New ASG committee chairs hope to increase internal and student group collaboration

Against+a+yellow+background%2C+two+animated+male+and+female+students+face+each+other+with+three+of+the+ASG+committee+hexagons+between+them.+The+hexagons+are+blue%2C+purple+and+green.+The+female+student+is+holding+a+gavel.

Illustration by Nathaniel Ortiz

ASG selected swore in six new committee chairs. The rest of the executive board will be selected in the next week.

Emma Rosenbaum, Reporter

Associated Student Government’s new committee addressed goals to improve internal collaboration and communication in its Wednesday session. 

Leadership swore in chairs for six committees. ASG President Christian Wade and Vice President Adaeze Obgonna were on the board of ASG members who reviewed applications and the Senate voted on each nomination at Wednesday’s meeting. 

Weinberg junior Campbell Schafer will continue as Academics Chair for the third straight year. Weinberg sophomore Cindy Shou will take over as Analytics Committee chair. McCormick freshman Zai Dawodu will be the new Communications Committee chair. 

Medill sophomore Julia Karten will chair the Health and Wellness Committee. McCormick freshman Molly Whalen will lead the Policy Research Committee. Weinberg sophomore Sadie Bernstein and Weinberg junior Sara McCoy will co-chair the Sustainability Committee.

Shou said she wanted to increase communication between the Analytics Committee and other committees for increased efficiency, since the committees have seen initiatives overlap in the past. Whalen also advocated for increased collaboration, especially with regards to ideas for ASG and University reform.

“Other committees are a great resource of knowledge and opinions,” Whalen said. “The Analytics Committee is going to have one perspective, Campus Life is gonna have another perspective. (Communication) is important because you make sure you’re not ignoring any crucial perspectives.”

Shou said she wants to work more with student groups because data from the Analytics Committee’s campus-wide surveys would be beneficial to a wide range of organizations. Collaborating with these groups with an emphasis on student advocacy would also make the committee more aware of issues on campus and possible solutions, she said.

The survey gives the committee insight into the issues students care about and changes they want to see on campus. Even though the data is public, Shou said she rarely sees it used.

“Student groups interacted with the administration to try and further their goals,” Shou said. “But if they have concrete evidence that this is what students want, that can only bolster their claims.”

Whalen said she wants to examine accountability structures, which includes investigating how task forces are monitored. Dawodu said she wants to improve the communication between ASG and the student body, making the organization’s operations more transparent— which aligns with Wade and Ogbonna’s goals for their presidential term. 

Amid the transition back to in-person classes, Schafer said she will focus on holding administration accountable to increasing the accessibility of the academic experience. As the new Sustainability chairs, McCoy said she and Bernstein plan to continue an initiative to make Ryan Field zero waste-compliant, while also making sustainability more inclusive and accessible.

“I want to use this platform to make environmentalism more intersectional on our campus,” McCoy said. “I really want to engage with marginalized communities, especially freshmen and underclassmen who might not be aware of ASG or even sustainability, and go out of my way to recruit them.”

In the coming week, ASG will select its new Chief of Staff, Executive Officer of Justice and Inclusion, and the chair of the Campus Life committee.

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