I get it. Many people often find frustration with government. Some disagree with certain actions that are taken, others find it hard to see the value of government.
I understand many of the concerns and acknowledge that ASUI is not perfect, but Andrew Jenson, in his article from March 30, “No Big Deal,” gave a very misleading and hypercritical analysis of ASUI.
Jenson’s conclusion is that ASUI is “self-serving,” that we “have a small effect on university life,” and are “an unimportant organization with a narrow focus.”
And while he references some governmental functions that appear to contribute to these pointed, he neglects to address the full picture and fails to perform any type of due-diligence. ASUI does provide some truly valuable services to students.
Consistently, year-in and year-out, ASUI provides oversight and establishment of the Student Activity Fee — a $1,100 component of full tuition, and ironically the revenue that funds Jenson’s paycheck.
We provide representation and student voice on university search committees seeking to bring high-level administrators to the University of Idaho — this year alone ASUI has had members serve on the Vice Provost of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Provost and Executive Vice President, Vice President of Advancement and Dean of Students search committees.
Additionally, ASUI provides and disburses nearly $70,000 to the university’s 200+ student organizations in order to benefit the student experience and fund programming endeavors. These are, certainly, just a few of the tangible services that ASUI provides and help demonstrate the importance of student government.
I understand that, as Jenson writes, “the university isn’t the beginning and end for every student on campus” and that “life doesn’t center around UI”.
But considering we are here for four years — five in my case — don’t you think we should have some voice and influence in the things going on around us? This is what ASUI strives to do, and while we are not perfect, I think that we do a pretty decent job.
Nate Fisher, ASUI president