ASUU Board Answers Olympic Questions

ASUU wants you to be involved, informed and excited about the Olympics.

For these reasons the Associated Students of the University of Utah established an Olympic Activities Board to help students prepare for the Games.

“This is not a typical year for ASUU,” said Mike Nelson, student body vice president. “A lot of people have said the U is hosting the Olympics. The student body really needed to be aware.”

Last semester the board sponsored an Olympic kickoff event with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee to inform students about Games time employment and volunteer opportunities.

About 1,000 students attended the kickoff event in September, according to the estimates of Olympic organizers. Nelson estimates that 600 students volunteered for the Games that day.

The board also held four information sessions last semester to answer the questions and concerns of students about what will happen on campus when the Olympics come to town. The sessions specifically focused on parking, Games-time employment, volunteer opportunities and key dates. The information sessions were poorly attended attracting only a handful of students.

The board plans to hold more information sessions this semester, in hopes that more students will search for information as the Olympics near and organizers make changes to the campus.

“The upcoming ones will just be a forum, if they want to ask any questions about things that remain,” said Kevin Laska, the director of the Olympic Activities Board.

Laska anticipates parking and changes to the academic calendar as subjects for discussion during these forums.

“Since it’s getting closer to the Olympics, [students] may be getting a little more curious as to how it’s going to affect them,” Laska said.

The board has also planned a party during the Opening Ceremony. This event is still in the planning stages, and from 100 to 150 students will participate. It will be a ticketed event, and the tickets will cost about $10. The ticket price will cover the cost of the food, which Chartwells dining services will provide. ASUU will host the event in the upper levels of the Union so students can watch the fireworks from the windows. Students can also watch the ceremonies from televisions.

“I just think it’s a fun opportunity for students to kind of be involved,” Laska said. “[Students] can say ‘I was actually on campus when it happened.'”

ASUU will sell tickets for this event in January.

The board is also working on a Web site which will include information on what happens during the Olympics in Salt Lake City, links to opportunities for students and important dates. Laska hopes to have this Web site up sometime next week.

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