ASUU “Smooth Sailing” This Semester


(Photo Courtesy of University of Utah Marketing)

(Photo Courtesy of University of Utah Marketing)
(Photo Courtesy of University of Utah Marketing)

Fall semester is halfway over, and although ASUU has accomplished some goals laid out at the beginning of the semester, many are still in progress.
So far this year, Justin Spangler, ASUU president, said everything has been “smooth sailing.”
Spangler said he believes the Vision Party has worked hard to implement their campaign promises through the different initiatives this year. These initiatives include the recycle vending machines installed in the Union and a bill set to fund flu shots for the entire campus. ASUU has also started an international students committee to give international students more of a voice concerning campus affairs.
Mackenzie Peyton, the assembly vice chair, said ASUU also launched the Marriott Library tutoring center, which was one of the promises the Vision Party made in their campaign. ASUU gave over $11,000 to help pay the tutors who are part of the program so the resource would be more accessible to everyone.
Peyton also said ASUU has worked to collaborate with different student groups, such as USpeak, a spoken word poetry group at the U. Peyton said the group wanted an award-winning poet to come to the U to teach workshops for different poetry slams and were able to do so with funding through ASUU.
Spangler said the Vision Party promised to strengthen student voice and access to the community during their campaign. To meet that promise, ASUU started “Pizza with the President,” a networking opportunity for student leaders to connect with administrators.
Spangler said the program was started because many students know more about problems on campus than faculty do.
“Connecting them with administrators helps create students’ visions and makes them realities,” he said.
This semester, ASUU has also changed a few U traditions.
Florence Fernandez, senior class president, implemented new homecoming traditions. Fernandez moved the homecoming dance off campus to be more inclusive to commuter students and altered the structure of homecoming royalty. Homecoming royalty is no longer divided by gender, and each member of royalty receives an equal amount in scholarships.
Madison Black, ASUU vice president, said one of her continuing goals this semester is making sure the child care program grows. Black said she wants to ensure access to students to create an inclusive family environment at the U.
For the rest of the semester and the upcoming year, ASUU has plans to further branch out their campaign platform and promises.
Spangler said ASUU is thinking about doing something for Sexual Assault Awareness Day on Nov. 1. A committee will be held to discuss it in more detail. Spangler also mentioned writing a joint bill to get more automatic door openers installed around campus in entrances and bathrooms. On a larger scale, ASUU has plans to break a Guinness World Record for Geek Week, but declined to disclose any further details.
For the remainder of the year, Peyton said she hopes to make ASUU more recognizable to the student body.
“[Students] know what ASUU is during elections, but they don’t really know what we’re doing,” Peyton said. “Honestly, I think it’s important that they know because these people are responsible for whether we fund certain things that can be considered extremely controversial.”
Peyton said she has plans for different ways to market this information and make it more accessible, such as tabling and classroom announcements.
For the remainder of the year, Spangler said he hopes to continue to expand student involvement with ASUU.
“One thing we tell our executive cabinet [is] that promises happen with a vision,” Spangler said. “We’re going to make a vision board in ASUU, and as new initiatives come in, we’ll place them under the five pillars of our platform. It all ties back to what we promised the student body. We’ve done a great job upholding what we promised, and we’re going to do an even better job as time goes on.”
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