Two new members who joined Tempe City Council in July plan to address issues that impact ASU students like transportation and climate change.
Councilmembers Arlene Chin and Berdetta Hodge will be serving city council terms until 2026. With a large percentage of the city's population being ASU students that live on campus, many of the issues addressed by the council directly affect college students.
Chin and Hodge are both ASU graduates who understand the importance of Tempe's campus in relation to the city. Chin also works as director of scholarship advancement at the ASU Foundation.
Hodge spoke about her plans to increase the amount of college-aged constituents in Tempe who choose to pursue higher education because of her work on the Tempe Union High School Governing Board.
"I’m a big supporter of College Connect," Hodge said, "I want to get more high school students involved in learning about the process of going to a university, especially those like ASU. It's one of my biggest focuses, so I'm working with the school district and the city to make sure we have more students from around the state going to our universities."
Increasing college enrollment isn't the only issue the new members are working on. As more Arizonans are paying attention to the climate crisis and water shortage, Tempe City Council is doing its part to assuage the concerns with action.
"I have been assigned to the Sustainable and Livable Communities council committee,
which has traditionally fostered investment in ways Tempe can focus on sustainability,
particularly in the areas of growth including multi-modal transit, green construction codes for
development and the adopted Climate Action Plan," Chin said in an emailed statement.
Dave Wells, a political science lecturer at ASU said, "I expect that they’ll both be supportive of ASU and its students. City Council has usually worked well with ASU in making sure that students have better access to early voting locations and things like that. I presume all those things will continue, and that they’ll both probably be strong advocates for things like the Orbit system, maintaining that access for students and residents in Tempe."
Chin hopes that the council will help make ASU students' experience in Tempe a good one by supporting them through policy and action.
"I hope students enjoy their experience in Tempe and that this is a community that resonates with them wherever life takes them," Chin said. "Whether they graduate and decide to live in the Valley or move to another community, I want students to feel they have a sense of belonging in Tempe."
Edited by Reagan Priest, David Rodish and Grace Copperthite.