Daily file illustration by Nathaniel Ortiz
With a new school year comes new challenges for students and staff. At Northwestern, Associated Student Government is one of the many voices in conversations surrounding campus life and student needs.
Composed entirely of elected student representatives, ASG is one way for students’ voices to be heard on campus and a direct line of communication with administration. The organization is broken into multiple groups, including the Executive Office, the Senate and a variety of committees.
While it may not have influence over all of NU’s decisions, ASG can serve as an indicator of students’ priorities on issues, in part by passing resolutions to declare support or opposition to University policies and stances. The organization is also essential to the function of extracurriculars on campus, controlling over $1 million in funding each year.
To understand how ASG advocates for students, it’s helpful to learn about the way it functions. So we’re here to break it down for you.
First off, we have ASG’s Executive Office. Next year, it will be led by President Christian Wade and Vice President Adaeze Ogbonna. The pair was elected this spring in a landslide, receiving 80 percent of the votes after a chaotic election cycle unlike anything ASG has ever seen.
Also included in the office are Chief of Staff Donovan Cusick and Executive Officer of Justice and Inclusion Karina Karbo-Wright, as well as other senior cabinet members. Together, the group works to advocate for students in discussions with administrators, as they are ASG’s primary point of contact with school leaders.
While ASG’s highest officers are elected each spring, members of the Senate are elected in the fall, allowing freshmen to run for positions. Just as states are apportioned representatives in state and federal governments, schools and student organizations also receive senators in varying quantities.
Senators attend weekly meetings where they discuss campus issues and legislation. Any student can write legislation, but it must be co-sponsored by a senator to be voted on. Throughout the legislative process, senators can amend or rewrite pieces before voting on them, a process that usually takes two weeks.
Outside the Senate, ASG also has nine different committees: academics, analytics, campus life, communications, health and wellness, justice and inclusion, policy research, finances and sustainability.
Committees look at these specialized elements of campus life and the student experience and seek ways to improve them. They also allocate resources to different projects across campus. The experience is different from that of a senator, serving as a great opportunity to get experience in ASG without running for election.
To get involved with ASG, students can attend regular Senate meetings, run to become a senator in the fall or join one of the organization’s many committees. And if you’re not interested in participating but want to know more about what goes on at each meeting, The Daily will always have you covered with reporting on ASG’s latest actions throughout the entire school year.
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