ASG discusses town hall meeting venue for semester

Allegheny Student Government is considering holding a town hall style meeting during the spring 2018 semester.

Class of 2020 President Jason Ferrante said the idea was an effort to make ASG officials more accessible to their constituents.

“In the name, town hall, it’s kind of a more informal way where we could rent out a place like Quigley Auditorium, or the Henderson Campus Center lobby, and people could kind of come and have personal conversations with their elected officials in ASG,” Ferrante said.

Ferrante said ASG was concerned that the way most general meetings were conducted did not allow students to give their senators feedback.

“We’re sitting at a table and you speak from the back. We want a more personal way, where you get to know people, and you can give more substantive questions than you might be able to in General Assembly.”

Ferrante said the initiative was in its planning stages, and nothing was solidified yet.

“It’s really in the brainstorming phase right now. We don’t have any plans in place, [but] we brought it up in General Assembly last week to get kind of a moderated discussion on the idea,” Ferrante said. “There were some ideas bounced around, but right now it’s really just something that myself, as well as a lot of my other senators, wanted to get done. We always value constituent feedback. It’s what moves our ideas and it’s what keeps us going as a senate.”

ASG is always looking for opportunities to receive constituent feedback, according to Ferrante.

“Constituent feedback is, I think, one of the things ASG … thrives on,” Ferrante said. “We need continuous feedback because it’s sometimes easy for us to get into the mindset that we always are the best representatives. We have to ensure that the 1,800 students on campus give us their opinions on what we’re working on.”

ASG President Mark MacStudy, ’18, said he felt like the initiative sounded like a good idea.

“We realize that the ASG meeting can kind of be a little intimidating to some people when they first come in, to see how it’s run and all that, so we want to kind of try to informalize it somewhat for people to feel more comfortable to come and voice their concerns,” MacStudy said.

MacStudy said the initiative was still under consideration in the senate.

“Jason Ferrante actually emailed me about this and was kind of just inquiring about the possibility of us putting it on. I thought it sounded like a good idea so I just wanted to … see if people would be interested in attending something like this,” MacStudy said. “It’s … in the very preplanning stages right now. We’re still trying to determine if this is something we’re going to do.”

Senator Carlos Sanchez, ’20, said ASG had been considering holding a town hall meeting for some time.

“We’re trying to get closer to our constituents, and see how we can improve their daily lives here on campus,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said he was very excited about the idea.

“I want to hear from my constituents, see what I can do better, and hopefully get to know some of them.” Sanchez said.