The weekend of September 28, 2011 to October 2, 2011 the AS&F Executive Board and the Program Assistant attended the annual Nation Student Government Summit in Washington D.C. This conference had hundreds of schools in attendance and nearly as many ideas, opinions, and fresh insight to our very own Associated Students & Faculty Government. Here are some of the conference recap summaries written by the Executive Board who attended. (More pictures will be added soon!)
Matthew Martinez, AS&F/Student Body President 2011-2012 says:
Hello all, I just wanted to write you and fill you in on what I learned from the ASGA Conference in Washington D.C.! First of all, ASGA stands for the American Student Government Association, and they hold various conferences throughout the year to help improve student governments across the nation. There were a lot of student government members there that ranged from community colleges all the way up to larger universities. In total there were about 650 members there and this was their largest conference to date! So it was very exciting to be a part of that.
As for the conference itself I went to some workshops that pertained to my job and that I thought would be beneficial to AS&F. For starters, I went to the workshop entitled
“The Gift and The Curse.” During this session we brought up different ideas on how to improve our student government, how to market better and how to get more people involved. The ideas that I got from this were possibly having student meetings with as much of the student body as possible, working more closely with GAB and other organizations on campus to get our name out, talking to the different department heads to request more involvement as far as senators go, empowering our current body, implement AS&F interns, AS&F member of the month and outreach more toward the freshmen class. All these are great ideas and I fully plan on investing time and effort into these and seeing how they will affect AS&F. In addition, I also met up with the Syracuse University Student Government and got new ideas on how to increase our membership. They were able to go from a group of ten to a group of seventy, without including clubs, in a matter of a year, and they will have their first contested elections in almost ten years! I find that very impressive and I hope the same things that worked for them will work for us! Hopefully soon enough we will be able to see AS&F grow like this and be able to have a full senate for the first time ever!
Also, I attended a few other workshops entitled “Choosing Realistic Goals” and “Building a successful Executive Board.” I took a lot out of both of these workshops including a few workshops I can host on my own and a few ideas that AS&F can promote in the future. All in all the conference was well put together and I got a lot out of it. I hope that I can bring these ideas back to AS&F and we can see them flourish. If you have any questions for me on anything about ASGA or anything in general please feel free to e-mail me or come in during my office hours!
Kat Wilson, VP of Internal Affairs says…
The D.C. trip was awesome! I feel that the conference was more beneficial then we initially thought. I attended sessions on marketing our student government and a few on how to run our trainings or retreats. As far as the marketing sessions went I learned that we need to put our logo or “brand” on everything we fund from club trips to the AEDs we have on campus. It’s a great way for our student body to see that we do more than just sit around and talk club money. I was also given a name to this site called survey monkey that could help us better understand what our student body needs. We have to provide a service for them on campus that no one else will be willing to provide. As far as our retreats go while short sweet and to the point seems to be what everyone on the body wants it may not be the best. In the session I went to on training your student government I learned this method that we start out by doing something silly like playing rock paper scissors and then move to a serious topic and repeat as necessary. This allows us to get to know one another instead of just sitting through lectures about how to write bills and other things. I think this would benefit us by allowing the senators and club reps to get to know one another so when clubs need someone to sponsor their bill they know a person for more than just their email address. Besides the conference the sightseeing was amazing! I couldn’t have asked for a better place to host a conference!!!
Travid Blancett, Executive Secretary says…
The ASGA conference was a very enlightening experience for myself and I’m sure everyone who attended. The beneficial part of attending an ASGA is that the conference doesn’t generalize student governments. They realize that the amount of money available to a college and the number of people who participate in senate, differs from school to school. They used these facts to formulate the workshops in a way that is beneficial to every school there.
As for my position and the workshops that I attended, I learned a substantial amount on the duties of my position and how they coincide with Roberts Rules of Order. I attended a workshop that was specifically for secretaries. In this workshop, the speaker went over the duties of a secretary in the office and in meetings. After the workshop, I got to talk to several other secretaries about how they fulfill their positions, a few of whom I was able to collaborate with and exchange ideas with, based on how they perform their job and I perform mine. I do hope to put this information to good use as I fulfill my position. I attended a few other workshops, all of which were beneficial to myself and will help me broaden my knowledge of working in a senate executive board.
All in all, the D.C. trip was a great experience. Not only did we get to work with other students who are in the same positions as we are, we were able to bond as an executive board.