With A.S. elections finally upon us, one can’t help but wonder if it is going to be another year of apathy, or if this is finally the year that UCSD students will come together and make their collective voice heard.
Apathy has plagued UCSD from the trying times of the voting booth — ask any Dade County resident how hard that can be — to the current, convenient method of computer voting.
One reason students might not be so eager to go out and vote is that they don’t know what they are actually voting for. Sure, they see the fancy titles on the ballots, but do the students really know what these people’s responsibilities are once they get elected? It is doubtful.
With that in mind, here is a crash course in A.S. positions that should come in handy when considering whom to vote for in this year’s election.
The school’s top spot is not too different from our nation’s president, if you really think about it. True, the A.S. president doesn’t have a hoard of sexually frustrated interns to choose from, but there are many similarities.
The A.S. president serves as the chief executive officer of the A.S. Council and is the official representative of the undergraduate body. He prepares and submits an annual operating budget. The president also has veto power over any item passed by the A.S. Council.
Unlike the federal government, A.S. Council breaks the job of the vice president into three separate jobs: the vice president internal, the vice president external and the vice president finance.
The vice president internal is the second in command in A.S. Council. He is the acting A.S. president in the president’s absence. He runs the council meetings, appoints student representatives to campuswide committees and also oversees the internal affairs of the A.S. Council, such as policies, procedures and administrative council matters.
The vice president external is in charge of lobbying for student issues on a state and national level. He is also in charge of organizing the campuswide voter registration campaign. In addition, the vice president external serves as UCSD’s representative to both the University of California Student Association and the United States Student Association.
Finally, the vice president finance is the local guru of everything budgetary at the school. He advises the president and the council on all budgetary matters and is in charge of enforcing all A.S. policies on expenditures of the activity fee. The vice president finance also assists the development of all student organization budgets, organizes the quarterly Student Organization Funding Advisory Board and reviews expenditures of student activity funds.
Commissioner of Student Advocacy
The commissioner of student advocacy, while not one of the more publicized positions, is one of the most important in terms of direct involvement with the students.
This person informs, advises and represents students when conflicts with the university arise. He also acts as the A.S. Council’s liaison to the Office of Student Policies and Judicial Affairs.
Commissioner of Communications
Whoever takes this spot in the election will be in charge of all the A.S.-funded student media on campus, including newspapers, magazines, television and radio.
He is also in charge of all media funding, including budgeting and allocation.
The programmer is the most important position on campus to students interested in campus events and concerts.
Whoever fills this position will be in charge of all campus events, including concerts, speakers, comedians and activities. He also provides the entertainment for events such as Late Nite at RIMAC and all-campus dances.
The programmer is in charge of coordinating popular events such as FallFest, WinterFest and the all-important Sun God Festival.
In addition, the programmer is responsible for researching up-and-coming talent to bring to the campus and acts as the student liaison between A.S. Council and music industry professionals.
Commissioner of Academic Affairs
The commissioner of academic affairs is in charge of establishing and maintaining the lines of communication between the Academic Affairs office and all related undergraduate academic programs.
He is also in charge of providing periodic polls and surveys that assess students’ concerns.
Commissioner of Student Services and Enterprises
This position is in charge of budgets and the operation of A.S. services and enterprises such as Soft Reserves, Lecture Notes, Grove Caffe, SRTV, KSDT, U.S. Grants, Volunteer Connection and the A.S. Internship office.
The commissioner of student services and enterprises is also the A.S. representative to the Co-op Oversight Committee.
These positions are elected from the individual colleges. A sophomore, junior and senior is elected from each college.
These people serve as representatives of the interests and needs of students in their college and respective class.
All information obtained from A.S. Web site, located at http://asucsd.-ucsd.edu