Thanks for a Great Year, ASG
In the interest of fulfilling our duty as the fourth branch of government, we at the Traveler don’t shy away from criticizing the members of the Associated Student Government when they don’t do their best to serve the student body or fail to address an issue that is of significant student concern.
It is also our duty, however, to commend the ASG when they do good, and for that reason, we offer a sincere thank you to ASG President Billy Fleming, the rest of his executive cabinet and the ASG senate for the work they have done this past year.
Starting off with an unusually seamless transition, this administration has done a great job from Day 1 scouring all populations on campus to make the ASG as inclusive as possible and working with administrators across campus on a variety of initiatives to make the campus a better place.
During the past two semesters, we have specifically been impressed by a couple of initiatives.
First, although the student poll was conceived under Carter Ford’s presidency in 2009-2010, this year the ASG seems to have finally figured out the process of question vetting and the release of results so that it can occur in a timely manner. This timely release of information allows the current administration to act on what students want during their administration, and not push student concerns off to another year and another administration. This was just one example of how the ASG has worked to really gauge what students want and release that information to officials across campus and to us at the Traveler.
This year has also represented, in my opinion, a new level of transparency between the various members of the ASG and student media. Besides continuing our normal news coverage and live blogs of the ASG senate meetings this year, we have been informed well in advance of a number of events and initiatives, and invited to meetings we were not welcomed to before. Professors and advisors with much more institutional knowledge than I often speak of the hostile relationship the ASG and the Traveler have had in the past, but I can say without question that that is not the experience I have had, and I really appreciate being allowed to concentrate on delivering news rather than fighting petty battles.
President Fleming mentioned many of the other impressive accomplishments of the ASG last week: the development of student advocates to lobby for student rights on the state and national level, the implementation of earth tubs to continue campus sustainability efforts, the promotion of volunteer opportunities such as the literacy outreach initiative and the endowment of programs like Safe Ride and a scholarship to benefit students who might not otherwise be able to fund their education.
This year’s ASG officers, senators and cabinet members have set the bar high, and left a number of initiatives just short of completion (because honestly, who ever gets to fulfill all of their campaign promises).
Michael Dodd and Lauren Waldrip, the incoming president and vice president, respectively, have big shoes to fill. If they can work to continue the work started this year, in addition to implementing their ideas for the campus, the student body is in store for another good year.