LETTER TO THE EDITOR: University Boards and Committees need reform

Approved student applicants and passions are turned away, and the administration will not respond

Nathan Brodie is an master of social work student with a policy, administration and community focus. He spent 2015-16 as director of University affairs with the Undergraduate Student Government.

This letter to the editor was written in response to an article published by The State Press, "USGD report calls University Boards and Committees 'nonfunctional,'" on Feb. 20, 2017. 

Change is needed. Student voices are backlogged. Every student concern is valid — something which I have heard directly from President Crow. What will it take? How many students, passionate about ASU, need to be turned away? I spent an entire year learning about, raising awareness for and trying to fill positions within University Boards and Committees — this is my experience.

University Boards and Committees are designed to bring administration and students together. Once positions are filled, monthly meetings bring the two sides together to discuss the experiences of students, the institution and everything in between. Students may have a passion for health and wellness, MLK parades, international affairs, transportation or 15 other seats at the Downtown campus alone. My time with USGD and UBCs felt like I was talking to a wall. I conducted dozens of student interviews, sent dozens of emails to administrators appointing students — and I can count on one hand the number of students that were appointed.

The lack of student appointments wasn’t for lack of trying. The backlog of appointees wasn’t due incomplete student paperwork — the reason students weren’t seated with administrators stemmed from Dan Ashlock, director of student engagement.

Escalating the issue to Dr. Ronald Briggs, associate dean of students, yielded nothing. I took the opportunity at a community event to speak with Dr. James Rund, senior vice president for ASU Educational Outreach and Student Services. He assured me that there was an easy and timely solution, yet the issue still persists to this day.

What agreement can we come to that ensures the next administration doesn’t have the same barriers? What will it take for ASU to care about these appointments? Do Dan Ashlock, Dr. Rund, and President Crow really care about students and this great opportunity? Through my experience, they don’t.

Reach the contributor at nbrodie@asu.edu or follow @nathanbrodie on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this letter to the editor are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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