How ASUU Plans to Advocate For Students in the 2019-2020 Year


Nate Leisman

ASUU’s Executive Cabinet

By Delaney Sheppard, News Writer


More than four weeks into the school year, the Associated Students of the University of Utah have been working hard on fulfilling the promises they ran on during their elections in March.

The new student government promised to address several issues, including advocacy, student involvement, mental wellness and campus safety. “We have been working full time to carry out the platforms we ran on, in addition to addressing issues we have been exposed to since we came into office,” said ASUU Student Body President Anna Barnes.

ASUU has already worked to build bridges with communities on campus that have been historically underrepresented. They have also allocated an additional $25,000 to student organization funding, developed a mental health curriculum for all ASUU leaders to improve awareness on campus and worked in accordance with the Campus Safety Taskforce to implement their recent recommendations across campus.

Many students serving in ASUU have specific goals of their own. “My personal goals and ASUU’s goals are always centered on what the student’s needs, wants and desires are, and that is precisely what student relations are,” said Gabe Martinez, Vice President of Student Relations.

A large focus for ASUU this year has been student advocacy and involvement. Advocacy and trust between ASUU and the student body is a highlight of Barnes focus this year: “By the end of this year I want to further build the bridge of trust between ASUU and the student body. I want every student to know that we are here to act as a resource and an advocate for them. I want students to feel empowered to voice their concerns to ASUU leaders knowing they will truly be heard, and that their concerns will be acted on.

“In addition to improving campus safety, creating an inclusive community at the U and making mental wellness a campus priority, I hope to further promote that culture of authentic advocacy within ASUU.”

ASUU Senate Chair Damon Ngo sees student advocacy as an integral part to his role within student government as well. “My main goal this year is to create more robust avenues for the student’s voice to be heard. I want to create spaces in which students can speak for themselves. I intend to elevate their voices rather than speaking for them. I find representation to be important, but advocacy to be even better.

“We should be actively working as a student government to contact our constituents and to hear out what they have to say about us, and about the policies being put into place that will affect them. My goal is to advocate and to elevate voices, rather than just represent and relay messages.”

Since the March elections, students of ASUU have been working tirelessly to follow through on their platform issues. With such a prominent focus on advocating for student voices on campus in both the organization as a whole and individual student goals, ASUU wants to enact lasting change for the students of the U this year.


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