I’ve found that when talking with students, a lot of them don’t know that ASASUD is the Downtown campus student government. As a senator, I naturally proceed to tell about our role as an advocate for students and about the services we offer. Extended library hours during finals, free CPR certification and free copies of the New York Times are just a few of them.
Throughout this school year, a healthy dialog about our campus student government has taken shape and in turn has prompted more students to be aware of the issues concerning them. No matter the issue, whether it be tuition increases, Maroon and Gold Dollar options or the visibility of student government, students have something to say about each of them.
As ASASUD’s newly elected president and senators prepare to take office, downtown students must continue talking about the issues important to them and pushing their student government to make sure their voice is heard.
ASASUD should be seen as an invaluable resource to students and a relentless fighter on behalf of students’ rights and issues. It must continue to hold ASU administration accountable while working cooperatively with them to ensure the needs of students are always being met.
ASASUD is entering its third year of operation. Anyone watching this year saw the complexities inherent in being such a young organization. Through this election cycle we quickly learned that our election code needs a total overhaul. Major strides must be taken to ensure that the code is no longer seen as a potential impediment for students to run for office.
And because ASASUD is so young, it is important that changes are made until we get it right. That includes necessary changes to our constitution and bylaws.
While ASASUD is young, there has never been a more important time than now for our student government to step up and tackle the issues important to students head on. The training wheels are off. There can be no more excuses for ASASUD not being taken seriously, or not confronting the issues important to this campus.
Phoenix is currently undergoing a renaissance and the downtown student government must take an active role in our city’s rebirth and bridging the gap between the ASU Downtown campus and our city’s businesses and citizens.
To add on, ASASUD must find new ways to connect to our large commuter population and re-brand itself so that students are even aware of its existence.
For ASASUD to truly be a legitimate advocate for students next year, the incoming officers must be ready for the job ahead. That means understanding the importance of students having a government, but more importantly, having a voice. Serving on behalf of students is a privilege and is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
ASASUD is charged by its constitution to enhance the quality of student life so that students can “achieve greater academic and personal success.” Incoming officers who aren’t ready to put in the long hours or truly take the initiative to be great leaders for their constituents and to promote that success will be useless figureheads who do nothing to promote the growth of ASASUD or the ASU Downtown campus.
The Downtown campus is growing at a rapid rate, and everyone is watching. As we look forward to next year, ASASUD would do itself some good by grabbing hold of that momentum. Our student body, which is constantly seeking to immerse itself in the urban offerings of our campus and the greater downtown Phoenix community, will benefit greatly from a student government willing to help them do just that.
Contact the writer at email@example.com
Daiyaan Colbert, an urban and metropolitan studies student, was a freshman class senator for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Editor’s note: Associated Students of Arizona State University Downtown (ASASUD) is anticipated to change its name to Undergraduate Student Government Downtown (USG-D) next year.