Mesa State of the Students

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Mesa State of the Students

The Mesa College Associated Student Government discussed plans to further improve student life.

The Mesa College Associated Student Government discussed plans to further improve student life.

Kyle Kenehan

The Mesa College Associated Student Government discussed plans to further improve student life.

Kyle Kenehan

Kyle Kenehan

The Mesa College Associated Student Government discussed plans to further improve student life.

Josh Champlin, Staff writer

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Mesa’s Associated Student Government (ASG) held an event highlighting and detailing their accomplishments thus far for the 2013-2014 school year. ASG President Jay Walker and Senator Jaime Paredes spoke to the assembled students, including representatives from

The Mesa College Associated Student Government discussed plans to further improve student life.

The Mesa College Associated Student Government discussed plans to further improve student life.

various clubs, and covered a wide array topics of interest to students at Mesa College. Food and drinks were provided to students at no cost.

Walker gave a summary of some accomplishments by the ASG: increasing the amount for emergency loans to students, allocating over $4,000 for the LRC course reserve program, and a textbook affordability exchange. Some other areas that ASG have concentrated on are a homeless outreach transition program, successfully lobbying for a lower interest rate for federal student loans, and working with Congressman Scott Peters’ office to provide greater awareness for the Affordable Care Act.

He also highlighted the efforts made to provide Thanksgiving celebrations for students who had nowhere to go during the holidays and a partnership with the transfer center to host information sessions for CSU transfer students.

“We’ll be in Washington, D.C., lobbying Senators Feinstein, Boxer, Congressman Peters, Congress Davis, and anyone there who will listen to us on regulating textbook publishers,” said Walker as he addressed textbook reform.

He went on:

“While we’re in the U.S. Capitol, we’ll meet with lawmakers and begin a dialogue about the rising prevalence of adjunct professors and its effect on campuses. Adjuncts have nearly no voice in the decisions on this campus. They are proportionally misrepresented and have few re-hire rights, they are considered temporary, but most have been here for ten years. There are no avenues for advancement. They are barred from making a full-time commitment to the college. The adjuncts earn about half of what a full-time instructor makes for the same work with the same credentials… These are some pretty big issues, and they will only be solved…by bringing people together.”

Mr. Paredes began his remarks by giving the assembled crowd some background about his personal experience and his decision to participate in student government:

“In student government, I have learned that we students have a voice, and people are willing to listen to our voice, and our opinions, and our needs, and that we can do something about it, that we can actually influence that by taking part in everything.”

He continued:

“In ASG, I’ve found an opportunity to do things. For example, we go, and we help clubs when they need money, and we allocate funds that we have for the students and we give it to them.”

Mr. Paredes discussed an initiative to help clubs with funding, and also aid students with the cost of textbooks:

“…We give to departments that need money…to promote events on campus… But beyond that, we can actually create our own programs, and we realize that the books were a big issue for students. That students cannot afford textbooks and things, so we have tried to create solutions like expanding loans so students can have the opportunity to borrow money to buy their books. We will not charge any interest in the process… We have learned that we, students, can make a difference.”

The event concluded with questions from students present at the event, and a $200 bonus was awarded to the Student Veteran’s Organization for having the most members attend. Roughly, 65 students attended the meeting.

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