abbruscato said, “as well as educate others on how to prevent it as well as how to address it when it happens”
In light of the recent $9.4 million budget cuts at Mason, Wickrema also noted that Student Government will be traveling to the state legislature on January, 29 as part of their annual Mason Lobbies event. Abbruscato and Wickrema invite all students to sign up and join them to lobby the state government for more funding.
“Student Government will continue to commit to assuring the Mason community that regardless of year, major, or campus the current interest of all students are being served and prioritized,” said Abbruscato, “so that we all find ourselves succeeding in a greater Mason today.”