ASG’s first winter meeting features discussions of dorm improvements, launch of online idea submission platform

Junnie Kwon , Reporter

A new Associated Student Government working group looking to improve on campus living conditions gave an update on its accomplishments from Winter Break at Wednesday’s Senate meeting.

The Residential Conditions Working Group is individually assessing each of Northwestern’s residential buildings. At each location, students will receive a survey asking what improvements they would like to see in their living conditions. Using the survey’s results, the group will then take a tour of the residence and compile short- and long-term suggestions.

The working group, consisting of four senators chosen by an all-senate ballot, aims to gauge the needs of students living in on campus housing and send suggestions to Residential Services. It held its first meeting Nov. 26.

“We’re looking to improve lots of little things that can bring happiness,” group member Chris Harlow said.

The group completed assessments of Elder Residential Community and Kemper Residence Hall during Fall Quarter and has been working closely with Paul Riel, executive director of residential services. Riel played a key role in fulfilling many of the group’s suggestions for the dorms over Winter Break, said Harlow, a SESP freshman.

Some of the improvements included the addition of shelves in showers and turning a former bike storage room into a study lounge. Although Harlow said he was initially skeptical about the timeline of the projects, he said Riel was quick to respond to the group’s suggestions.

“He was really ambitious to get those things done,” Harlow said of the improvements.

Other dorm upgrades include replacing shower curtains in the bathrooms. Although some of the proposed changes may be small, the group’s goal is to pick up on minor problems that normally fall to the wayside.

“We started the shower curtain revolution,” group member Morgan Hunt said.

At the end of its presentation, the group proposed that ASG senators representing residential houses join the group during tours of their respective residences. Harlow said the group aims to assess all on campus housing by the end of this quarter. Willard Residential College, Chapin Hall and Slivka Residential College of Science and Engineering are scheduled for tours within the next week.

The other major topic discussed during Wednesday’s meeting was Campus Voice, ASG’s new online platform for submitting suggestions and feedback.

Rebecca Rodriguez, ASG’s vice president for public relations, solicited volunteers to help promote the new site. The volunteers will set up stations Thursday at The Arch to raise awareness on campus. Passersby will be invited to write on a chalkboard what they would like to improve at NU.

“Not only will it show that Campus Voice is launching but also allow us to see people’s suggestions,” said Rodriguez, a Weinberg senior.

After writing on the board, people will have the option to pose with it and get their picture taken. The photographs will be uploaded to ASG’s Facebook page Saturday, Rodriguez said.