Guest Commentary from A.S. President-Elect

by ROBBY BOPARAI

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Photo by Taylor Sanderson/Guardian

I would like to first say I am honored and very thankful to have been elected the A.S. President for the 2014–2015 academic year. I am excited to work with the dedicated members of my slate, as well as the newly-elected college council presidents/chairs and senators over the next year. I see countless opportunities for joint events between the Associated Students and the college councils and aim for these entities to be brought closer together while respecting the college councils’ decisions to serve students as they see fit. One of Tritons Forward’s main visions for A.S. Council was to rebuild its relationship with the college councils, and now that we have been elected, I am confident that, as the newly appointed A.S. Council, we will fight to ensure that this happens.

Over the past few years, it has become increasingly obvious that attendance is dwindling at our weekly meetings and that some members of Council have not completed the expectations required of them, such as mandatory senator projects. One of my goals for this next year is to ensure that all members of Council are fulfilling requirements by having a more visible system of tracking projects and attendance to ensure that the student body is aware of what Council members have completed on a frequently updated basis.

UCSD students are currently facing many prevalent issues, including Sun God Festival health and safety, student organization funding and the transportation referendum. I am positive that the incoming A.S. Council will prioritize student input and feedback to ensure that we are being as transparent with the student body as possible in dealing with these issues and any others that we encounter during our term. It is important to focus on what benefits the students, which is something I think has been lost with miscommunication and disagreements between different campus entities.

We have seen an extreme need for a financial restructuring of the A.S. Council, particularly when it comes to specific events and services such as the Sun God Festival and student organization funding. Beyond that, entire offices, such as the external affairs office, are having trouble sustaining themselves. My VP Finance and Resources Igor Geyn and I hope to be able to explore alternative means of funding, such as bolstered A.S. enterprise revenue and federal or private grants to ensure A.S. Council can afford to continue offering services that benefit the students on this campus.

Logistics aside, getting students excited not only about the student government opportunities at this university, but also about the events and culture of the university is a priority. My vice presidents and I intend to create a more direct and intuitive way of informing UCSD students about events and programs that are occurring on campus. Our hope is to provide the resources necessary to engage students and get them involved to foster a greater notion of UCSD spirit.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to be the A.S. President of UCSD, and I want to ensure students that the other council members and I will dedicate this upcoming year to accomplishing our goals and pushing ASUCSD forward, as well as creating new avenues of student input to ensure that the voices of students are heard.