Summer has arrived. For most, this signals a release from grueling classes and a momentary pause in the endeavor to complete a degree. For others, it is simply a change in scenery as they take on their five and ten week courses during the summer semester. For me, it is a chance to meet with administration as I transition in to my new role as your student body president. The past month has been a blur of meetings and events as I have established contacts, prepared USUAA for the upcoming academic year and begun to deliver on the goals which I promised you during my campaign. While the work is not complete, I am glad to report that meaningful progress has been made in four strategic areas: security cameras, student fees, advocacy, and Title IX.
1. Security cameras – Following a meeting with Vice Chancellor Pat Shier and UPD Chief Brad Munn, costs to add security cameras in certain areas such as the West Parking Lot and the MAC Parking Lot are being assessed. This project should be completed in the near future and I am confident that we can cut down on the amount of car thefts that occur on our campus.
2. Student fees – On Friday, June 16, I will be meeting with the all the directors of the mandatory student fee areas. It is my hope that we not only reduce the number of unnecessary fees, but increase transparency in how those fees are spent.
3. Advocacy – On May 6, I sent out a press release on behalf of USUAA and the UAA student body to the Alaska State Legislature advocating for a University of Alaska budget of $325 million. Actions such as these ensure that we are an active stakeholder in our future.
4. Title IX – Working closely with Bridget Dooley, the UAA Title IX Coordinator, USUAA is dedicated to guaranteeing that students on our campus feel safe always. UAA has implemented new resources such as Standing Together Against Rape in Rasmuson Hall and USUAA will help to ensure that our students know where they can get help and information.
Though the academic year has not yet begun, USUAA is working to represent students on our campus, at the Board of Regents, and at the Alaska State Legislature. While the University of Alaska’s budget situation may be unresolved, our ability to advocate and promote student leadership has not been affected. I believe that students play a key role in shaping their environment and there is no better time than now to prove that.
Alec Burris, Student Body President
Phone: (907) 715-2177