I am writing this week to offer an opportunity for students to get involved in Associated Students and make a difference in their community, something some may think sounds like an oxymoron. It is however the truth that A.S. is comprised of almost 30 different boards and committees, each of which provides its own network of resources and services related to a specific field.
As Leg Council members, part of our job is to work with three different boards or committees, as well as hold office hours, attend student groups’ events and meetings, represent the students at community meetings and work with students to create meaningful legislation. Oh, did I mention we have Leg Council meetings every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Flying A room in the UCen? As you can see, there is much more to student government here on campus than one Leg meeting per week. One of the top goals we set for this year was to improve relations between students and the surrounding community, most importantly the families with whom we share this lovely seaside abode.
If you’re one of the typical I.V. residents who doesn’t show their face during the daylight hours, you may not have noticed the occasional child playing randomly on a street corner, or in one of our so-called parks. But as the sun gently falls into the sea and the city of I.V. transforms into a chaotic version of “Animal House,” local children run for cover. Think for a moment about the neighborhood where you grew up, then consider for a moment growing up in a town where crazy, recently-emancipated teenagers flood the streets in a drunken daze every weekend without fail. What kind of skewed perspective would this give you on the world?
Luckily, there is something the good-hearted citizens of the unincorporated community of Isla Vista can do to make a difference in the lives of these children. If you care about the future of our messed-up world, you are qualified! Emily Dubin and I are the coordinators of the Family Literacy Program, a program run through Community Affairs Board to reach local children, promote literacy and prove that not all college students are freaks.
All you have to do is read to a child for one to two hours per week and be a good role model for them. It is a very small time commitment but it has the potential to change a life forever. We can only change the world one step at a time, and it takes everyone’s help. To get involved, come to one of our New Tutor Training Sessions on Nov. 8 at 3 or 5 p.m. They are held in the Community Affairs Board office above Associated Students, in the new wing of the UCen, room 2523. If you have any questions please call 893-4296 or e-mail Emily and I at .
The program is off to an excellent start this year, with almost 75 tutors already servicing 53 families. This is almost an all-time record, but there are still 26 children with no one to read to them and this number is growing every day. We offer all the resources and all the training; all we ask of you is your time.
The Family Literacy Program is just one of hundreds of ways you can get involved in Associated Students. For more information about what A.S. has to offer, stop by our office or call us at 893-2566. We love to talk to people! Our office hours are a resource designed for us to be there for you.
Dan Edgar is an A.S. off-campus representative.