Undergraduate Student Government Preview
Undergraduate Student Government presidents have been busy over the summer working on new policies and projects they want to implement during the fall semester.
A variety of ideas were created during council of presidents meetings over the summer, which include raising voter participation, creating a statewide academic journal system for students and faculty and business development for the West campus.
President Ryan Olkes largest initiative this semester is the revamping of the Polytechnic campus’s library.
“One of the biggest things we are working on is re-doing the library to make it more inviting and more modern for the students,” he said.
Along with the library, Olkes said he and his staff are working to register more voters this semester than last year.
“We are hoping to double or triple our numbers from last year,” he said.
On Sept. 4-7, USGP will be hosting a Consent Week to inform students of sexual awareness and what they can do to prevent harassment and assaults.
President Howard Waldie IV said his major project for the semester will be helping to develop business in the West campus area.
“We are working on the development of a business plan for the West campus,” he said. “It would be for retail and commercial development, a theater and other entertainment venues.”
The lack of restaurant and entertainment options surrounding the West campus is something everyone notices when they visit the campus, Waldie said.
“If anyone has been out to ASU West, they can tell we are lacking some things,” he said. “It’s something we really want to have happen.”
ASU is ranked in the top 100 universities for research and the publication of University work is another item on the top of Waldie’s list for the year.
“We want to create a statewide academic journal system to compete with schools like Stanford, Harvard and Princeton,” he said. “It would be for the students and faculty doing research to publish their findings.”
President Frank Smith III has many projects he hopes to focus on this semester, including embracing spirit and tradition with students and working more closely with the Arizona Legislature.
“We want to embrace the spirit and tradition of ASU by engaging more with students this semester,” Smith said. “One thing we will be doing is 'Slice for Advice' where we will be giving out pizza for advice from students so we can hear what issues they have or what they would like to see changed or implemented.”
Transparency within government is a big issue, Smith said, and engaging voters with the government is important for the transparency to take place.
“We really want to engage more with the state legislators on policy,” he said. “One thing we really want to create is a policy app which would allow people to register to vote, read policies and have more transparency with the government."
Issues with the appropriations process have arose in the past and Smith said he wants to create an easy-to-follow video series to help students.
“We are looking to do a how-to video for different things students may need to get from USG like reserving a table for their organization, or applying for appropriations.”
Executive staff and senators had a large disconnect at the end of last year, Smith said, and he said he wants this to not be a problem anymore going forward.
“We really want to work with senators this year and we really want to fix that disconnect that we had at the end of last year,” he said.
Tempe Undergraduate Student Government President Cassidy Possehl did not return multiple media requests.
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