President Jackson Dangremond begins second term with USGD

Dangremond and his staff stressed transparency and their plan to be more involved with students

Undergraduate Student Government Downtown is in a unique position this year. Unlike ASU's other student governments, which each have new administrations, downtown students re-elected the incumbent President Jackson Dangremond to lead the campus for a second year.

The year of experience will hopefully lead to a more transparent student government, the administration said. Both Vice Presidents, the Chief of Staff and President Dangremond emphasized and re-emphasized that word — transparency — as a key focus in interviews with The State Press

“Well, as always we want to make sure students are informed of everything that’s going on around them at every level,” Ryan Leith, vice president of policy, said. 

Last year was rocky for USGD — it saw the Associated Students of ASU Supreme Court disallow informal senate meetings, a VP of Services charged with “nonfeasance” and a senate body that had to vote on impeaching the outgoing VP.

Read More: ASASU Supreme Court strikes down policy allowing informal Senate meetings

“I think the biggest thing is that the students sometimes get confused as to what it is that we actually do,” Chief of Staff Tyler Tobyne said. “We want to be as 100 percent transparent as possible. So making sure that ... we are holding any level of staff accountable, as well as being 100 percent transparent with the student body.”

Tobyne recognizes the responsibility to hold the executives accountable for their work. Vice President of Services Jade Yeban acknowledged in the name of transparency that herself, Leith and Dangremond are all good friends outside of USGD. Tobyne knows he will have to work to not let their friendships get in the way of their jobs or vice versa.

Beyond transparency, all four executives have specific goals they'd like to accomplish in the little time they have. 

Yeban pointed to the newly-rebranded “Grocery Cart” service that started during the first full week of the school year. The program will shuttle students to grocery stores during the week, on Wednesday evenings and Sundays afternoons. Dangremond said to expect tote bags with vegetable puns of his own creation in the near future. 

Many students will also look to USGD to represent them on state and national policy issues.

Leith said the executives will have to explain clearly President Donald Trump's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, even as it goes even beyond their level of leadership at ASU. 

Read More: President Trump rescinds DACA program

He said that "it’s horrible that it affects so many students at our campus specifically.

"We're not really sure how that's going to go at our level, and I think we’ll be working very closely with ASU administration to make sure all of our students feel safe and secure on campus," Leith said.

Dangremond identified time as his biggest obstacle. He said that the last year taught how little time he has to affect his policies.

Over his years in USG, Dangremond has been working to give students access to tickets to University sporting events online. This year, he finally accomplished that goal.

“The inception of online ticketing began with the creation of the athletics fee document and the conversations that were had by my predecessors … saying that there was an express need from the student body to have accessibility to their online tickets,” Dangremond said. “We really wanted to find a way where we could sort of centralize … and allow students to have the same experience in getting their online tickets.”

The service, provided by Ticketmaster, led to one of the first sold-out student sections at a football game in years, Dangremond said.

Leadership also stressed that students should get involved on campus and with the organizations that interest them. 

“Find something that you’re really passionate about and love doing,” Yeban said. “While you get to add something to your resume, you’re also making friends, you’re also connecting and you feel like you belong on a place on campus.”

The USGD administration encouraged students to visit and get to know the leadership, an effort they are taking up themselves this semester.

“I’m living back on campus again, so I’m constantly tuned in to essentially everything that’s happening on the Downtown Phoenix campus,” Dangremond said. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @mitchellatencio on Twitter.

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