Edit – please view this post at its new location
Remember how ASM was looking for people to sit on the Constitutional Committee and fill vacant SSFC and SAC seats a month ago? Well, they’re still looking.
What used to say
Resume and Cover Letters are due by Friday May 16th at 5pm
Rolling Nominations to continue until Sept. 10th. 2008
And look at all of the positions they are still trying to fill
1 Student Council L&S Representative (unpaid)
3 Student Service Finance Committee (unpaid)
1 Student Service Finance Committee Acountability Liason
1 Press Office Members
2 Constitutional Committee Members (unpaid)
If I remember correctly the same 4 SSFC positions were available a month ago. I guess no one applied. According to this listing of L&S reps there are two spots open, there are only 10 of the 12 there. The fact that 2 of the 6 at-large positions for people outside of ASM on the Constitutional Committee and 1 of the 5 press office jobs is still open means one of two things. It’s possible that ASM just did a terrible job of advertising these positions and the people who would have been interested never heard about them. Or maybe it’s just that no one is interested in filling any of these positions, even to pad their resumes. I would say it’s both.
Either way, it’s pretty clear that ASM has failed to translate any of the momentum that was building for reform into more student engagement and involvement. The letter pledging reform was a good step, but ASM has taken several steps back since then. Gallagher’s resignation, the failure to find anyone to be the Chair, and now the failure to find enough people to fill these positions.
Now not filling all of the seats doesn’t mean that the Constitutional Committee will fail in its task. It does have 12 other members after all (assuming enough ASMers wanted to serve, which might not be a given considering recent events). But, this is definitely a signal of the lack of enthusiasm from the student body at large and a failure on the part of ASM to generate that enthusiasm. The biggest part of ASM that needed reform was its public image. The aspect of the current setup thats driving the reform push is its failure to engage average students and make ASM meaningful. It’s far to soon to say the committee has failed, but this is definitely not a positive sign.
The vacancy in the press office is a whole different matter, the opening definitely reflects upon its success. From what both ASMers and others were saying the press office was supposed to be experienced, highly competent people. It was supposed to be a big time job that upperclassmen would be competing to get. The fact that there is still an opening after the first deadline to apply had already passed likely signals that is not the case. Maybe ASM engaged in a highly specific targeted advertising campaign, that I never heard about, to journalism and communications juniors and seniors and found exactly 4 extremely qualified people, but I doubt it. Unless that is the case, I don’t see how the press office is any improvement over the now defunct Campus Relations committee (which still has a webpage by the way). Another issue that I think contributed to the current state of the press office is the lack of pay for the positions. If ASM was serious about fixing their image on campus they ought to be willing to give a couple of people 10 bucks an hour to improve their relations will all of campus, not just the press. 3 of the 5 positions being unpaid is not going to cut it.
This also leads into another problem with ASM’s communications that I’m desperately hoping the press office will fix. There is no way to find out anything about ASM other than talking to someone in it unless it’s covered by the campus press. The website is terrible. Updating it doesn’t seem to be a concern of anyone. I’ve already pointed out one page in addition to the Campus Relations committee page I pointed out just now. There is no way to find out anything about the press office or constitutional committee. Even if I wanted to read through the minutes of the meetings, the ones they have posted are from last year. And those are just the things I’ve found just no. I would venture to guess there are many more aspects that could use improvement. I guess I could email Jessica Pavlic, Brittany Wiegand or some other member with their email address posted, but how many student would take the time to do that? Such basic and up to date information should not so difficult to find. It is the job of ASM to communicate with me, not the other way around. If getting some better people to run the website isn’t a part of the press office or some other reform, it ought to be. Making those updates Student Council members wanted from the Constitutional Committee throughout the summer available on the website would be a start (or at least email them to me 🙂 ).
By the way, if I was wrong about any of the above it just is further evidence of the failings of ASM. They weren’t even able to communicate what was going on to a student who is reasonably informed about ASM and who was actively seeking out the information.