Students elect to represent their voice with ASBSU

Students elect to represent their voice with ASBSU

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With student body election results announced March 20, students might want to know what they’ve gotten themselves into.

Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) represents—what they gather to be—the majority student voice to Boise State administration, the State Board of Education (SBOE) and the larger community, including the
legislature.

While the concealed weapon bill debate was in session, president Bryan Vlok and vice president Cassie Sullivan spoke at hearings and rallies and to Governor Butch Otter’s assistants, saying students did not want guns on campus.

The decision to present students as against allowing concealed carry weapons on campus came from an open forum with the Student Assembly and a poll ASBSU offered to students.

“I’d say that our method of the assembly is as good as it gets to hearing all the groups’ voice on campus,” Sullivan said. “If we have time in the future and on other issues we bring it to the assembly, we ask them to go and address their groups for their opinions then come back, but with this one (the concealed weapons bill), since we had to move forward with it immediately just because of the dates of the hearings, we just had to take it from their elected leaders and their opinions.”

ASBSU’s consistent involvement in the gun bill debate shows that student voice can be heard in the larger community outside Boise State. With an 8 percent average voting percentage of the student body, student involvement with ASBSU looks pretty low. If students don’t actively voice their concerns or thoughts to ASBSU, they are less likely to be heard.

“In a way we’ve done what we can to get their feedback and if only 8 percent give us their feedback, that’s the feedback we’re going to go with,” Vlok said.

ASBSU also sits in on SBOE meetings. Annually the SBOE votes on tuition increases, and ASBSU speaks on how students feel about tuition increases. If other topics concerning Boise State arise, ASBSU can speak to those as well. Sullivan said representing the student population is not an opportunity every student gets, but it’s one “any student can do.”

“It’s just knowing where to go and through networking with people to figure out how,” Sullivan said. “We’ve figured that out now, so it’s definitely going to be useful in the future for any issue. We can be more involved now up front, and have the connections already built because of the work we did with this.”

Sullivan said she feels ASBSU’s representation has changed over the years. Sullivan said ASBSU now has a strong network with the community that will be beneficial for the next elected student body leaders.

“I think it’s positively showed the community that we’re active in what we do. We’re not just here planning student events,” Sullivan said. “We’re also doing everything we can so student voices are heard if there is something that influences them.”

Representation Future Initiatives:

1. Get a voting student member in the SBOE meetings (and have their vote count)

2. Continue the Idaho Student Association in creating unified Idaho university student voice with a specific polling procedure

3. Involve more students in voicing their feelings on issues and present a stronger, more comprehensive student voice to university higher-ups, the SBOE and legislature members

4. Have more community outreach by connecting businesses and the larger community with Boise State

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