New ASUCI Staff Plans Academic Year
Executive officers of Associated Students of UC Irvine discussed their plans for the 2008-09 school year, particularly emphasizing election procedures, at a retreat held Saturday, May 17.
ASUCI Executive President Megan Braun plans to create a committee to examine the elections code in order to iron out any potential problems.
“We don’t feel that some of the voting tactics that have been employed in the past have really been in the best interest of the students,” Braun said.
Although it may sound simple, regulating the campaign process is difficult due to a lack of formal polling stations, since students use computers with Internet access to vote. The officers predict a tightening of the existing elections codeand a reinforcement of the rules against dormitory and library campaigning.
The recently elected ASUCI leaders also proposed alterations to the requirements that candidates must meet prior to running for office. In the past, candidates for ASUCI executive offices were required to meet with the elections commissioner prior to initiating their campaigns. However, these meetings are now optional, which may account for some campaign mistakes this year. The board encourages that this former requirement be made mandatory once again to be clear to all candidates.
ASUCI executive officers may also alter their constitution, as it has not been amended in several years. However, this has proven to be difficult.
“Part of the reason … that it’s very hard to amend the constitution [is] because the student body has to vote,” Braun said. Elections process aside, the new ASUCI officers also shared their individual plans for UCI’s student population. Associated Students Director Sandy Winslow has only positive feedback on the topic.
“The student body should be pleased to know that they will be represented by a strong team of five experienced and passionate executive officers next year. … [They are] going to see a lot of positive growth in ASUCI in the 2008-09 school year,” Winslow said.
In addition to the executive officers’ plans to be more accountable to one another, they hope to host a larger ASUCI-exclusive retreat. This retreat would set concrete goals and plans for the following year, as well as focus on team-building and time and resource management in order to make ASUCI function in a more cohesive manner. ASUCI also plans to create a commissioner designated to decide what the campus can do to promote sustainability.
Returning Executive Vice President Kyle Olney discussed expanding Lobby Corps, a program that teaches lobbying techniques and plans trips to Washington, D.C. to lobby the U.S. government. Olney’s plans also include ensuring that governing boards have more opportunities for input, as well.
Improving student media was discussed as the new ASUCI executive board works toward making their student government more interactive. This includes revamping the ASUCI Web site, and improving outreach.
“The average student should be able to click a link and see exactly what ASUCI is doing,” Braun said.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Oracio Sanchez’s plans focus on bringing to campus more renowned speakers, such as Bill Nye, as well as fostering debate by creating a speech class. Sanchez also plans to work on making the area more aesthetically pleasing in order to quell student discontent.
Tiffany Go, vice president of Student Services, plans to increase student involvement throughout the next year.
“I want to provide the ultimate college experience for UCI students,” Go said.
Kyle Holmes, returning Vice President of Administrative Affairs, plans to expand UCItems beyond its reputed purpose of the campus “Greek store.” Furthermore, Holmes plans to improve advertising for student legal clinics. This will allow students to have a chance to meet with attorneys and receive free legal advice, Holmes said.
Additionally, Braun plans to make herself as accessible by having the president’s roundtable meet twice per quarter, and by personally funding quarterly club fairs for individuals interested in becoming more involved.