Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2013
An appeal to the students
Serving two years as Student Body Vice President and one year in the ASUAF Senate, I have had many opportunities to observe our student government’s successes and shortcomings. I can say with confidence that ASUAF is currently an ineffective organization.
Instead of actively seeking out and taking strong stands on issues that directly affect students, ASUAF merely serves as a bank account and funding source for other organizations. ASUAF is granted the power to speak on behalf of the entire student body and we need to use this ability far more often to fight policies that negatively impact the lives of students on campus.
Instead of merely twiddling our thumbs when financial aid disbursement was changed to the day classes began instead of ten days prior, I made sure we took a firm stand and let the administration know that this change in policy was detrimental to students. I wrote and submitted a resolution to the Senate stating that the new policy was unacceptable and for the first time in years ASUAF officially took a stand on a key issue. The administration is now heavily reconsidering this policy.
It is this kind of activism that I aim to continue. I am currently running for the office of ASUAF President because I believe ASUAF can be so much more than it is now. I believe that with strong leadership, a clear vision and a passion to help students ASUAF can be transformed into an effective organization that can directly benefit students by advocating on their behalf.
As a student, I humbly ask for your support in the election this Thursday and Friday because I believe that ASUAF does not need minor improvements, ASUAF needs to radically change in focus and direction. With your support, I hope to bring effective leadership to our student government.
I’d like to build half a building, and blame the bank for non-completion
I read your article in the sun star about UAF’s half-funded construction and about how there are no funds in the capital budget to “complete” it. While this may look like a bold move to further education by putting pressure on the Alaska legislature, the reality is that this is just a gross misappropiation of funds.
One simply does not build a building without first calculating the costs, with a little bit of overage to account for any budget overruns. I do not think that someone needs a degree in business to understand that putting down money some money without funds to complete it is a terrible idea.
To put it another way, I would not build a $300,000 house if I have only $120,000 in the bank, without securing the other $180,000 in some fashion. I do not get to blame the bank, either, when my request for funds is denied. I do not think the UAF administration should get to blame the legislature for not bailing them out of a plan that was half-baked.
Christopher L. Young