Current, past USGD leadership split on success of current administration

An end of the year review of USGD's proposals shows it has fulfilled some goals and not others

Before the year ends and new students fill seats for the upcoming fall semester, Undergraduate Student Government Downtown leaders disagree on the success the current administration has had fulfilling its proposals.

USG as a whole has accomplished several achievements over the past year and some can be seen on each of the four ASU campuses. The Tempe campus was able to bring in a polling location its students and, more recently, USG has helped push for more activism through Sexual Assault Awareness month.

Jackson Dangremond, president of USGD, said USG had a very active year in effectively bringing positive change for students.

Dangremond said one of their biggest accomplishments on a university scale was being able to bring in a polling location for students in Tempe to vote in the November election. He also said USG helped establish an international partnership with the University of New South Wales in Australia and King's College in London.

“A lot of stuff behind the scenes is us spending hours researching bills and talking with legislators,” Dangremond said. “We really make sure that we are disseminating all the information taking place at a state level and back down to students. We do our part to find and read legislation that impacts our students.”

He said this past year, USG has made sure to support bills to protect student journalists and have fought against legislation that would make it harder for on-campus students to participate in the election process. 

Former Vice President of Policy Ryan Boyd, a senior in public policy and public service, said that although USG has made achievements throughout the past year, overall it has been a mix of good and bad.

“The situation is that we have a lot of things that people said they were going to do that did not work out exactly,” Boyd said. “The idea of a statewide lobbying day fell through, nothing happened on that.’

Boyd said there were a lot of proposed plans that did not go anywhere and added that there's an empty student regent seat to represent ASU.

“I think the student government’s greatest failure this year is the fact that we do not have a student regents elective from ASU yet,” Boyd said. “Back in December, the student regent selection process was so quiet that we only had seven students apply for the most important student government position in the state.”

Boyd said that though there has been progress in certain areas, USG missed the mark in others. For example, Boyd said, USG faltered on tuition increases.

“On the tuition front, we did nothing,” Boyd said. “It’s a lack of real effort on that kind of issue. There is a lot of pressure from the admin to trust them, but we have to question is that assumption valid.”

Boyd said USG did not support SB 1061, a bill that would put a cap on tuition for public universities in Arizona.

Katelyn Barajas, an exercise and wellness freshman, said she thinks USGD is not given enough credit for its efforts on campus.

“I feel like events and things put together for students are recognized,” Barajas said. “I would say some things USG does are under appreciated by students.

Barajas said USGD has offered a lot of services and programs, like the Sun Devil Express, on campus to make things easier on students.

"The Sun Devil Express is a great way to help provide for student that live on campus," Barajas said. "It is a lot easier than paying for an Uber to go to the grocery store."

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