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UISG works on transparency

BY KRISTEN EAST | OCTOBER 05, 2011 7:20 AM

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University of Iowa Student Government senators hope to increase the group's transparency by blogging this semester.

The UISG Senate passed the Senator Transparency by Blogging bill at Tuesday night's meeting. The bill will require all senators to submit a blog post to the UISG website during the remaining days of the fall semester.

Sen. Aaron Horsfield submitted the bill on behalf of the Community and Outreach Committee of UISG.

"We're trying to get senators more involved with UISG, besides within their specific committees," Horsfield said. "We want to utilize the senators, not just the executives."

Sen. Joe Van Zant said he was concerned about the transparency of the UISG website in general.

"How many people look at the website in the first place?" he said.

UISG Chief of Staff Navi Bajwa said he didn't know what the viewership of the website is, but attributes estimated low visitation numbers to the lack of content appearing on the site.

"There's nothing really else to look at," said Bajwa. "If there's a blog, people want to see it. A blog will probably take five to seven minutes, so it won't take up that much time. You're in student government for a reason."

Sen. Camille Claussen, a member of UISG's Community and Outreach Committee, was optimistic about what blogging could do for the group's transparency.

"We hope every senator has a goal," she said. "Maybe if we have this blog … people will start looking at it. It would be updated very frequently."

Though some senators expressed concerns about being required to write for the website, Horsfield said advocating for the group's transparency is important for all senators.

"It's important to remember that you were the one who ran for student government," Horsfield said, addressing his fellow senators. "Our website doesn't have very much and isn't that updated. The more stuff we put on there … the more people will view it."


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