Opinion: Who and what is ASG?

Recently, students were asked to take a survey on student life distributed by Allegheny Student Government.

A total of 550 students completed the survey, and dining services, residence life, and technology were predictably the sections most commented on.

However, students made many comments about their lack of knowledge about the role of ASG in the college, what ASG does, how it operates and who the members are.  I am here to fill students in.

First of all, one of the best ways to learn about ASG is to visit the Web site at http://asg.allegheny.edu/.

Here you can find headshots and the e–mail addresses of all Senators and Cabinet members. There are also descriptions of each committee and the mission statement of ASG along with the minutes for every meeting.

While I’m sure it is true that some members of ASG seem to be there just to pad their resumes, it is not true of everyone. If you don’t know who your Senators are, find out! Most of them will be ecstatic to get feedback from students.

Talking to Senators and other representatives is one of the best ways to start changes on campus.  Believe it or not, ASG does have a say over the way the college is run.

For now though, I will break down each part of the organization for you.

Probably the most well known of the ASG roles is that of financial controller. The student activity fees paid by each student make up the ASG budget, and it is the duty of the Finance committee and the Senate to distribute these funds.

A new feature provided by Finance is the ability for student organizations to borrow credit cards to pay for group expenses. In the past, students were uncomfortable fronting the money for large purchases.  Now, they have the option of using a credit card that will directly charge ASG.

The busiest committee on ASG is undoubtedly Student Life. They are the ones who deal with dining, technology, res life, etc. Basically, they are the strongest link between the administration and the students.

The committee and Senate at-large have been busy with the issue of the new printing system. The goal of printing points is to determine what, why, and where students and faculty are printing. If you have any problems with requesting more points please let a member of ASG (see above to find out who they are) know.

Concerts and Special Events represent the ASG side of the Major Events Committee in conjunction with GAP. The ASG members on this group present Homecoming, Springfest, and the major concert/event every year. They also solely sponsor other events such as WinterFest’s awesome laser tag extravaganza.

Aside from Third Eye Blind, the next big event will be Springfest. While ASG does not set the date for Springfest (so please don’t get mad at us), we, along with GAP, plan, organize, and run this event.  Usually, it is very well attended and enjoyed by all!

ASG also is responsible for the formation and sponsorship of student groups. The Rules Committee is in charge of reviewing constitutions which then must be passed by the Senate.

Perhaps not the most exciting group, Rules is essential for the proper functioning and organization of many of ASG’s duties and relations with student organizations. The new role of Student Organization Services also helps with these functions.

The group responsible for promoting ASG’s visibility on campus is the Public Relations committee. It tries to publicize the happenings of ASG, and other events on campus; (writing op-eds are only part of the job.)

Most recently, the PR committee was responsible for the Post–It notes on the campus mailboxes advertising Senate elections. Look for new, updated Loop cards and pamphlets coming out after Spring Break!

I sincerely hope that this article helps students realize what ASG does and who we are.  I think it is also important for students to remember that ASG is made up of Allegheny students who are just trying to make everyone’s college experience as awesome as possible.

Please let us know how we can enhance yours!

Stephanie Albert is a member of the class of 2010. She can be reached at [email protected]