AS&F prepares for the new school year with President Matthew Martinez

(09-12-2011)

By: Mariah Pepe

This year, the Adams State College Associated Students and Faculty team is up and running with new goals for the new school year.

Student Government program serves as a collective voice for the Adams State students and faculty who pay fees. They advocate clubs and organizations, hold open forums, and protect the education and rights of students, all while promoting an involved campus and community.

New AS&F President Matthew Martinez implemented a variety of ideas in order to improve senate and welcome innovation from all of Adam State's groups. Ken Marquez, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, said “Mathew has great leadership abilities and strong commitments that will make him a great president for the students".

At the end of the past school year, the AS&F voted to make the entrance to the Carson Auditorium appear more welcoming. It is currently undecided what exactly will be done to the auditorium, but the entrance and curtains are the main focus. The group will make their final decisions sometime in the next few weeks.

Additionally, the calendar is already packed as senate gears up to take on all of their yearly projects, such as Homecoming, the ASC Cares Day, and other tasks with the Grizzly Activities Board.

Despite this, Martinez said a major goal for AS&F this year is to "legitimize Student Senate as a whole". The plan is to get all campus clubs to have a representative who will ensure his or her group's issues are acknowledged and addressed by Senate in order to avoid future conflict and miscommunication.

Martinez extends an invitation to all students and faculty to the meetings this year. The meetings provide a place to promote the student body's interests, and anyone who wants to be a senator may vote on how AS&F finances are allotted. It is an opportunity for students, who pay dues, to decide how their money is spent, rather than having decisions made for them.

Finally, because AS&F is in control of its own funding, Martinez seeks to organize the process by which groups obtain financial aid. This year, Senate will hold four meetings a year, called quarterlies, where clubs and organizations can ask for financial support. This new plan has been set up to encourage groups to better present their needs for funding, help senate to organize the large amount of requests that they receive, and to promote clubs to seek funding multiple times if they are initially denied due to budget issues.

Additionally, the relatively new points system has been set up in order to track how much each organization contributes to the Alamosa community and the Adams State campus. Points are awarded for participating in events like Homecoming activities and community service. Using points to rank clubs and organizations helps prioritize where funds are allotted, rather than trying to estimate how much each group contributes and should therefore receive. Once a group has earned so many points, it will receive aid from Senate regardless of the voting, but it requires a lot of effort.

Overall, it is looking like a promising year for the Adams State AS&F committee, and Martinez is hoping to bring his "real world experience" from the Marines to Student Senate in order to introduce a "new way of looking at things to make a better group". The meetings began Monday on August 29, 2011. They will continue to be held at 6 p.m. every other Monday in room 142 of the Business Building.