The next challenge to ASF
November 7, 1997
I pause for a momentary sigh of relief. (Pause). OK, let's get moving
With Homecoming behind it, the Associated Students Federation (ASF)
Forum still has much to do before the semester is over.
Up high on the list of my issues with the group of people I still have
a shred of belief in is the issue of constituency.
For those readers who have no idea what that is, it is you, the students.
Part of the responsibility of this Forum is contacting its special group
of students and finding out what their concerns and needs are. The question
you should be asked by these people you elected is, "What do you want
us to do with this money?"
Isn't that a great question? I would love it if someone with tens of
thousands of dollars came to solicit my opinion about what to do with money
that is partially mine.
As special elections for more Forum members continued in last week's
meeting, each candidate proposed the same problem -- "We have to get
the students involved."
Then, there was the $10,000 question -- How do we get the students involved?
This is a stab in the dark, but for God sakes -- talk to them!
Ask them questions! Find out what they want!
When the time comes for constituency reports in the weekly ASF meetings,
I enjoy listening to the buzz of the air conditioning. There is little to
no reports. Instead Forum members act as if, it's OK to slack on their constituency.
What they do not realize is that slacking is at the heart of the problem.
People are not showing up at activities because they are not approached
and they are not interested in what is going on.
If more people were spoken to beforehand, ASF members would have a better
idea of what to spend money on.
It would make every Forum member's job so much easier if students had
the motivation, but judging from experience, they are not just going to
show up to events or activities when they do not know anyone, they commute
to school and leave immediately after, and they are not interested in the
circle of people in the Student Center.
My next issue is creativity. We have to try to reach every single student,
but if they are not going to participate in activities such as Homecoming
and bowling, isn't there other ways we can reach them?
I propose the idea of specialization. We want to serve as many people
as possible with the money, but in the meantime, we generalize our activities
so much that we end up attracting the same group over and over again. If
you are in that group, you know who you are, and if you are not you probably
have no clue what ASF stands for or how it can benefit you.
We need to hold different types of activities for different types of
people. Wacky co-eds like myself may enjoy Ugly T-Shirt Bowling, but I know
a lot of people that would rather hear a well-known speaker or watch a big
alternative rock band play, while other people say we need a new gym floor
and air conditioning in Brandt and Stu-Han Halls.
These are just a few of the different concerns and all are valid. Are
all being addressed by the working Forum members now? Will they be?
My last challenge is to go beyond the same group of people and expand
to the bigger majority of students.
Reach the girl in Stu-Han that goes to class, and hurries back to her
room soon after. Reach that guy that you see rushing to his car so that
he is not late for work. Reach that commuter that has circled the parking
lot 15 times and is late to her World Civilizations class.
These are the students you are representing. Take a step beyond the
poster making and party planning and really look at the associated students
of the University of La Verne. Look at who they are, what they need and
where their interests lie.
Go out and find these students, pick their brains, examine their ideas
and then make them a reality for all of us. If you can do that, only then
you are truly the government of the students.
Andrea Gardner, a senior broadcast journalism major, is editor in
chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.