Student Government Leaders Rev Up for a New Year

Posted: August 31, 2009 at 1:01 am, Last Updated: February 5, 2010 at 10:14 am

By Rashad Mulla

Dasgupta and King. Creative Services photo

Dev Dasgupta and Tyler King, student body president and vice president, have already begun planning for the new academic year. Creative Services photo

For this year’s leaders of Student Government at Mason, work has already begun.

Two weeks before the beginning of the fall semester, Dev Dasgupta and Tyler King, student body president and vice president, respectively, were hard at work discussing issues they expect to tackle this semester.

The duo won their posts in a student election last April and immediately went to work planning on how to improve the student experience at Mason.

This year, Dasgupta and King say they want to be more open to students’ concerns.

“We are both really passionate about Mason,” Dasgupta says. “We want to run Student Government in a manner different than past administrations.”

Dasgupta, a senior electrical engineering major and theater minor, just finished a biomedical engineering and business internship at the University of Southern California. King, a senior finance major, finished two internships – one with Merrill Lynch and the other with Spacenet, a satellite and broadband solutions company.

“We need to focus on what we can do for the students,” Dasgupta says. “We want to make sure students know we are the premier advocate for them on campus.”

In discussing some prospective projects they hope to complete, the duo says they want to increase student involvement on campus. Their campaign slogan, “Transparency, Outreach and Action,” seems to be in full swing.

The first item on their agenda is a Mason events listserv, a massive weekly e-mail to which all student clubs, student organizations and Mason athletics would add their events. Many events on campus frequently go unnoticed, Dasgupta says.

“Anything that happens on campus will be included on this list,” he says.

Dasgupta and King also want to create an online marketplace for Mason students to buy and sell textbooks, explore housing and carpool options and conduct business for which no avenue currently exists on campus.

“This site would be completely focused on students,” King says. “This web site would make a world of difference.”

A former member of the Mason men’s track team, Dasgupta would like to see students frequent more sporting events.

He speaks of expanding the Patriot Platoon, a type of rewards program for Mason men’s basketball fans, to include other sports. While the men’s basketball team receives recognition for its run to the NCAA Final Four in 2006, it is one of 22 teams at Mason competing in NCAA Division I varsity sports.

All isn’t completely new in the Dasgupta-King administration. They are bringing back key programs such as the Gold Rush, where students decked out in gold T-shirts march to basketball games at the Patriot Center.

Student Government Chief of Staff Peter Danjczek is enthusiastic about last year’s Vote Vans, which took Mason students residing on campus to nearby voting locations to cast their ballots in the presidential election. This year, the purpose of the trip would be to vote for the new Virginia governor, whose policies and decisions have direct effects on Mason, a public university.

Dasgupta eventually hopes to enroll in law school to study patent law. King is already considering signing up for Teach for America and hopes to eventually enter graduate school.

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