New committee seeks to increase transfer resources on campus.
Student leaders in ASUCD recently voted to establish the Transfer, Re-entry and Veteran (TRV) Committee as a voice for transfer, re-entry and veteran students in student government. According to the creators, the committee is intended to increase the level of transfer student involvement in ASUCD as well as other student clubs.
The TRV student community on campus includes students who have transferred from other campuses, re-entry students, undergraduates over the age of 25, student parents and student veterans who have previously served in the U.S. military.
The committee will consist of 11 voting members: one chairperson and 10 other undergraduate members, half of which must have transfer, re-entry or veteran status.
One of the main objectives of the committee is to improve the resources offered to transfer students upon their initial university orientation by collaborating with Student Housing. Such resources include orientation handbooks and additional guidance offered to transfer students to aid them in transitioning into the quarter system. These objectives will be discussed in weekly committee meetings that are open to the public once all members of the committee have been established.
“[This committee] will also give TRV students a platform to share their experiences as TRV students on this campus, reaffirming their importance to our campus community and hopefully bringing to light what improvements campus and ASUCD can make to better support them,” ASUCD Vice President Gareth Smythe said.
Although transfer students comprise approximately 25 percent of the student population at UC Davis, this is not reflected through the current makeup of student leaders in ASUCD, which currently hosts only one transfer student senator. For former ASUCD Senator Brendan Chang, this statistic is evidence that transfer students are less likely to become involved in student leadership through ASUCD compared to students who are admitted to the university as freshmen. This is a discrepancy that Chang sought to resolve as one of five transfer students who have served on the ASUCD Senate in the last 10 years.
“As a transfer student in ASUCD, I brought it upon myself to somehow get the voice of TRV students in the senate once I term out,” Chang said. “So few TRV students have been on the table and yet, nothing was done about it.”
Similarly, former ASUCD Senator Roman Rivilis described how transfer students have more significant transitions to overcome given the limited amount of time they spend as students after transferring.
“Transfer students are socially and academically compromised by their limited access to university resources and student life in a more finite amount of time,” Rivilis said. “This subsequently affects the overall adjustment of the transfer community to UC Davis not just through the pacing of the quarter system, but also the obligations of being in a separated environment from the one transferred from.”
As an ASUCD senator, Rivilis contributed to the creation of the TRV Committee by drafting its duties and obligations. Based on his interactions with transfer students, Rivilis was able to learn about their unique struggles.
Chang also hopes that the committee will help prompt more transfer students to become involved in ASUCD. His hope is for 25 percent of students involved in ASUCD to be transfer students in order to reflect the makeup of the current student profile on campus.
“We as transfer students cannot expect someone who started UC Davis as a freshman to represent us properly or give our perspective,” Chang said. “With such little TRV involvement in ASUCD, how could this need even be identified?”
As part of his platform for ASUCD Senate, Chang hopes to establish a permanent TRV position that would attend all senate meetings and offer input pertaining to the circumstances for TRV students. While this is not yet part of the established committee, Chang hopes it can be the next step in engaging the TRV community on campus.
The objectives of the TRV Committee are outlined in ASUCD Senate Bill 23. Chang initially introduced the bill at the senate meeting on Nov. 19 and it was voted on during the last meeting of Fall 2015.
Weekly committee meetings will begin once the committee members have been selected. The application for committee members will close Jan. 11.
Written by: LAURA FITZGERALD – email@example.com