Now six months into their term, the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska, ASUN, executive team is proud of the work that has been accomplished so far and is looking forward to what can be accomplished in the coming months.
Revitalize, the student election group that ran unopposed in the spring, ran on being a voice for students on campus and in important decision making, and reflected on their term thus far and what they still hope to see.
Internal Vice President Taylor Jarvis said the work done so far this semester has gone as expected.
“It’s gone well so far,” Jarvis said. “It’s kind of adherent to the start of any school year. Still kind of getting the cogs on the machine in terms of getting members into committees and getting people to understand what their function is.”
ASUN President Batool Ibrahim said she is proud of how they hit the floor running in such a chaotic and emotional start to the semester with major issues on campus, such as sexual assault and the addition of a mask mandate.
In response, ASUN began working on projects to address campus awareness to sexual violence.
Those projects include setting up an emergency fund to financially support students, working to change policies around Resident Assistants who have been accused of sexual assault and other mental health related projects.
External Vice President Patrick Baker, who has helped lead the work on some of these projects, said this semester didn’t start as they expected, but he is proud of the work they have done.
“It started differently than we anticipated,” he said. “I feel like we did really well on these issues and were able to do a lot of good.”
Now as the semester has progressed, ASUN has begun to work on areas they promised to do so in their campaign.
One of those core pillars was diversity, inclusion and equity. One of the more notable things they have done in this area so far is almost unanimously pass a joint NU student resolution opposing a proposed resolution by Regent and gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen that would formally reject “any imposition of Critical Race Theory” in University of Nebraska curriculum. The resolution would later fail when put to a full vote before the NU Board of Regents.
ASUN has renamed its Committee for Diversity and Inclusion to the Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
They have also passed legislation, such as the Green Bandana Project, supporting mental health and well-being, another one of their campaign pillars.
All three executive members realize that the amount of legislation passed has not been high in numbers to start their term, but they are still proud of the work that senators have been doing. They also expressed their eagerness to see more projects get worked on and put before the senate body.
“I want more senators to take risks,” Baker said. “I think right now a lot of people are afraid to rock the boat too much.”
Jarvis is excited for all the work that is going to get done before the end of the semester, saying she is intrigued to see where many go.
One thing that is very different with this semester from the previous year of ASUN is that the meetings are back to fully in-person and in a non-social distanced environment.
“It’s been really great,” Ibrahim said. “It has legitimized a lot of people’s roles. It’s hard to feel and understand what it means to be an ASUN senator over Zoom.”