Zakariya Abdullahi, Nominee for ADSG Vice President
Though Augsburg has done amazing work to support and welcome its students, there is still a lot that needs to be done. The Augsburg Day Student Government (ADSG) constitution and bylaws state the purpose of ADSG as the following: “The Day Student Government advocates for Day Student ideas, concerns, needs and activities.” It is important to make sure that ADSG is engaging and being responsive of the student body. ADSG has for too long been closed off and has continued with business as usual.
That is why Anthony and I are running: to lead ADSG to do what it was created to do. ADSG is missing the characteristics needed to make it truly an entity that “advocates for Day Student ideas, concerns, needs and activities.”
The first and most important characteristic is transparency; ADSG should be transparent about the work that is happening. If you were to ask any student walking around campus if they knew what ADSG did, they couldn’t tell you much. That is why Anthony and I are proposing that our public relations officer will be given the task of sending out weekly A-mails and constant social media updates to inform and update the student body.
Accountability is the second point. This allows for a system of checks and balances to the role of student representatives and the student body. The student body must and should call out their representatives so that they can fully advocate for the “ideas, concerns, needs and activities” of the general student body. Before we can have accountability, Student Government must be transparent so that the student body can see what is going on in the Marshall Room every week.
Our third point is intentionality, which is about being deliberate and straightforward with staff, faculty and administration about what our “ideas, concerns, needs and activities” are. By being intentional, we hope to build relationships with faculty in our meetings with them. We recognize that this role provides us with a lot more privilege than all the other students. Using that privilege to build relationships with the important decision-making people on campus to truly advocate for the students and their concerns is our priority.
That brings me to our last point, which is accessibility. It is vital that ADSG provides the student body with the knowledge and resources that they need to navigate campus. It is crucial that resources are being shared with marginalized students. The Multicultural Student Services (MSS) and TRIO/SSS have done a great job to help students. We must continue to help students in any way so that they can carve a future for themselves here at Augsburg.
Anthony and I are bringing fresh ideas and new energy to ADSG. We are dedicated to what we want to do. We are interested in bringing genuine, effective and efficient results to the student body. Vote for action, vote with action, vote for Anthony and Zak!
This article was originally published in the April 12, 2019 issue.
Anthony Villagrana and Zakariya Abdullahi (Left to Right), candidates for ADSG President and Vice Presiddent. Photo provided by Zakariya Abdullahi.