What does ASUAF do?
Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter
April 5, 2011
It’s April, which means student government elections are around the corner. By the end of the month, the students of UAF will have elected new senators and a new executive branch. But what does the student government do?
According to the student government’s official website, “It is our function to represent and act on behalf of the students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.” The Associated Students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (ASUAF) is the official title of the student government. Their primary job is to support and oversee student organizations and projects. The organizations include the Sun Star (the student paper), KSUA (the student radio station) and Concert Board (which holds concerts and cultural events). It supports student projects through both legislation (senate bills) and through Club Council, which directly funds student clubs and societies
Funding and oversight
But how does it support and oversee these organizations and projects? Attached to each student’s semester tuition is a $35 student government fee In the 2010-2011 school year (which included the Summer semester), ASUAF received $461,780. That money went to the ASUAF Executive Officer who then disbursed the funds between the student government and the three organizations previously mentioned. Each organization receives a set percentage of the total yearly allotment, which can only be altered by a student-supported ballot measure.
|% of Fee||Total Amount|
Each organization is managed by a board of directors, which includes student government representatives. In some cases, non-ASUAF affiliated students may petition for a board position or be voted onto the board during a student election.
|Voting Members||ASUAF representation|
|Sun Star||5||2 (senator, president)|
|Concert Board||5||2 (senator, president)|
The ASUAF government is also important when it comes to student outreach. Two of its biggest duties include providing funding to student clubs and petitioning state legislators in Juneau on behalf of the student body.
Supporting student endeavors
Officially recognized student organizations and clubs are eligible to receive funding from Club Council, which is overseen by the ASUAF vice president. This past fall, the council was allotted $20,000 to distribute amongst its various clubs. Such a number may seem high, but according to the UAF website, our campus has more than 120 active student clubs, ranging from ABADA Capoeira to the Yoga Club.
In order to receive funding, a club must submit a budget proposal to the council. The council discusses the proposals and doles out what it believes to be a fair amount. This occurs once a year, during the Fall Semester. The funding given to Club Council makes up 4 percent of the total operating budget that ASUAF receives throughout the year.
ASUAF also underwrites student travel grants ($7,000 was set aside for this school year) and is supposed to hold four blood drives a year.
Petitioning for students
One of ASUAF’s most important roles is petitioning the Board of Regents and state legislators on behalf of students. This past year, a dozen members of ASUAF played a role in the amending of the non-discrimination policy and keeping the increase in tuition low. The policy was amended to include sexual orientation and the tuition increase was limited to 7 percent (as opposed to 10 percent) for the 2012-2013 school year.
Since student elections are almost upon us, I encourage you to keep on the look out for election information both from the ASUAF student government and from the Sun Star. Remember, ASUAF spends your money. Shouldn’t you have a say in who uses it and how?