Following a year of turmoil, ASBSU officials are hoping for a fresh start

Kenneth Huston, ASBSU president, and Sarah Smith, ASBSU vice president, posing on campus, wearing masks.
Photo courtesy of Maiya Shoemaker

Boise State’s student government is coming together as the Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) to address the challenges associated with the start of the new school year.

ASBSU officials are elected each spring by the incoming student body. The organization is broken down into five branches with different roles and responsibilities to achieve their core purpose of “facilitat[ing] educational, intellectual, social, and cultural engagement at the University and advocat[ing] for the interests of students at the University.”

[Related: “Who are the Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU)?”]

ASBSU faced turmoil and many challenges throughout the 2020-2021 school year. 

Along with the ongoing struggles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and a mostly virtual school year, the organization impeached ASBSU president Angel Cantu, saw the resignation of Executive Council members and witnessed the premature ending of a deal between Big City Coffee and the university that threw both student officials and university administrators under public scrutiny. 

Kenneth Huston, ASBSU president, and Sarah Smith, ASBSU vice president, posing on campus, wearing masks.
[Photo of Sarah Smith, vice president of ASBSU, and Kenneth Huston, president of ASBSU]
Photo courtesy of Maiya Shoemaker

These events brought newfound attention to ASBSU.

Emily White, a senior marketing major and the communications officer for the previous school year, was responsible for promoting and connecting ASBSU to the larger student body at Boise State. 

White expressed in an email that she believes a majority of students don’t hold any specific perceptions in regards to ASBSU, with the exception of some negative ones formed as a result of last year’s events.

According to White, this is simply because many students “have no idea what ASBSU does, why it’s important, how ASBSU’s work impacts them as a student and how they can get involved.”

ASBSU members are paid through the student body’s fees, and the organization is responsible for allocating the majority of student fees to various campus operations.

Kenneth Huston, the current ASBSU president who was elected in the spring, said in an email that he wants ASBSU to have a fresh start in order to best serve students.

“While it is important to learn lessons from the past, to begin to heal as an organization and the relationship between ASBSU and the Student Body,  we can’t continue to dwell on [any] of these topics,” Huston said.

This upcoming school year, ASBSU plans to come back in full force. 

According to Huston, he and the larger organization seek to utilize the more in-person school year to connect with the student body in order to encourage more engagement and participation with ASBSU. 

“[W]e hope to be more in touch with the student body, and to develop a better connection to students,” Huston said.

Throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, The Arbiter will be closely following and covering ASBSU proceedings via The Arbiter website and social media channels.
Additionally, students can follow ASBSU on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to receive updates and information directly from the organization.

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