February 11, 2009
By Greta Myers
Public Affairs Reporter
Being political may take some practice for the new Student Senator of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Jeff Long. The Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI) student watches both CNN and Fox news, but said, “I’m not particular to either one. I try to look at both aspects.” And although he has never run for office before, Long decided to try for the position after Student Life Director, Cynthia Thompson described the job to him.
“It seemed like a great way to become involved,” he said, “Not just lip service for a resume, but a way to make a positive change.”
During the Student Government Association’s January 25 meeting, Long was appointed as Bret Tate’s replacement.
Long, who is studying Interpersonal Communication and Organizational Systems, said he favors a system where students in his college can voice their concerns to him directly, that is, in class or in the hallways, or perhaps through a blog set up on the SGA’s webpage.
In addition to his GPSI work, Long works part-time for the Department of Child Support and Enforcement, a state agency within Healthcare and Family Services. He graduated with a Communication degree from Bradley University and said he would like to eventually get his doctorate and teach college students.
As for his approach to being a student senator, Long said he plans on leading by example. “I am available anytime, if students have a problem I’d be glad to talk to them about it and try to come up with a solution.”
SGA President, Ashley Rook, said that Long is off to a good start. “He has contributed several great ideas already and works well with his fellow senators,” Rook said.
Long said that the rising prices of textbooks is an issue that is significant to him. Long said he will try to talk with professors to see if anything can be done to bring prices down. “I think text book prices are just ridiculous,” Long said, “Just because a paragraph changes, do we really need to buy a new book?”
But in some ways, Long said, the idea of caring about only select issues is beside the point: “If it’s important to the student, it’s important to me.”