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Freshman council enters second year

By Dana Crudo
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Members of the freshman student council plan to build on lessons learned from last year's failures and successes.

"Since last year was FCC's first year, I think that we fought to create a respectable and quality reputation," said Kim Bui, director of academic affairs for last year's council. "We were given the job, which was more of an opportunity, to set precedents and create our own agendas."

Cubbies, the name given for the freshman council, began last year as a chance for incoming freshmen to get an early start in student government.

At the beginning of the school year the council had 40 members, by year's end there were 25.

The drop off in student participation did not alarm organizers. In fact they expected it.

"Freshmen always want to join everything, last year a lot of people were in too many clubs and couldn't attend meetings," said Jordan Miller, director of the council.

The council selects 40 members in order to prepare for those that will drop out; they only need 20 members to get business done.

"I think that every club faces that problem, Bui said. "You will always have a division between the members who are in it for the long term, and the members who find that they have other commitments that take priority."

It is this precaution that allowed last year's council to still accomplish all of its goals even with a drop of 15 members.

The Cubbies last year had duties like Habitat for Humanity, Aids Walk, homecoming events, and giving ASUA extra manpower for their sponsored events.

"(The Cubbies) accomplished everything they wanted to, events were planned out well," said J.P. Benedict, president of ASUA.

Another problem the council faced last year was rumors concerning drinking within the freshman class council.

"I didn't drink, I never felt there was a problem, it's not true at all," said Miller. "For any college student that is the scene, it shouldn't be connected to any certain organization."

Bui agreed.

"Teenagers, especially college teenagers, will always have their fun, but it was surprising that teenage fun became associated exhaustively and associated directly with the FCC."

Regardless, members appear confident that important lessons were learned from last year's setbacks and that the changes made will only benefit the council.

"We plan on retaining more freshmen by making them involved right away by putting them directly into projects," said Miller. "They won't want to drop because they will already be putting a lot into it."

Cubbies will be involved with ASUA differently this year. They will still serve as aides for ASUA sponsored events and activities but its members will also be more informed about different aspects of ASUA.

"The biggest change this year is that the cubbies will be exposed to everything about every part of ASUA so that they can be more aware of future possibilities for upperclassman participation," Miller said.

The council will still be responsible for painting the fire hydrants red and blue, and participating in numerous community service programs.

Many other projects for the year are dependent on the ideas of its members.

"[The Cubbies] are encouraged to come up with their own projects," Miller said, "It is their club, it's for freshmen and for their ideas."

With the freshman class council up and running, the mission for this year is to form councils for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

These councils are expected to have 20 members, and should be up and running within a month.

Applications for positions on sophomore, junior, and senior class councils are available at the ASUA center.

Interviews for Cubbies are already being conducted in the ASUA offices and the freshmen chosen will be announced tomorrow.

"We want as many people as possible, the more involvement the better for ASUA and the students participating," Benedict said.

"For freshmen, being in ASUA surrounds them with older students who can tell them how to do things, they then have a jump on every other freshman."

Mark Rudolph, a civil engineering sophomore, agreed with Benedict.

"It's a good idea because it allows class specific issues to be brought forward, which otherwise would likely not be addressed."

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