ASUAF recap, September 11: Productivity despite low attendance

Max Erickson / Sun Star

Present: Benjamin Agimuk, Ivik Henry, Cordero Reid.

Not Present: Diane Murph, Ryan Cain, Joseph Degraft-Amanfu.

There was no formal meeting this week as only three senators were present, with four required for quorum. Two potential senators were present as well, but could not be sworn in. Despite this the meeting still was productive, and honored recently passed Study Abroad advisor and National Student Exchange Coordinator Erica Keiko Iseri.

President of the Japan-Alaska club, Shawn Almario came to the meeting to express his grief on behalf of himself and the club.

“To speak personally, she’s allowed dreams to come true by letting people go abroad. We’ve [folded] 1000 [paper] cranes for Erica in her memory and through networking we’ve received requests for people to send cranes from around the world because she basically had that sort of influence,” Almario said. “They say the UAF motto is ‘Naturally Inspiring.’ I truly believe Erica is someone who lived up to that motto.”

In response to Almario’s sentiments, those in attendance rose in solidarity and shared a moment of silence for Erica.

Later, President Colby Freel spoke about the budget cuts facing UAF’s athletic program, and the previous discussions regarding the cuts. Freel believes that while there is plenty of discussion about the pros and cons of the athletic program to the Fairbanks community there is a lack of discussion about the students who are currently enrolled in the athletics department. Students who rely on sports scholarships would be adversely affected by the proposed cuts.

Freel also introduced a new strategic plan for ASUAF that outlines new goals and development plans, and addresses past challenges that student government has faced.

“It’ll be a framework to guide what initiatives we take on and how we make decisions. Not so much a playbook but a guidebook,” Freel said.

ASUAF will begin live streaming their meetings on YouTube in an effort to broaden the involvement of students who cannot physically make it to the meetings. This will allow rural students to express their thoughts and concerns and to participate in the meetings where previously it was much more difficult to achieve. Newly elected Government Relations Director Matt Mertes heads the project, and believes live streaming services will be up and running by the next ASUAF meeting.

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