By Gianni Marabella
ASWU is rolling out a new online portal to allow for stronger communication and interaction between University governance and the student body. The site will be a hub where students easily keep up to date with happenings within ASWU and the University as a whole, as well as more easily get involved with University policy and decisions.
“Currently, communication between ASWU and the student body is mostly one directional,” ASWU President Jack Wellman said. “As it relates to University governance, except for myself and a handful of students who serve on faculty and university committees, the vast majority of students have very little access to conversations and information about University governance.”
The portal will include details on bills and resolutions that pass through the senate, along with ASWU announcements. Links to the minutes of each ASWU meeting will also now be included on the portal, with extra budgetary and election information.
Students will also be able to stay better informed regarding general University governance. The process of governance will be detailed in the portal, which will include explanations of administrative positions as well as the role of the Board of Trustees.
An important role of the portal will be for the student body to interact more with the various committees that exist at the school. The site will contain description of the various University and faculty committees that we have, along with documents passed along from their student representatives. Currently these representatives are only required to report to the ASWU president, and this will make it so that they are now reporting to the student body as a whole as well.
As a whole, the purpose of the portal is to encourage a higher level of communication and transparency between students and University governance.
“Students have been calling for more transparency from the University, and this portal works to improve that by putting information about University decision making all in one place,” Wellman said.
Students will be able to engage directly with committee representatives and ASWU senators through discussion boards designed to encourage two way communication and the transference of feedback and ideas.
“The ASWU Student Portal is a game changer when it comes to how students participate in University governance,” Wellman said.
The hope is that the portal allows for a greater understanding among all community members of what is going on within the University. Despite being a student-only portal, Wellman believes this degree of transparency will benefit everyone involved with the school.
“This benefits students — giving them info and a place to communicate — but it also benefits administrators and faculty leaders. An informed student body improves the quality of student engagement in University governance. Student engagement in the University decision making process is so healthy.”