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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

ASUCD holds cultural awareness forum

RAUL MORALES / AGGIE

Students discuss advocacy, student representation

ASUCD hosted a forum in the Student Community Center (SCC) on May 8 to discuss cultural awareness. The event, hosted by the Department of Outreach and Recruitment and the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission, gave students the chance to speak with their representatives and engage in discussions about issues of advocacy and student representation.

The forum, which took place in Meeting Room E on the second floor of the SCC, featured current ASUCD Senators Samantha Chiang, Marcos Rodriguez and Jose Meneses.

“ASUCD forums show students what issues we care about; cultural awareness is particularly timely due to our current political climate,” Chiang said in an email interview. “As ASUCD representatives, we want to foster a university environment that is inclusive to folx from all backgrounds.”

ASUCD has hosted forums before to try to better engage students and foster a relationship with the student body. Josh Dalavai, the current ASUCD president, said that the forums offer a space for back-and-forth dialogue.

“Beyond the spatial advantages, the content of these forums is very useful as they pertain to critical student issues,” Dalavai said in an email interview. “The forums serve as both a space for disseminating the work ASUCD is doing to tackle these issues and as a site for criticism and feedback.”

The forum, which lasted over an hour, included discussions of various topics, including student engagement and ASUCD’s work on issues like student diversity and inclusiveness.

Rodriguez, a second-year political science major, said that speaking with students offers an opportunity to engage with certain issues faced by different student groups.

“I feel like just being more involved with them and kind of letting them know where we are as an association, we can start to talk to communities, like underrepresented communities where we want to help build these coalitions and we want them to know that we want to help them, and a way to do that is through open forums,” Rodriguez said.

Although only a handful of students attended the forum, Chiang hopes future forums will attract a larger audience and greater involvement from both students and ASUCD senators to help build a stronger relationship between the two groups.

“When marketed properly, these forums can serve as a venue to hold student representative accountable and ensure that we are truly working in students’ best interest,” Chiang said. “Hopefully, we can garner more of a turnout in the future and combat the general apathy towards student government.”

 

Written by: Ivan Valenzuela — campus@theaggie.org

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