ASG travels to Rutgers to discuss college costs, shared governance

Erica Snow, Reporter

Three Associated Student Government leaders traveled to a student government conference at Rutgers University this weekend to discuss campus issues including shared governance, mental health and college costs.

ASG President Noah Star, Executive Vice President Christina Kim and Chief of Staff Simran Chadha attended the Association of Big Ten Students winter conference in New Jersey to interact with representatives from 13 other schools and hear about their work with their college communities.

The Northwestern representatives gave a presentation that focused on its relationship with the administration and student groups, and its formal structure to the full delegation.

“We’re the smallest school in the Big Ten, but we actually have one of the larger student governments,” Star, a Weinberg senior, said. “On other Big Ten campuses, much of the advocacy comes directly from student government. Our job is helping student advocates … and being advocates for their voices when they ask us to.”

Students discussed an affordable textbook resolution passed at Wednesday’s ASG Senate during a larger discussion about college affordability at the conference, and Star said the resolution was well-received by other campus leaders.

The conference also brought up issues that NU hadn’t considered before, like graduate student representation in student government, Chadha, a Communication sophomore, said.

Representatives at the conference were able to break out into smaller discussion groups, which Kim, a McCormick senior, said she valued as a chance to learn about issues across campuses and compare resolutions.

Student government can vary widely between schools and it’s important to be exposed to those differences, Star said. He added ASG defines itself as “facilitating advocacy,” and realizes that there may be other experts student groups can work with besides ASG.

“You get to see what other people are doing, what best practices work for them,” Star said. “It can be an affirming space in that you see other schools trying other things. It can confirm great strategy and it can show you better strategy in areas in which you might be struggling.”

NU will also send delegates to the Big Ten on the Hill conference in April in Washington.

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