Jason D. Cox
The Associated Students of University of La Verne announced their newly elected officials – all of whom ran unopposed – last week.
Seven positions were filled following the unsuspenseful election.
Officers include Nicholas Andrew Sloot, a junior physics major, starting a second term as ASULV president; Ava Jahanvash, sophomore political science and economics major, executive vice president and senators-at-large Garrick Muse, Elizabeth “Bethie” Ross and Cindy Vallejo.
The lack of competition brings to light the fact that the University’s student government would benefit from raised awareness and increased involvement by the student body.
“I was surprised,” said sophomore business administration major and newly elected Senator-at-Large Andrea Naccache. “I think people don’t necessarily know enough about ASULV to be motivated to contribute their time.”
One common thread between those elected is that they each serve in other ULV organizations; from Greek organizations to academic societies to on-campus employment.
This on-campus involvement keys them in to things happening on campus in a way that the average student is unable to access.
Jahanvash said that being immersed in numerous aspects of the ULV community, such as the debate team, the Alpha Chi honors society and the PR committee, keeps her in the loop.
“Because of my involvement in those organizations, I find out about other opportunities,” Jahanvash said. “If you’re not involved, then it’s hard to hear about them.”
Junior history major and newly-elected Senator-at-Large Michael Wahba said that when he transferred to ULV from Cal Poly Pomona, he had not been active in extra-curricular activities at school, but when he came to La Verne, he wanted to change that.
“My sister, who graduated from ULV, said the best way to meet people is to get involved and avoid cliques,” Wahba said.
However, one of Jahanvash’s personal goals for her coming term as executive vice president is to reach out to the students who are not otherwise involved on campus and help them to find a place to serve and connect with their fellow students.
“My goal is student outreach and to get the campus spirit up,” Jahanvash said. “If every student can find even one club that they enjoy, then it makes school that much more worth it.”
If ASULV hopes to get new and different students to serve, then announcements will need to reach beyond the spheres of different organizations on campus to the students who are not yet participating in extra-curricular activities and organizations.
One thing that seems effective in stirring up the interest of students that are otherwise uninvolved is to expose them to their own power and the weight of their presence on campus.
The recent town hall meetings with President Steve Morgan and the student forum in the Leo’s Den on Wednesday, April 5 are prime examples.
Allowing students to see that they have a say in what goes on at their school could lead to more student involvement, or at least a lowered level of apathy.
ASULV will be holding interviews for open senator positions. Students interested in getting involved are advised to contact ASULV or Director of Student Life Barbara Mulligan.
Jason D. Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.