ASUU seeks students to serve on committees

In the spring, the members of the Committee on Student Affairs had to make a decision that arguably may have decided the fate of the 2006 student government elections.

Should they uphold the Associated Students of the University of Utah Supreme Court ruling and remove Jake Kirkham, current ASUU president, and the other BLOC Party presidential candidates from the ballot for exceeding their campaign spending cap, or should they allow them to stay on the ballot and impose a less harsh punishment?

It sounds like the kind of judgment only top administrators could make, but three students had a say in the decision.

The committee was made up of several administrators and students who came up with a less harsh punishment. Kirkham and the other candidates were allowed to stay on the ballot, and the BLOC Party swept the elections four days later.

The Committee on Student Affairs is one of 22 university committees for which ASUU is currently accepting student applications. The committees help make decisions on a variety of areas on campus, from athletics to the University Bookstore. One student committee even hears parking violation appeals.

Lauren Mecham, director of academic affairs for ASUU, said the outcome of the election controversy is an example of the strong influence that an average student can have on campus.

“Students can actually have a big impact on things,” she said. “The administration at the U really values student impact on activities.”

Administrators and faculty also serve on the committees with students, which Mecham said provides a great opportunity for students to make connections on campus.

“It’s a good way for students to see the background of what goes on at the U,” she said.

Cameron Beech, spokesman for Kirkham, said the committees are a good alternative for students who don’t have enough time to get involved in ASUU, because the committees generally meet only a few times a semester.

ASUU is accepting committee applications through Aug. 11. Applications are available in the ASUU office, located in Union room 234.