ASI: A look ahead

Jason Okamoto

The ASI election winners last Wednesday night partied as if they had won the Super Bowl. But now that the dust has settled and elections are over, one question remains for the soon-to-be top ASI executives: What are you going to do now?

The easy answer is that ASI should work with the students, and for the students. In some years, Sacramento State’s student government has been more like a country club than a student service organization — a bunch of elites who are distanced from the concerns of students.

So here’s an early reminder for all of you jubilant fountain jumpers: Stay focused on Sac State students and their needs.

President-elect Peter Ucovich says he is already working towards next year. His goal is to be “the face” of the campus. He has expressed his interest in using The State Hornet as a means for “rallying the students,” but he would also like to expand ASI’s profile throughout greater Northern California. This would involve using the popular media in educating the greater Sacramento community about what’s going on here on campus.

Ucovich hopes that The Sacramento Bee and “Good Day Sacramento” might take notice. Then who knows…Hollywood?

No matter how high ASI’s profile next year, the most interesting political maneuvers will most likely happen behind closed doors of ASI’s offices on the third floor of the University Union. That’s because although Ucovich’s Unity slate won a controlling share of positions on his board… er… I mean, “the board”… ASI veteran and Vision candidate Luke Wood is the next Vice President of Finance.

Wood and Ucovich have had a past filled with turmoil. Their business relationship teeters on the edge of unprofessional, and personal feelings for each other are…well, they just don’t like each other.

The latest bout between the two was fought over the distribution of club money for the Cooper Woodson Program, an African-American organization that Wood supports. Cooper Woodson was among a number of clubs that filled out financial request applications incorrectly, but some clubs were still allowed funding. Cooper Woodson was not one of them. Wood, an African American, believes that Ucovich, the current V.P. of Finance, singled out Woodson because of Wood’s support of the organization.

Next year, clubs and organizations are going to have fight and kiss twice as much ass with Ucovich in charge of the board, and Wood overseeing the money.

With this predicament it is fair to ask another question of the incoming 2003-04 ASI board:

What’s going to get done?

One plan that can have an immediate effect on students is Ucovich’s plan to launch a book exchange. As envisioned, the program would cut out the Hornet Bookstore from textbook resales and let students sell their books directly to other students. Despite possible objections from the CSUS Foundation and the Academic Senate, the program is already a done deal in Ucovich’s mind. “Before I leave office next year, there will be a book exchange,” he said confidently.

If Ucovich can pull it off, students might be able to see proof of Ucovich’s legacy before he has even left office, unlike presidents Eric Guerra and Art Pimentel before him.

I believe that steps can be made to improve life on campus, and think that despite past battles, the Ucovich and Wood combination might be a blessing in disguise.

When breaking it down to the essentials, the two have more in common than they do differences.

Both men want a better retention rate among students.

Both of them support increased funding for DOC/SEL.

And mostly, they both want to fight for diversity on campus. How they each define “diversity” may be different, but regardless, both of them use the word like it’s going out of style.

All that Sac State students can do now is wait. The table is set for next year, the silverware has been chosen. The next group of legislators will soon take their seats.

Let’s just hope that we are invited to dinner.

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