The newest members of ASUCI’s legislative council, elected in fall quarter, are now ready to begin their terms serving students.
The main goal of the legislative council is to represent the needs of the student body. The council does this through allocation of ASUCI’s budget as well as introducing legislation during their weekly meetings.
Each member of the legislative council represents a school on campus, including the School of Social Sciences, Social Ecology, Arts, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, ICS, Humanities and Engineering. The council also consists of two ‘at-large’ representatives who represent the entire student body, rather than for students of specific majors.
The newest legislative council members include At-Large representatives Jared Wigginton and Emily Wilkinson, Arts representative Jerry Truong, Biological Sciences representative Dwetta Santos, Engineering representative Roxann Belle, Physical Sciences representative James Min Seok Kim and Social Science representative Rosa Erandi Zamora. Other members are elected during spring elections.
Although members of the council come from different majors, they share some very similar goals and concerns.
Wigginton, a third-year mathematics major, is concerned with the high costs associated with attending college.
‘I want to halt the tuition hikes and make college more affordable for students,’ Wigginton said.
One solution to alleviate the situation is to lower textbook prices by putting pressure on the publishers.
‘We need to make them realize that there are a lot of ways to publish books at a cheaper price,’ Wigginton said. ‘They can look at alternatives such as paperback books as well as online books.’
Belle, a third-year civil engineering major and a transfer student, is enthusiastic about having a positive impact on students’ financial situations. She agreed with Wigginton’s concern over tuition and book expenses.
‘Book prices have always been a complaint in engineering,’ Belle said. ‘It is a huge financial burden for a lot of the students.’
Another concern of the legislative council members is the lack of school spirit around campus.
‘Getting the student body involved is challenging, but possible,’ said Wilkinson, a fourth-year social ecology major. ‘Good publicity is key to getting the word out, but we need to make sure we are supporting student involvement and engaging students in educational and cultural activities.’
Wilkinson previously held the Social Ecology representative position two years ago and decided to come back for a second term and speak out for the students.
Other members, such as Wigginton, also feel the need to get students more involved around campus.
‘In order to increase school spirit, there needs to be a common cause,’ Wigginton said. ‘We need to work together to achieve goals that affect us all. They do not have to be political causes. They can also be causes such as relief for tsunami victims that connect us as humans.’
Besides sharing some common beliefs, the representatives also have individual goals.
Wilkinson believes that ASUCI’s Web site can bring an immense amount of convenience to the students.
‘I am interested in making more services available through the ASUCI Web site, such as student housing listings and a virtual market where students can sell items such as textbooks to one another,’ Wilkinson said.
Wigginton also has some goals of his own.
‘I want to make ASUCI more fiscally efficient,’ he said.
With his power to pass or deny the ASUCI budget, Wigginton plans on improving the budget by cutting frivolous expenditures and allocating more funds to campus organizations.
‘I believe that supporting student organizations is supporting student beliefs and voices,’ Wigginton added.
All representatives hold office hours during the week and their hours are available at the ASUCI office. Student comments and concerns are not only welcomed but also encouraged by the representatives.
‘I will be available to any students through direct contact during my office hours and welcome any suggestions of ways in which we can improve UCI,’ Wilkinson said.
Belle also encourages students to visit her with any issues they might have.
‘I want everyone to know that you as a person can make a difference,’ Belle said.