About 20 students filed into the Office of Black Student Services to eat lunch with representatives from Associated Students of CSU on Tuesday.
The event was part of the Knowledge at Noon series hosted by BSS. ASCSU President Katie Clausen, Vice President Ben Goldstein and Director of Student Advocacy Kim Chia, along with other ASCSU members, were in attendance.
The ASCSU advocacy program is in its early stages and is still being refined. One of the goals for the program is to refine it and help it grow, Chia said.
The event was held as an attempt to make students more aware about ASCSU and its services. It was also a time for students to share their opinions and concerns ranging from campus diversity to student involvement.
"I liked it," said Chantel Reed, a sophomore business major. "I thought it was very helpful because a lot of things I wasn't aware of or clear about they addressed."
Many of the students were concerned with what they felt was a lack of an ASCSU presence. The representatives acknowledged the students' concerns, but they also added that though it seems like the only time ASCSU is present is during election time, the student government members are trying their best to be accountable and present at all times. Clausen went on to add, "If we didn't care, we wouldn't be involved."
The students in attendance were more concerned, however, with the lack of diversity within the student government. That is when the situation becomes a paradox. Some students felt that there is a lack of diversity in ASCSU because there is a lack of diversity at CSU. They also realized that if there were more students of color in ASCSU then they could appeal to minority students in the student body.
Another issue brought up was the lack of participation on behalf of the student body. Only 20 applications have been turned in for the more than 30 government open seats.
This takes its toll on student government as well.
"That lack of support really makes it frustrating for us to know that we're being effective in what we're doing and reaching the goals of what the students want," Chia said. "It's really frustrating because without student involvement the programs on campus are going to drag out."
The representatives also said that some of the events they had planned for last semester are just now taking place, which has had its effect on student participation and ASCSU's presence. In some senses ASCSU is losing momentum as students graduate and as school ends.
In the end, most students felt that the representatives were sincere and did care about their needs and concerns and that they can approach ASCSU as well.