The foundation of Portland State University is shared governanceby students, faculty and staff. All bodies serve together to ensurethe university builds leaders and a community that raises standardsand inspires others. Shared governance is what allows each voice tobe heard and each idea to be considered. Student government, theAssociated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU), providesstudents with the opportunity to stand up, speak out and takeaction.
Shared governance cannot work without accountability. Studentrepresentatives want the campus community to be aware of itsactions and responsibilities. Each term, Campus Town Halls will beheld in the Smith Memorial Student Union with studentrepresentatives on stage. Tony Rasmussen, student CommunicationsDirector, will publish over a hundred of our goals on the ASPSUwebsite this fall. Student representatives will publish progressreports on these goals frequently, honestly and accurately.
Shared governance occurs with respect from the administration.The ASPSU has respected student concerns in previous years overadministrative initiatives such as student taxes and Tasers for ourpublic safety officers. Currently, student government is takingaction in response to student concern about a university contractputting financial aid in the hands of a distant company and turningID cards into MasterCards without student consent. In all thesecases, shared governance of students was challenged. In all thesecases, the ASPSU has fought and will continue to fight for theright for students to be heard, included and respected.
The ASPSU is ready and prepared to represent you this year. Overthe summer, students lobbied state legislators to stop tuitionincreases, increase grants and improve childcare funding under theskilled eye of Kelly Thoen, student state affairs director. Studentfederal affairs director Amanda Barron worked on a federal level topromote the Higher Education Act, the DREAM Act and the Americanswith Disabilities Act. The campus has improved over the summer:Student government successfully institutionalized voterregistration, increased computer lab hours and achieved morestudent ownership of the Smith Memorial Student Union.
Fall term kicks off with the principle of shared governance anda vision of student activism. The ASPSU is taking action to insurethat diversity and honor is prevalent within the faculty, staff andstudent body with a series of initiatives by Nicole Browning,student multicultural affairs director. Mary Fletcher, studentequal rights advocate, is building statewide coalitions to insurerespect and equality for all students.
The ASPSU will continue throughout the year to raise the studentvoice for all to hear. The 2004 elections are around the corner andthe Student Vote Coalition aims to register over 5,000 students tovote. Wafa Ghnaim-Alston, student university affairs director, isestablishing improvements with childcare, healthcare,transportation and student services. To provide much deservedrelaxation and entertainment on campus, Jane Bratslavsky, studentlife coordinator, has lined up social events, Monday Movie Nightsand exciting initiatives to promote Viking spirit.
The ASPSU is committed to a year where the values of integrity,respect and diversity lead student government to achieve theexecutive directives of equal access, active representation, directaccountability, total transparency and strong community. The doorsto the ASPSU in Smith Memorial Student Union, room 117, are openevery day. All students are welcome to get involved and expressconcerns, questions and criticism. All are invited to participatein the shared governance of Portland State University.