By: Jose Perales, ADSG Public Relations Officer
Augsburg Day Student Government (ADSG) is composed of the elected members of the Day Student Senate as well as the Executive Board and the Judicial Board. ADSG is held to the highest standards by the Day Student Body, the University Administration, and our Bylaws, as we are a part of the official governance structure at Augsburg University. This allows ADSG to have formal student representation on various University committees. At these meetings, Senators are exposed to and advocate for the needs of the Student Body.
ADSG’s Bylaws and Structure implement checks and balances to assure that ADSG follows proper procedures when conducting business. An example of this system occurred on December 11, 2019. On this day, members of the Day Student Senate voted to reduce the stipends of the executive board of the Augsburg Student Activities Council (ASAC). This motion passed on the Senate floor by a majority vote. Under ADSG’s Bylaws, ASAC was able to appeal this decision by bringing it forward to the Judicial Board, which overturned the motion, giving the ASAC board members their full stipends.
ADSG has upheld Augsburg University’s commitment to sustainability through a variety of different initiatives, leading to a more environmentally-friendly student body. This year, ADSG has stopped printing meeting agendas on paper, saving roughly 500 pieces of paper. On October 28, 2017, what we now know as the Auggie Pass was first visualized to reduce transportation issues for students who commute to campus and those who live on campus. In just three years, a motion was brought forward to increase the Green Fee from $15 to $20 to fund the now more developed idea of bus cards. Following this, a partnership was established with Metro Transit, leading to the creation of the unlimited transit pass.
Another initiative created by the ADSG within the last four years is the Augsburg Bike Share Program, a sustainable and cost-effective measure to address the transportation needs of Augsburg University students, faculty, and staff. Augsburg’s ban on plastic water bottles was not an emotionally-driven decision, but rather an initiative to eliminate the sale, reimbursement, and provision of bottled water on campus. The main goal of this initiative was to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as emphasize the idea that water is a human right and not a commodity through the use of locally sourced tap water.
ADSG has also continued to advocate for accessibility on campus. Within the last four years, ADSG has funded multiple projects on campus totaling about $32,000, with $14,000 yet to be allocated. ADSG also funds events hosted on campus by recognized student organizations. Because we strive to be a space that is accessible to all students, we host weekly meetings and conduct tabling sessions twice a week throughout the school year.
As we have seen with the successful projects of ADSG, change doesn’t happen overnight. This year, we have continued to set ambitious goals to move Augsburg forward. This year, some of our goals have made substantial progress at our meetings. Some of these goals include requiring professors to take a diversity/inclusion/equity training with annual recertification, improving benefits for Resident Advisors, working with A’viands (now known as Aladdin) to improve the dining experience for students and allowing students to take more than ten free sessions at the CWC if needed. ADSG has worked on making changes that positively affect the entire student body. These changes include increasing the Student Activity fee to $125 and advocating for physics labs to be counted for academic credit.
To the anonymous Augsburg senior who wrote last week’s opinion article: We invite you to use your last semester to become more involved with your community and visit us during our tabling times to tell us about your experience at Augsburg. Things are always changing, and we invite you to become a part of them.
Editor’s Note: The author of last week’s anonymous opinion has since come forward as John Kipper, a senior and co-founder of Augsburg’s Anti-Racist Coalition.