A.S. approves commuter charter

    The A.S. Council passed the charter for the new All-Campus Commuter Board by consensus on Jan. 7

    According to the charter, the board will serve as the ³representative voice of the commuter student body”” and provide programming geared for the unique needs of commuter students.

    aIt had come to my realization that we didn’t have an all-campus commuter organization,”” A.S. President Jeremy Paul Gallagher said. “”With more than half this school being commuter students, it seemed like [commuters] were at a loss.””

    The all-campus board will serve as an umbrella organization for the smaller college-based commuter associations.

    “”The thing in a commuter is that you have as much affiliation to your college as you do being a resident,”” said Becky Lee, co-chair of the Marshall Commuter Council. “”Some colleges don’t even have commuter boards, so there’s a whole community at UCSD that’s being excluded from programming because they don’t have anyone to run [events].””

    Lee, who helped author the board’s charter, hopes that the new organization will be able to create a community for transfer students.

    “”Hopefully, we’ll be doing a lot of programming that isn’t on the UCSD campus,”” Lee said. “”We’ll do events at T.G.I. Friday’s, we’ll do things that aren’t necessarily in Price Center or aren’t on Library Walk. They’ll be more accessible for commuters.””

    Raza Mobin, chair of the Muir College Commuter Council, welcomed the lobbying power the all-campus commuter organization will provide.

    “”It’s kind of hard to build up strong organizations in the colleges because commuters tend to kind of want to go home and not really want to stay late at night for meetings that we have,”” Mobin said. “”A UCSD-wide organization will have more say and more power, like lobbying power, than smaller organizations in a specific college.””

    Gallagher, who sponsored the legislation, expressed that it is the A.S. Council’s obligation to fill voids in the student services provided by the university administration.

    “”A lot of students who don’t live in the dorms their freshman year don’t really have that network of friends,”” Gallagher said. “”Hopefully this space will provide [a place] to help start intramural teams, … a place where people can just get to know people.””

    With the anticipated North Campus Housing project and Revelle Parking Structure construction threatening to displace parking spaces beginning in the summer, parking will be a central issue for commuter students, according to Mobin.

    “”A main issue is parking, and in that aspect, commuters aren’t really taken care of as much as they should be,”” Mobin said. “”[The all-campus board] is just another way for commuters to get their voices heard.””

    Thurgood Marshall College senior and commuter Viet Tran agreed.

    “”Especially finals week or midterm week, everybody’s at school and it’s hard to find a parking spot,”” Tran said. “”I’m very happy because now there’s a central organization that we can go to … to get our issues to come to the forefront.””

    Lee hopes that the all-campus commuter board will spend winter quarter building a framework for the new organization and will begin programming in spring quarter.

    The board’s charter calls for the distribution of a bi-quarterly newsletter in apartment complexes and other housing surrounding UCSD as well as the development of a Web site to inform students of programming opportunities.

    “”The more opportunities we give students, the better,”” Gallagher said.

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