Spork looks to unite campus groups

By By Michael McFall

By Michael McFall

The Spork Party hopes to build a stronger relationship between ASUU and the student body by bringing campus organizations together under the student government’s wing.

Crimson Council

The party plans to establish a permanent council for student representation outside of the Associated Students of the University of Utah. The body would be called the Crimson Council.

The council would be comprised of representatives from major student groups at the U, such as the Student Alumni Association, Greek Row, the Hinckley Institute of Politics, the Bennion Community Service Center and the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs, among others.

The representatives would deliberate and advise ASUU about how and where money should be spent by ASUU.

A separate amount of money would also be set aside specifically for organizations the council feels would benefit from additional funding. Spork plans to set aside at least $50,000 for this, but an exact figure has not been determined.

ASUU already has something similar in place — the United Leadership Conference — but Spork feels they can do better.

The problem with the conference is that it only meets once a semester, which isn’t enough to really get things done, said Graham Anderson, the Spork Party’s presidential candidate.

“We meet, we talk, but not much correlation or connection actually happens,” he said.

Spork party members feel that a regular meeting such as the Crimson Council could create a dialogue between student groups and ASUU that the semi-annual conference has not. Anderson hopes the council can meet once a week or once a month, depending on each student group’s schedule.

Instead of trying to bring student groups on board with what ASUU wants to do, the Spork Party wants to hear from all major student groups and have ASUU accomplish what student groups want, said John Bowers, the Spork Party’s vice-presidential candidate.

The Hub

The Spork Party also wants to create an information center called The Hub. The Hub would be an information desk where students can learn about internships, scholarships, involvement opportunities, academic advising and other resources at the U. The Hub, which Anderson said would be near the front of ASUU’s office, would be run by a committee or a board within ASUU.

“That way you won’t have to run from one building to the next, to the next, to the next trying to find all the answers,” Bowers said.

The Hub is also designed to connect the U with outside businesses and organizations looking for student interns.

“I know of businesses that would do anything for student interns, but they don’t know how to get them,” Bowers said.

The Spork Party also wants to create The Hub to put more emphasis on the Graduation Guarantee, an advising program established by this year’s administration to ensure students graduate in a timely manner. Hopefully, The Hub would strengthen that guarantee, Spork Party members said.

ASUU finances

Spork Party members also want to combine certain areas of ASUU to streamline spending.

Anderson said although ASUU makes great strides in financial efficiency each year, Spork can further consolidate and combine its financial efforts to make spending even more efficient.

The party won’t name specific areas it plans on changing, but assures that none would be completely eliminated.

“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Bowers said. “It simply needs to be reorganized better.”

The party hopes voters support their plans to combine existing organizations around campus to improve the efficiency of each group, including ASUU.

Bowers compared the group’s ideas to a spork.

“A spork is a utility created from two and made more efficient that way,” Bowers said. “When multiple willing groups come together to accomplish things, that’s when the best things are accomplished in the best way.”

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