Nominations for boards of directors and committees offer the opportunity to amplify the voice of students
Student committees create change on campus in collaboration with the Council of Presidents and other groups
Nominations for boards and committees through ASU Student Associates and its Council of Presidents opened in early August and closed earlier this week. Boards and committees focus on family resources, game day operations, disability advocacy and awareness, technology, sustainability and more.
Renuka Vemuri, president of the Undergraduate Student Government Downtown and medical student, said boards and committees are a good starting point for campus participation.
“Students aren’t necessarily excited to join them, but they should be because there is so much they can do,” said Vemuri. “It’s a place where they can really connect with people who can make the changes they want to see.”
Applications were open for all seats on the 13 student councils and committees, each with a unique advocacy point, number of members, and meeting schedule. They open each year to undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of their major, year of study or interests.
The committees “start from scratch every year,” providing members with a clean slate for their ideas, Vemuri said. Previous committee members have described this process as a blessing and a curse, offering new ways to effect change but creating obstacles for plans developed in previous years.
There was a separate application for those who wanted to join the University Hearing Board, an organization that deals with students who have been “suspended or expelled from ASU for violating the student code of conduct.”
“You have to know a lot more to be part of the university hearing panel, you have to take more specialized training,” Vemuri said.
Vemuri mentioned that USG members have used social media events and platforms to encourage students to register.
Student councils and committees act as a “feedback loop” – a voice for students who wish to share ideas about what should change on campus. These ideas are organized into proposals and then brought through a process where they are ultimately shared with ASASU and the Council of Presidents.
Former Sustainability Awareness and Awareness Council co-chair Jordan King said the interdependence of boards and committees is imperative to making campus what students want it to be.
“As far as the need to implement (ideas and action plans), I think it was a bit difficult because there are so many factors and moving parts to consider,” said King, a student. graduate studying sustainability. “It was really helpful to be able to see how these different people or decision-making bodies were connected and to understand how we go about identifying certain areas to try to create change.”
According to Katie Davis, this year’s academic director of student affairs and a junior who studies business data analysis, boards and committees fill out forms that they then turn into a monthly report for the Council of Presidents. Directors of student affairs act as a “liaison” connecting student councils and committees with the Council of Presidents, Davis said.
Each committee and council is chaired by student co-chairs and academic advisors. Both roles help committee members filter ideas, provide resources, and provide context if they have been on the board before.
“There is a great leadership experience, but also a great collaboration that has helped us to solve some of the issues a little easier than if we were to do it alone,” King said.
In addition, USG members will participate in board and committee meetings to provide input if they have plans related to committee goals.
“We worked as a collective to discuss the different issues that we wanted to address and bring to the various Presidents of each of the campuses, as well as the Senate Board of Trustees,” said Kylie Vacala, a former student of the ASU which was part of Sustainability Advocacy and Outreach Council and USG Tempe. “We really use our leaders on campus.”
Several changes have been made over the years using this process. These include water bottle filling stations, an updated no-smoking rule, and carpooling locations. In addition, the construction of the student pavilion on the Tempe campus and the student section of Sun Devil Stadium is a result of this collaboration, USG and committee members said.
Other than recommendations from councilors and former committee members, there is currently no way to pass information from one group of committee members to another from year to year. Therefore, implementing substantial change can be a long process requiring years of coordination.
However, working together on committees and with other bodies – especially if boards are working together on a project – has led to many accomplishments, said Kendon Jung, Zero Waste Program Manager, Advisor to Sustainability Advocacy and Awareness Board and doctoral student. studies design, environment and the arts.
“A big success with counseling is seeing how students grow and evolve as decision makers,” Jung said. “I’m so proud of them at the end of the year when they present their recommendations; these are such high quality things and how (they) managed (themselves) to do it is just phenomenal. “
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