'I know nothing about them. don't really care to know, either.'

    Some say that during college, students form the patterns that will persist throughout their lives, and they fret about the apparent lack of interest and participation in local, statewide and national politics. For example, the San Diego registrar of voters unofficially reported that 94 people voted on campus for Tuesday’s primary election.

    Kenrick Leung
    Guardian

    This lack of interest in politics is reflected in how much some students know about UCSD’s A.S. Council.

    “”Nothing, I know nothing about them,”” said Eleanor Roosevelt senior Maysha Mohamed. “”I don’t really care to know, either.””

    Earl Warren senior Jennifer Harvey admitted that she does not feel any unity with UCSD that would inspire her to become more aware of what the A.S. Council does. She said she feels “”no attachment”” to UCSD whatsoever, and so is uninterested in learning about the A.S. Council.

    Revelle sophomore Sandra Stephan said that she also has “”no idea what they do.””

    “”Are they like ASB from high school?”” Stephan asked.

    A common sentiment is that students at UCSD perceive the school as just an institution where they attend classes. They have no desire to really find out what goes on around campus, or better yet, to know what the A.S. Council does with the $21 that comes out of their quarterly tuition.

    Revelle sophomore Andrea Massey said, “”I only come to classes and leave; I have no idea what goes on around campus.””

    A.S. Assistant Director Paul DeWine, a nonstudent staff member, believes students’ knowledge of and interest in the A.S. Council is related to their level of involvement on campus.

    “”There is a clear correlation between students who are involved and aware around campus and those who aren’t,”” he said. “”Those that are part of an organization that is particularly funded by A.S. tend to be more aware of A.S.’s role.””

    DeWine added that each student has his or her “”own priorities, with different levels of interests.””

    Students who are active at UCSD through a cultural, religious, Greek or political organization tend to be more interested in the A.S. Council than students who are not active.

    Selin Darkalstanian, a Roosevelt sophomore, is a member of the Armenian Student Association. She identifies A.S. as the organization that “”provides funding for events and also supplies materials such as posters and paint that helps advertise on campus.””

    She added that being on the A.S. Council seems like a “”hard job”” because members have to tend to so many organizations. In her opinion, they “”work hard to please everyone.””

    But pleasing everyone is hard to do when there is such a broad range of students at UCSD, as Marshall junior Kathryn Davis pointed out.

    She explained that in her sorority, Chi Omega, some are more aware of the A.S. Council and campus activities than others.

    “”Occasionally, A.S. will come up in regards to funding or programming,”” she said. But those who pay attention to it are only those that really care. According to Davis, it just depends on the individual.

    “”I don’t know too much, but what I do know is that they did not provide us with sufficient funding,”” stated Marshall senior Anwar Johnson, in regards to the African American Student Union’s requests, the most recent example being its high school conference last month.

    “”They just seem to have such rigid procedures, I feel like we are talking to a wall every time we address A.S.,”” Johnson said.

    Edwina Welch, director of the Cross Cultural Center, explained that these students in organizations become more sensitive to the A.S. Council because it directly affects them through financial support and sponsorship for their events, such as barbecues on Library Walk, parties and even out-of-state conferences.

    “”They feel the need to do something, to have a voice on this campus, and they have to go through A.S. no matter the circumstance,”” Welch said.

    According to her, this allows members of these different organizations to hear more about the A.S. Council at meetings and become familiar with the names and the process that make up the council.

    Marshall junior Gideon Gorit admits he barely knows anything about the A.S. Council, but what he does know is due to his involvement with Kaibigang Pilipino, a cultural organization.

    “”At meetings, sometimes they will talk about A.S. and it is always interesting,”” he said. “”But I tend to just focus on school.””

    Welch agreed that schoolwork can be a cause of students’ lack of interest in on-campus politics because students already have many things to focus on, and keeping up-to-date with the A.S. Council’s actions is not a priority.

    Welch, however, believes that attending to schoolwork is no excuse.

    “”They aren’t just studying, though; what are they doing?”” she said. “”A.S. is everywhere in front of them. They are affected by A.S. … just look at parking, for example: A.S. fights for better parking.””

    Revelle sophomore Gabe McCaslin offered his explanation: “”People are just lazy. They don’t care. It is not that A.S. is not out there for us to see; we just choose to ignore it and stay in our dorms.””

    DeWine notes that being ignorant of the A.S. Council’s activities would be difficult, pointing out the many services Associated Students provides. He listed the Grove Caffe, Soft Reserves and Lecture Notes, along with the programming of events such as Winterfest.

    However, DeWine admitted that some of the blame may lie with the A.S. Council itself, in that its members are not aggressive enough with public relations.

    “”That is one of their goals, but they always struggle with it,”” he said, but added that it’s a two-way street. “”The students do have to seek that interface, too.””

    Muir sophomore Manuel Bravo admitted that there “”has been a lack of initiative”” on his part in becoming more in tune with what the A.S. Council is doing for UCSD. He added, “”I do know we have elections every year, and I try to vote.””

    As Welch put it, lack of knowledge or interest now may end up resulting in a personal disservice. “”If one is apathetic now, what about later? What sort of person are you making yourself out to be?””

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