The following is a Letter to the Editor submitted to North by Northwestern and does not reflect the views of its editorial board.
I’ll be the first to admit I have little institutional knowledge on the workings of ASG. I’ve never served as a senator or been to an ASG Senate meeting, and I couldn’t tell you the names of the ASG committees. But the reason why I’m passionate about the upcoming ASG election – as a graduating senior who won’t even see the impact of this Friday’s results – is precisely correlated with my lack of ASG involvement over my two-plus years on campus. I haven’t cared to learn more about ASG because I haven’t needed to, based on ASG’s priorities which do not include myself as important to the organization.
Joji Syed and I don’t know each other well. We met through a mutual friend late last quarter, and our second conversation occurred just last week, the day Joji officially launched her ASG presidential campaign. We ended up talking for about half an hour in Norris University Center about her platform. At that point, I really hadn’t considered voting in the election, but Joji said one thing that caught my attention: She wants to make ASG matter for all Northwestern students, not just those who attend senate meetings, debates, etc.
Instead of ASG, I decided to get involved with countless other organizations, in typical Northwestern fashion. I’ve served twice as a Wildcat Welcome peer adviser, participated three times in Dance Marathon and served on the executive boards of Hillel and the Interfraternity Council. But, in these positions, I never considered ASG important. I never thought ASG could support me in making my time in these positions better – or, as an NU student in general. Until now.
Some of Joji and Archie’s ideas that matter to me include: a single website that will streamline student group happenings, so students like me involved in multiple organizations can promote ourselves in one place (no more countless Facebook events!); metrics for event success, so students like me don’t need to worry when our organizations don’t meet the “right” objectives; a revised alcohol and student conduct policy, in line with the work the Interfraternity Council executive board has been attempting to pass for months; and wellness chairs on all student group executive boards, since I know first-hand how grueling student group involvement can be when also taking a full NU course load.
What I truly appreciate about Joji and Archie’s campaign is that they’re not looking to revolutionize ASG or change the structure of the organization completely. Unlike the past two elections for which I’ve been on campus, their platform is easy to understand – even for someone as uninformed as me. I know that, if elected, Joji and Archie will be able to responsibly facilitate the implementation of ideas like a streamlined student organization website, event metrics, a well-underway alcohol policy and reformed mental health resources.
Again, I won’t even see these ideas come to fruition if Joji and Archie end up winning the ASG election this Friday. But my point in writing this letter is to show that our student government can and may finally impact the lives of the everyday Northwestern student – beyond those internal to the organization. Happy voting.
Andy Linder, Medill senior