ASUU is a vital part of campus community, university experience

By By Jessie Fawson

By Jessie Fawson

ASUU, or the Associated Students of the University of Utah, is a vital part of our everyday activities at the U. It is the students’ voice, not only with the administrators and faculty, but with the Board of Regents and our state government. So many students think that ASUU is just a pretty face that accomplishes nothing substantive and just wastes money, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

First, some information on what exactly those students whom we elected do (yes, that’s right, WE voted them into office).

There is a legislative branch, an executive branch and a judicial branch, as well as a constitution. The constitution is called “Red Book,” and it contains all the rules of the school. We vote for students to represent us from our respective colleges in the legislature. We also vote on a president and vice president, who then appoint people-much like the executive branch of the United States’ government-to positions that help handle things like the Presenters Office. The judicial branch is made up of graduate students in the law school, and last year it passed an important ruling on not breaking election rules.

ASUU not only coordinates the major activities on campus, but does all the background work for things such as approaching speakers to come lecture or getting donations for various improvements at our school. It also coordinates service projects throughout the year.

ASUU’s major effect on students’ lives is its distribution of student fees, which go to campus clubs and organizations throughout the year. These funds also pay for activities, such as the incredibly successful Crimson Nights.

The students involved with ASUU come up with the basic ideas, work countless hours to prepare, then advertise and try to maximize student involvement. Last year, the legislative body passed a mandatory health insurance policy affecting every single student at the U. If you don’t care about ASUU, you should. It uses your money effectively, and it adds to your overall university experience.

Some people believe that because of the astonishingly low number of students who turn out to vote for our student government, it isn’t really representative. Well, is our state government not representative? Or our mayor and our city council? They are considered representative because everyone was given the chance to vote, regardless of whether or not everyone did.

Our representatives are only in office for a year, so if you don’t like them, vote for a different platform next year. ASUU is responsive, and it is accountable for every dollar it spends. Let’s not forget that there is not only a media voice on this campus to hold it accountable, but also the state boards that control the amount of money it can gather in the first place.

The validity of ASUU is this: Getting students involved in something more than just class. We are a commuter school, which means we don’t have a lot of campus life; students come to class and then hop back in their cars and drive away without paying much attention to anything else going on at school. ASUU provides lectures, speakers and some rather random activities to try to get students out.

There is more to school than just class! We need experiences as well. ASUU tries to give you those experiences while you receive your education.

I recommend a different course from the traditional commuter-school student. Your educational experience should be more than what you learn in the classroom-it should be fun and exciting and it should and expand your former ideas and rationales. ASUU contributes to and controls so much of what goes on after class is over. The students elected or appointed deserve our respect for their time and effort, which they use to enhance our overall education.