ASUCD senators are the voices of the student body and need to be accessible to students. By not holding office hours, it’s difficult for students to feel like they are a part of campus matters.
Senators have the duty to hold four office hours per week, but Student Government Administrative Office (SGAO) records show senators are not upholding this duty. This is an unacceptable situation that should not be taken lightly.
According to records of the first five weeks of this quarter, nine of the senators had at least one week without any office hours. Five senators – Levi Menovske, Liz Walz, Osahon Ekhator, Ozzy Arce and Selisa Romero – had multiple weeks with zero recorded office hours. In Arce’s case, he logged zero hours for the first half of the quarter – twenty less than the required amount.
Some senators claim they are holding office hours but are not recording them with SGAO. Ekhator said that he is available over six hours every week, but if SGAO doesn’t have a record of where these hours are held, then many students don’t know where to find him. Those office hours are rendered useless to them.
This negligence on behalf of many of the senators shows that they aren’t taking their jobs seriously. They were elected to represent students and they need to take the necessary steps to make sure they are accurately voicing student concerns – holding office hours are part of these essential actions. When senators say they don’t need to record office hours with SGAO, their actions suggest that they don’t care about representing their constituents.
However, the senatorial relationship is a two way street. If students do not show a desire to meet with their senators then there is no pressure on senators to perform their duties.
A public record of senatorial actions is needed to give students more access to their government. This could be in the form of a report card filled out by the vice president, which would force senators to execute their jobs better and hold senators who do not successfully fulfill their obligations accountable.