It has truly been an honor for me to serve the students of ASU this past year as the president of the Tempe Undergraduate Student Government. While incredibly difficult at times, making a difference for every student who attends this remarkable school has been the most rewarding blessing that I have received in my lifetime.
One of my proudest accomplishments this year is pushing the University to provide free graduate level test preparation courses. Students wishing to attend graduate school will no longer have to spend thousands of dollars to prepare to take exams such as the LSAT, MCAT and GMAT. A bachelor’s degree is often not enough in this competitive global economy, and graduate school is now more attainable for students without the burden of paying even more money for test preparation courses.
I was also honored to be the first student to ever serve on the Board of Trustees for ASU as a Student Trustee. By collaborating with generous donors, we have developed a new type of scholarship that focuses on the big picture of attending a university. Students need financial assistance in paying for tuition, but the Board of Trustees has recognized that there are other financial burdens that accompany a college education as well. Deans at each college will identify individuals who wish to attend ASU but cannot due to financial burdens such as travel expenses, and match these students with a donor. In addition to financial assistance, the donors will be mentors to the students they help.
Finally, the USG presidents at Polytechnic, West and Downtown and the Graduate and Professional Students Association President, and I helped craft a tuition plan that includes a 0 percent tuition increase for in-state students and 3 percent tuition increase for out-of-state students. I cannot think of a more stable model for tuition than this. This is a huge victory for every student at ASU and ensures that college is attainable for every motivated individual.
These initiatives, as well as many others, are just a few of the successes that USG and ASASU have had this year. However, there is always room for improvement. For next year, I encourage the Council of Presidents to collaborate more with the legislative bodies. It is crucial for the legislative bodies to take initiative in enacting positive changes in the University, and it is also important for the presidents to be held accountable.
I also recommend restructuring the boards and committees to make them more efficient and effective. Clear agendas and initiatives, set out by the Council of Presidents, will improve the overall performance of the boards of committees and guarantee positive changes across the University. Additionally, regular reports on the progress made by the committees should be presented to the Presidents and the legislative bodies. Open communication will foster a productive dialogue on the challenges facing ASU, and each board and committee can capitalize on these conversations to enact meaningful reform.
Reach the outgoing Tempe USG president at Jordan.Alexander.Davis@asu.edu
Editor’s note: The opinion presented in this column is the author’s and does not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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