Delegates Wanted for State Assembly

The Government Relations Board of the Associated Students of the University of Utah is taking applications for the Utah Intercollegiate Assembly.

The UIA is the legislative branch of the Utah Student Association, a lobbying organization that represents all 120,000 students in Utah’s higher education system. This assembly meets for three days in the spring, and the bills they pass are then sent to the Utah Council of Student-body Presidents. This council then groups the ideas and forms committees to research and lobby government bodies for the ideas presented.

The Truth in Tuition initiative, now known as the Tuition Disclosure Law, came through this organization last year.

Tuition waivers for foster children, online academic advising and a feasibility study for pooling all of the students in the state for student health insurance has also come through the UIA, according to Kelly Ann Booth, the Government Relations Board director of ASUU.

“A lot of these are concrete, meaty issues,” she said. “This organization has the potential to be not only educational, but a real-world experience.”

This is the first year that the UIA delegation has been opened up to all students in the school. In the past, the delegation was chosen from within ASUU.

“We wanted to get a more diverse delegation,” said Colby Harmon, associate director over lobbying on the Government Relations Board, who is also helping with the UIA delegation. “We want as many people from as many different colleges as we can [get]. We’re hoping to really open it up and get people excited about it.”

The Government Relations Board presented its call for delegates to the Student Senate and asked senators to look within their colleges for interested applicants.

“ASUU already has many of its interests being played out,” Harmon said. “If we get a student that maybe isn’t exactly involved with ASUU, we feel that can better represent those colleges and that academic interest.”

The U will take at least 16 delegates to the UIA. The Government Relations Board will also select 10 to 12 alternates and five staff members out of the pool of applicants. Delegates will be chosen based on their application, interview, experience and their commitment.

“We’re looking for candidates who actually want to participate and want to continue the efforts that have gone on previously,” Booth said. “We want students who feel vested in the Utah Student Association. I want people who actually care, who care about impacting their communities and the school.”

Once selected, the delegates will begin training, brainstorming legislation and learning parliamentary procedure in December.

“I feel that I can make a difference, it seems appealing to me to be able to have my voice heard,” said Matt Lyon, an economics student who is applying to the delegation. “This year they said they wanted people that were more representative of the student voice. It’s cool because it will be truly reflective of how the students feel, and not just ASUU.”

Applications are due Wednesday by 5 p.m. Interested students can pick up an application at the ASUU office or call Booth at 347 7573.

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