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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Guest: The hidden potential of ASUCD

The outgoing ASUCD Internal Affairs Commission Chair speaks of the good, hard-working people of the Association

Divisive, petty, toxic: these are just some of the many acerbic words used to describe ASUCD. I have been in the Association for the past four years, and while these attributes may be accurate from time to time, it is often not the case.

For the past two years, I have been the Internal Affairs Commission Chairperson of ASUCD. This position has provided me the opportunity to see over 40 different senators, three executive offices and 200 pieces of legislation.

From my largely non-partisan perch on the Senate table, I can confidently say that all the senators, staffers and commissioners I’ve met in ASUCD are here for the right reasons. Every senator and commission chair comes into office with platforms or goals that they aim to accomplish. From housing to safety to internal reforms, these aspirations are often fulfilled. I have seen countless new members of ASUCD learn to wield their newfound influence in order to better the overall experience for students on this campus.  

It is often said that ASUCD does so much on campus yet is largely ignored. Despite the constant talk of increasing outreach, there is rarely any effort made to actually connect with students outside the Association. Even though many senators may make a profound impact on this campus, it is not always widely broadcast. I would argue that this is acceptable. As long as the job gets done, it does not matter if ASUCD gets the credit.

Our student government has an unfortunate habit of publicly airing its dirty laundry. Most of my friends have only heard of ASUCD through nasty, vitriolic and personal Facebook spats. While public discussion is an important part of any major discussion, these petty arguments are not representative of ASUCD on a daily basis.

This gets me to the crux of this article: ASUCD is filled with good, hard-working people. While there are often disagreements between factions, the environment is only toxic if you make it toxic. Some people ask how I managed to survive in ASUCD’s environment for so long. My answer is that if you go to work every day with a smile on your face and the explicit goal to work with anyone and everyone, you will succeed. Openness and equality are often empty platitudes, yet in the case of ASUCD they are the best way to get things done.

As I attend an ASUCD Senate meeting for the final time this Thursday, I would like to emphasize to the student body of UC Davis that your student leaders are hard-working, passionate individuals. They represent students from all walks of life and, at their best, these student leaders will work together to make this campus better for all.

Written by: Jacob Ganz

The writer is a fourth-year studying history and political science and the Internal Affairs Commission Chairperson in ASUCD. He had been on the ASUCD Senate table for the longest time of any currently active member, having served since May 2016. He is resigning on April 4.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.


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