August 2017 Message from Student Body President Alec Burris

Dear Seawolves,

There is no better indication that the fall semester has begun at UAA than the thousand-fold increase in students in the Student Union during the last weeks of August. Returning from vacation, work or online classes, our campus truly becomes alive as we begin the year.

As Student Body President at UAA, I have worked over the summer to ensure that the student government and I can adequately represent students as we begin this next year. Our student government, The Union of Students at the University of Alaska Anchorage (USUAA), is driven by three strategic priorities: service, advocacy and self governance. When my Vice President, Geser Bat-Erdene, and I ran in the spring semester, we sought to create a culture in which USUAA members value these priorities and students view the student government as an effective institution on our campus. In this pursuit, I will share with you some of the work that we accomplished over the summer.

Adopt-A-Road Cleanups

Through the Adopt-A-Road program, USUAA sponsors 36th Avenue in Anchorage from Lake Otis to the Seward Highway. During the summer, USUAA members completed three different road cleanups in an effort to provide a positive service to our community.

Dunk Your Administration Charity

At the 2017 UAA Campus Kickoff, USUAA hosted a “Dunk Your Administration” tank in an effort to raise money for Covenant House of Alaska. Dunking Dean of Students Ben Morton, Vice Chancellor Pat Shier, Vice Chancellor Bruce Schultz and Chancellor Sam Gingrich raised over $700 to support efforts to reduce youth homelessness in our community.

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Sight Lines on Residential Campus

Concerns raised by students who felt unsafe while walking on residential campus due to the inability to see through the trees prompted conversations between myself, Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs Pat Shier, University Police Chief Brad Munn and Director of Housing, Dining, and Conference Services David Weaver. At the Aug. 2 assembly meeting of USUAA, we passed a resolution in support of trimming trees and clearing brush in this area to improve these sight lines. We recently received confirmation that this project will be completed in late September or early October.

As we enter this next academic year, I am confident that the student government and I will represent students to the best of our abilities. It is my philosophy that to truly be involved in your community you must be willing to speak up and create change, and there is no better time to do that than now.