In the last few weeks, several people, including me, have joked that I’m in my “lame-duck” session as my time as ASA President comes to a close. Unlike Washington, your student government has been productive throughout the year right up until the end. The Augustana Student Association has been an agent of progress and momentum this year. I’m happy to share a few highlights with you of what we’ve done and what we have left to do.
ASA Senators have had many seats at the table alongside faculty and administrators as we work together to create a new liberal arts plan. Key areas of interest to the Senate are a revamped First Year Experience, challenges to Capstone and the general framework that will define the liberal arts at Augustana.
ASA leaders and the co-curriculum committee have worked with the housing office to address on-going student concerns about room selection, maintenance and September move-in. Beginning this summer, we are happy to tell you that theme houses will be on a three-year rotation to ensure a higher quality of safety and cleanliness. We have begun discussions with the dean of students about implementing a much smoother online room selection process. Housing will continue to be a primary focus for the new ASA Senate.
Throughout the year, the ASA Senate has allocated over $200,000 to support student activities on campus ranging from academic honors societies to recreational clubs, service groups and individuals adding depth to their major through research and conference attendance.
It’s worth giving a shout out and a big thank you to those who lead our largest student groups and make a tremendously positive impact at Augie: Morgan McAlpin of UBG, Sanna Horsely and Kristina Johnson of Viking Days, Erin Schoenbeck and Sara Weinreis of New Student Orientation, and Abby Jensen of Augieholics.
As I write this, ASA is leading the development of an Augustana mobile app to give you better access to student announcements, campus events, athletic and performing arts schedules, and specific pages for major events during the year. We are hoping to have the app available when you return in September.
ASA exists to support student life and provide students with a seat at the table in all aspects of college operations. We’ve had a busy, productive year and we appreciate input from you along the way. Sometimes as a student government is it easy to get bogged down in what needs improvement, but it is also important that we remember to celebrate all of the positive things as well. We also know that there’s more work to do. Your new President and Vice President—Matt Anderson and Krista Youngberg, respectively—will be a great team to lead the student body in the coming year. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work for all of you.