Associated Students will host a forum Wednesday evening where students can voice their concerns and create a list of five goals they would like their student government to pursue this school year.
The first ever A.S. Congress is scheduled to take place in Corwin Pavilion from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Students have been asked to submit a list of goals via e-mail to A.S., and attendees of the event will vote on the top five items, which will later be presented to Legislative Council. A.S. President Cervin Morris said the purpose of the event is to allow for more student input to the organization.
“It’s letting students feel like they have a voice in their student government,” Morris said.
A.S. Flack Intern Nina Tringali, the event’s coordinator, said Leg Council would work on how to implement the five goals once students decide what they are.
“[Leg Council is] going to try to come up with a strategic plan or goal [and] maybe lobby the university or Academic Senate,” she said.
This year’s meeting is the first of its kind, and Tringali said she hopes attendance will grow if the event is continued in future years.
Morris said A.S. has considered holding an event like the congress for some time.
“It’s been thought about in the past and we said, ‘Let’s give it a try,'” he said.
So far, the event has received about 50 submissions, and 80 people have said they plan to attend the congress, Tringali said. Many of the suggestions asked for more funding for events hosted by student groups, while other ideas focused on aspects of student life.
“Some of them were about having more alternative events as opposed to partying in I.V.,” Tringali said.
Other suggested goals include increasing visibility of A.S. events, improving bicycle safety, educating freshmen about the Isla Vista Foot Patrol, lowering the cost of student fees, giving students more input in I.V. planning and increasing access for disabled students.
One submission that surprised some A.S. members suggested the organization should work to “curtail minority overrepresentation in student government” because the actual number of minority students on campus is much smaller.
Morris said that although the submission offended him, it would be left in the pool of suggestions for discussion.
“We didn’t take that out because A.S. is open to everyone,” he said. “And if you feel that A.S. has too much minority representation, then just come get involved.”
A.S. is trying to be democratic about the submission process, Tringali said.
“I haven’t kicked off any of the other goals,” she said.
A.S. is targeting all students on campus, not just those who belong to student organizations, Tringali said. E-mail messages were sent to student organizations through the Office of Student Life, different listservs on campus and through the OSL’s student mentor program. A.S. has also visited organizations such as the Residence Halls Association and different environmental clubs, trying to inform students about the event, she said.
Morris said that, although the congress is open to all students and some of the ideas submitted have been good, others might not be feasible.
“But that’s up to students to decide,” he said.
Students interested in submitting ideas for the A.S. Congress can e-mail them to Tringali at email@example.com.