Downtown student government senate discusses state issues

Friday's Undergraduate Student Government Downtown meeting focused on funding and statewide issues, following two weeks marked by trips to the state capitol and the Arizona Board of Regents' annual meeting at ASU.

USGD President Joseph Grossman reflected on time he spent talking to legislators at the capitol. The University is changing from a lockstep university, where every campus is the same, to each campus developing an individual presence, he said.

Grossman also touched on the “2020 Vision,” a strategic plan implemented by ABOR three years ago. The plan was the focus of a Friday board meeting at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

It includes the mission to have more people graduate from college so Arizona can have a stronger work force. Grossman said a college education can help the economy, but it may be just “passing the buck.”

He also spoke about the state Medicaid expansion supported by Gov. Jan Brewer and offered other USGD members the opportunity to go to the capitol.

The USGD Senate approved new election codes, including a provision that requires candidates for USGD offices to take six or more credit hours in the semester.

The Downtown campus will host an election debate on March 26 and voting on April 4.

College of Public Programs Sen. Cecilio Porras was voted into the universal committee, Cronkite school Sen. Ashley Brevik is now a part of the downtown Phoenix campus committee, and Barrett, the Honors College Sen. Travis Arbon was assigned to the government operations committee.

“I look forward to helping fix issues on the downtown Phoenix campus,” Brevik said.

The Senate approved $456.15 for the Parks and Recreation Management program to use for a bowling event and $550 for Downtown Alive!'s "App Crawl" walk around restaurants.

It also approved $361 for the Travel and Tourism Student Association to use for gift cups for speakers.

The senators are also waiting to hear from college deans to push a new online textbook pledge.

The senators are working on creating a workshop teaching students to use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to combat the common lack of knowledge about following up on the FAFSA form.

A food truck fiesta will take place March 7, and senators are planning a World Festival, which will also include food trucks in addition to performances from people of many different cultures.

The committee is also trying to push a “Locavore challenge,” which provides special deals for students at local food vendors. If the students save their receipts, they will earn a prize for consuming the local food.

Reach the reporter at or follow her @lex_zepplin

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