ASUA seeks diverse council to better represent student opinions

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

ASUA plans to create a "melting pot" of student opinion through a council of club presidents.

The council will serve as a diverse student voice when administrators, Associated Students members or other clubs want to assess student opinion, said Josh Becker, Vice President of Clubs and Organizations.

"Often when the administrators are interested in student input they come to ASUA, and although we are designed to represent the student body, we often don't represent a lot of the diverse views," Becker said.

The 13- or 14-member council will include as diverse a mix of students as possible, he said, adding that he plans to specifically target three or four very active, controversial organizations. Other clubs can apply for the remaining positions. Although club presidents would be preferred members, other club representatives may apply to the council, Becker said.

"Even if members argue and hate each other, at least they will get a better idea of diverse opinions on campus," Becker said.

The council, which Becker hopes will be operational by the beginning of October, will meet either once or twice a month. Administrators will present a different issue of concern at each meeting and the members will then debate the topic, Becker said.

Becker said the idea originated at a Pacific 10 student government conference.

"Most of the other Pac-10 schools have councils that are very effective in representing student opinion," he said, "but similar councils that have been attempted at the UA in the past have fizzled out quickly."

T.J. Gilmore, the Residence Hall Association's national communications coordinator, said RHA members think the council would be beneficial in increasing commu nication between ASUA and campus clubs.

"It's a great idea to give clubs another field to interact with each other and possibly coordinate events together," Gilmore said. "It will also allow clubs to have more input in what ASUA does."

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