Fall of 2011 was a tumultuous time for the Associated Students of Madison, but in the end it presented a great opportunity for restructuring and future progress. After the loss of leaders in multiple positions, this Spring semester will be a time of change and evolution in the organization.
Being welcomed to the recognized staff of ASM is David Gardner (on twitter as @DavidKGardner), serving as the Chief of Staff under the current chair, Allie Gardner. He was hard at work over our winter break, putting in countless hours in plans for revamping the image, effectiveness and internal workings of ASM.
The committees are getting back into the swing of things and back on the ball with their projects for the University and countless things that affect students. Hannah Sommers, chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee, is leading her committee on multiple topic areas of concern including Voter ID and Registration, Tenants Rights, Alcohol Policies, The Mifflin Street Block Party and a Student Lobby Day. Often her committee works in breakout groups and members frequently visit city meetings and talk to city officials about the issues that have an impact on students.
On February 9th at 7pm, ASM is having it’s Spring Kickoff Townhall Meeting, in which many of these issues will be brought up for student input and discussion.
University Affairs, chaired by Sade Johnson, is also busy at work. The committee handles a lot of issues that coincide with Shared Governance and last semester Chair Johnson decided to have all her members sit on an Shared Gov. committee, increasing student involvement at such a crucial time in our university’s future. A big project that has been in the works and will culminate in an event on campus, is the Financial Opportunities Fair, on February 27th. At this event, students will be able to come and get multitudes of information regarding finances that surround the life of a student, including student loans, scholarships, credit and budgeting and much more.
The Diversity Committee just welcomed its new leader, Niko Magallon and had great turnout and support for its kickoff meeting for the semester. With both new leadership and increased student interest in the committee, we should expect promising work from them throughout the semester.
This semester, we are going to be working hard for students and we want you to tune in and stay informed! Reach out to a council member, post a comment on this blog, email the Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org), check us out on twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/asmstudentgovt) and stop by a Student Council meeting every other Wednesday to speak in open forum on an important topic, or hear what is unfolding directly. As an organization that stand for the students, the students are an important ingredient in the formula of our success, and this starts with communication. So cheers to the new semester, best of luck to all and we can’t wait to hear from you.