ASU President Michael Crow’s New American University model will take center stage this year for the USGD Executive Board as it plans to push new initiatives to unite the university, said Downtown President Joseph Grossman.
A priority this year will be Sun Devil Coalition – an attempt to bring together clubs, organizations and students across all four campuses to bolster spirit, pride and tradition in the university.
“It’s basically just getting everyone to collaborate to make these events huge, make them fun and improve students’ experience on all campuses,” Vice President of Services Leighana Moldrem said. “We want them to feel like they are a part of something bigger than they are.”
Grossman, the first USGD president elected to a second year-long term, was heavily involved in the creation of Sun Devil Coalition last year, USG Tempe President Mark Naufel said.
“Joe pretty much helped start Sun Devil Coalition,” Naufel said. “He created the entire structure. It’s thanks to Joe’s persistence last year that we have events like Devils on Mill.”
Devils on Mill is a tailgating event on Mill Avenue before football games that began Thursday. Grossman said he hopes it becomes an ASU tradition.
Sun Devil Coalition is also responsible for a new voucher system for football games that allows students from all four campuses an equal opportunity to get tickets.
Before the game, students can print out online vouchers and present them at specified locations to get wristbands.
“Tempe students can walk across the street to get their tickets, and we need to make that an equitable service for all campuses,” Grossman said.
The coalition is also working on an app similar to FourSquare that is expected to be released in September. The app would allow students to check in at ASU events and earn points that could be put toward prizes.
At the Downtown level, Grossman is looking to implement a textbook pledge for teachers this semester, something he worked on last year and ran on during the election. Instructors would pledge to use a textbook for a fixed period of time, which, according to Grossman, would allow the bookstore to charge students less and pay more when buying back the book at the end of the semester.
USGD is also working to connect students not only to the campuses, but also to their student leaders and elected officials in Phoenix.
The Vice President of Services Moldrem said she would like to see Downtown campus students interacting more with USGD this year. One of her goals is to make the administration more recognizable on campus.
“The better people know who we are, the easier it’s going to be for them to come up to us and tell us about an event or issue,” Moldrem said. “Making ourselves more available to them will allow us to serve them better.”
Vice President of Policy David Bakardjiev said one of his focuses this year is increasing voter registration on the Downtown campus. In just the first week of classes, more than 100 students on the campus registered, according to Rebecca Propes, an ASU field organizer for the Arizona Students’ Association.
USGD will also try to better connect students to Crow and improve attendance at the Downtown forums. Some ideas include specific themes, a panel of speakers and better event advertising.
“It’ll give students a better way to interact with Dr. Crow,” Grossman said. “We have him come out four times, we want to better utilize his time.”
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