Junior biology major Bethie Ross and freshman political science major David Asbra were elected as the 2013-2014 Associated Students of the University of La Verne president and executive vice president, respectively, on April 10.
Ross will succeed Ava Jahanvash and Asbra will succeed Michael Wahba.
Ross is currently serving as senator pro tempore and Asbra is currently serving as a senator at large.
Can you outline your plan for me while you hold the ASULV office?
Ross: One of the first key things we want to do is implement a focus group and with that focus group we would have better representation across the campus.
There would be one person from every major, one person from every club, a commuter, a resident and from that group we would be able to reach out and better broaden the spectrum of information and we would be able to spread it.
We would meet twice a semester.
Asbra: Dispel any misconceptions because there is a lot of things that ASULV can do for the students and not everyone understands or fully knows and our focus group is going to help students get their voice heard to administration because that is something that students are not happy with.
Ross: And what it will do is point students to the person in administration that they need to talk to concerning their problems.
What short term and long-term goals do you have?
Asbra: Personally, make it more of a family and community feeling because if we are really close with each other we are able to use that and actually go out and get people to know us more because that’s one thing we really want is students to know who our senators are.
We’re open all the time for people to come in and ask questions and not a lot of people know that and we want them to know that for next year.
So our short term goal is to get people to know who’s on ASULV.
Ross: So typically there are 12 senators on ASULV and people usually can’t name the two senators that represent them for their specific college and with better representation with that people can put a name to a face.
How do you plan to achieve your goals?
Ross: We’re planning to have a retreat before school starts so starting day one we can get the ball rolling on events. We’re going to have a welcome back event with ASULV and the students like an all-campus lunch.
Your focus involves three main agenda items: parking, commuters and residential life. Can you explain what each of those items means to your agenda?
Asbra: It can be really hard to get involved sometimes as a commuter.
Sometimes it’s a push to get in clubs or get involved or even be informed as a commuter. We want to bring more commuters to more events even if it means making the events earlier, just trying to make it fit their schedule.
Ross: A large input that we received from campaigning is spirit on campus. Students wear other school’s sweatshirts.
They wear USC, UCLA. We want to create a more spirit environment because at games, we have good sporting programs. Our baseball team wins SCIAC and all that, but yet do we have students going and supporting their games?
One thing that was a major issue was that people were saying could they, like, get more support for athletes.
Things like that, like creating a better spirit, will create better enjoyment on campus here. That’s like a residential/commuter connection. We can create a ULV day where you just wear green and orange and show support for the school.
There has been a steady tuition increase for the past few semesters at ULV, hypothetically if the University were to implement another tuition increase, what steps would you take to have the student body’s voice heard?
Ross: A benefit that students usually don’t take advantage of, we do have open student forums and not just the ones at town hall at 10 p.m. We had one from 11 to 1 in the green space.
Students need to voice their opinions because we can’t read students’ minds.
Currently, in ASULV we see the money benefitting students in a way, but tuition is typically a tougher thing to reach but if we have student backing we can better support their voice of what they want.
Asbra: As for, specifically, this last tuition increase there was not too much that students could do because administration didn’t really want to do it but because it was more of insurance, I think. Insurance went up like 20 percent, or I don’t know the exact number, but something like a big number, and so administration didn’t want that. They kind of had to. In that case there’s nothing even administration can do.
What issues do you see at the University?
Ross: At the University there’s always issues and from that pin pointing major issues that the student’s are focusing on are No.1 parking, tuition increases, stuff like that, so our main issue is information.
We need to make a better bridge of communication because as ASULV we get information and we just need to disperse that information properly to different groups.
So, in my opinion that’s my No. 1 issue.
If certain things were justified with information maybe students wouldn’t be so opposed to it.
Asbra: That kind of ties into involvement. We want to get more people out to events and actually understand the information that we’re giving out and for people to come out and voice their opinions.
How do you plan on getting the information out?
Ross: Well with that focus group because there’s representation at every level, then we’d have our normal forums, maybe introduce more forums once every month and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal because there would be a better connection with students and they would be more willing to come in to student life.
Our doors are always open, there’s typically one person always sitting in the office that they can talk to.
Christian Orozco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.