Associated Students Inc. strategic priorities includes promoting campus community

Cesar Alexander

Sacramento State’s Associated Students Inc. will present its strategic priorities for 2013-2014 that includes student government awareness and promoting a campus community at the Faculty Senate meeting Thursday.

The strategic plan is put together every year in an effort to focus the organization’s energy and resources on the tasks believed to benefit the student body for the current year.

ASI Vice President of Academic Affairs Chantel Banus will address the goals ASI plans to execute this year during her presentation.

“We have four main goals. The first one is to advance ASI awareness and visibility,” Banus said. “We’re just trying to make sure that students are aware of who we are, that we’re approachable and that we’re there for them.”

The remaining three goals are to “support and participate in student activities to promote a campus community, assess feasibility of philanthropic community efforts and promote student opportunities and achievements,” according to the plan.

In regards to the development of the priorities, ASI President Nielsen Gabriel said they were outlined to be easily interpreted by students.

“They were all developed from input from the student body to the Board of Directors,” Gabriel said. “It was created over the summer retreat prior to the onset of the semester so that action could be taken throughout the regular academic semester.”

As the strategic priorities focus on the future, the strategic priorities set from last year are being met as well.

One of the main priorities from last year was to create and maintain a Farmer’s Market, which occurs every other Thursday on Serna Plaza.

ASI is promoting the Farmer’s Market through its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

One of this year’s goals is to have a new community garden for students.

It was presented to the ASI Board of Directors by members of the Urban Agriculture Club.

Gabriel is one of the board members overseeing the development of this new project.

“The campus garden was brought to me by a group of students after the onset of the semester,” Gabriel said. “We went ahead and added it on because it did fit in with the community and philanthropic aspects of what we want to accomplish as the Board of Directors for this year.”

English major Rhiannon Kelly, 23, was not aware Sac State had a farmer’s market and thinks the campus garden would benefit students who live nearby.

“I think ideas like that are really good,” Kelly said. “I just think making people more aware of them would be more important than making new ones.”

Banus said she wants students to know about all the services ASI provides, which includes several departments.

“Peak Adventures, Children’s Center, KSSU – all those things that many students don’t know exist or maybe don’t know are part of ASI,” Banus said. “And then scholarships specifically for my position is a big one.”

Banus said they are trying to make the ASI scholarship a more formal acknowledgment so students’ efforts are being recognized on a larger scale.

Previously students would have their picture taken with a big check and then posted on ASI’s Facebook.

But Banus said she is looking at the possibility of hosting a breakfast or a simple event so students feel more appreciated.

ASI has also created a 17-question student voice survey to find out what students think about the community garden.

The survey includes questions regarding a campus food pantry, which would essentially provide a selection of free non-perishable food staples and personal hygiene supplies.

Additionally, the survey asks about a Sac State mobile app students can download for free in order to stay more engaged and connected to Sac State resources.

The Board hopes the survey will provide the necessary feedback to determine which services would make the biggest difference for students.

Events such as Thirst is Real, Meet & Eat, and the Block Party during ASI Week in September were meant to bring students together as a community and engage with ASI members.

Banus said September’s events had good participation and hopes to see more students attend events as the year continues.

She said they are trying to host an ASI night in the Residence Halls along with an information night to reach out to students living on campus. The event will be open to the campus community.