USGD report calls University Boards and Committees 'nonfunctional'

USGD released the results of an internal review Friday, calling for action to fix severe communication issues with University Boards and Committees

Undergraduate Student Government Downtown conducted an internal review at the end of last year that found a nearly defunct system of University Boards and Committees (UBCs), according to a report released Friday.

The report, released by the the External Affairs Committee (EAC), surveyed 12 Downtown Campus UBC representatives. Of the 12, ten responded, and all but one provided negative feedback.

UBCs oversee various student and faculty related issues. Boards include the Sun Devil Fitness BoardStudent Media Advisory Board and the Admissions Appeal Committee. Each board is made up of faculty members and representatives from each campus, who apply and are nominated by the presidents of each campus.

The issues outlined in the document mostly included lack of communication between members of the boards and administrators overseeing them.

According to the report, there was no communication from members of USGD or officials throughout the semester, and there were several late meeting reminders and canceled meetings. Other students never heard back after applying for certain boards. 

USGD president Jackson Dangremond said these UBC members are expected to be in regular contact with USG members.

He also said the problems were ongoing and compounded lots of issues.

“This is something that was worked on by my predecessors last year, and was brought up over the course of the year,” Dangermond said. “It really hit a critical mass at the time of this report.”

Dangremond said issues had been brought up multiple times to one of the faculty members who oversees these boards, Dan Ashlock, who was not immediately available for comment.

“Trying to apply and not hearing back, and failure to receive reminders of meetings and cancellations are the responsibility of Dan,” Dangremond said.

He also stressed that he was looking forward to collaborating on solutions, and not just "calling people out."

“We are not just calling those who may be responsible out, we want to to create a partnership moving forward to address these issues,” Dangremond said.

Dangremond said that they wanted to integrate UBCs into USGD websites, and solidify a requirement of them reporting to senate meetings monthly.

“We are discussing adding them to our websites and changing our legislation to reflect the increased partnership in university-wide discussions between the UBC members and the locality of the downtown student government,” Dangremond said.

Cronkite Senator Bryce Newberry, the chairman of the EAC, said that one of the solutions supported by the senate was to absorb the responsibility of communications into USGD itself. 

“A solution that our senate is supportive of is to have that responsibility transferred (from the University) to the president of each campus USG,” Newberry said. “The issues these boards are discussing are issues that directly impact each location.”

Jimmy Arwood, the vice president of policy for USGD, said that this issue fits into the student government's larger goal of focusing on local student issues over legislative advocacy. 

“Students have way more concerns with university affairs than perhaps legislative affairs,” Arwood said. “So we are looking to kind of take a step back from our advocacy work at the capitol and solve some of the student issues here at the local level.”

The USGD report ends by calling for senate action to solve the issues.

“UBCs are nonfunctional and have been for some time,” the report said. “The Undergraduate Student Government Downtown External Affairs Committee recommends expedient action and a transfer of UBC responsibilities to a more effective, efficient system and/or leader.“


Reach the reporter at isaac.windes@asu.edu or follow @isaacwindeschef on Twitter.

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