By Bria Isaacson, Contributing Writer
Asbury Student Congress (ASC) has been responsible for many positive changes and additions on campus in the past few years from printers and a new water fountain in the student center to a new club called Taggers vs. Survivors. These changes have come about through proposals in student government.
Current proposals include initiating another open dorm night, creating a new award for faculty members, offering a women’s literature class, putting security cameras in the parking lot behind the Miller Center, keeping first aid kits on each dorm hall, tweaking the current dress code and allowing dancing on campus.
Perhaps the biggest proposal, and the one closest to being finished, is the open dorm proposal. This proposal, written by Student Body President Meredith Anderson and Vice President of the Student Governance Association (SGA) Matt Jackson, will allow dorms to have open dorm on Saturday nights from 7 to 11 p.m. This open dorm night would not be like Friday’s open dorm night. Rather, this open dorm night would be community-focused, Anderson said.
“It will highlight that dorm and their identity,” Anderson said. “For example, [Glide-Crawford] may have a movie theme and have popcorn in the lobby. You wouldn’t have to know someone there to go, because everyone will be there.”
Because of the community focus, the Saturday open dorm would rotate between the four dorms, with a different one hosting open dorm each week. This proposal was recently passed through SGA and was tabled by the next committee. They will finish discussing it at the next meeting.
Another proposal currently in the approval process would create an award for faculty members who invest in students outside of the classroom. This investment can come in many different forms, like advising student clubs, having students over for dinner, playing on intramural teams, leading Bible studies, mentoring and counseling students, proposal author Rebecca Frazer said.
“We’re looking for a way to honor that investment,” Frazer said. “Hopefully a student investment award would show faculty that the student body really does notice and appreciate their service outside of the classroom.” Frazer hopes that this award will encourage faculty to invest in students even more and allow students to discuss what they appreciate most about their faculty, since students alone would decide on the faculty member to receive the award.
One proposal that is currently in the works aims to create a women’s literature course. English faculty members Chuck Gobin and Erin Penner have expressed support for the proposal and hope to include this class in the Fall 2016 schedule.
Members of student government are also working to create a proposal that would call for security cameras to be put in the parking lot behind the Miller bulidng. Although there are few security issues in the parking lot, this addition would improve security in one of the most dimly lit places on campus, said Jackson.
David Hay, the Director of Campus Safety and Security, is on board with this proposal, saying that Asbury is not immune from incidents.
Another proposal to improve student safety is freshman Elijah Lutz’s proposal, which would add basic first aid kits to every dorm hall.
Anderson explained that even after a proposal is written, there could be a long wait before students see any changes, as there are several stages before a proposal is approved and put into effect.
Each proposal must pass through two of the three committees: SGA, Student Activities Board (SAB) or Spiritual Life Board (SLB). Once it has passed through two, the proposal is discussed in an Asbury Student Congress meeting by all three branches (SGA, SAB and SLB). If the proposal passes this by a 2/3 vote, it is given to the administration to consider.
“Proposals that pass through ASC hold a lot of weight with the administration,” Anderson said. “They’re considered to be proposals that are generally wanted by the student body.”
Because of this, the administration keeps ASC proposals and continues to consider them even if they do not approve of them immediately. Despite this, Anderson encourages students to come to her with any ideas for new proposals or clubs.
“We are completely open and accessible to student ideas,” Anderson said.
To suggest an idea for a proposal or club, visit Anderson’s office or any of the committee VPs offices’, located on the second floor of the student center.