AAVP office accepts applications for positions in Academic Assembly

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The ASUC academic affairs vice president’s office announced it is accepting applications for positions in the campus’s first student-run Academic Assembly, a body convened by the office to discuss solutions to issues faced by students.

The assembly will begin meeting in late January and will consist of 10 representatives, drawing one student from each college as well as each division of the College of Letters and Science. These divisions include math and physical sciences, arts and humanities, social sciences, biological sciences and interdisciplinary studies.

The AAVP office works with the administration on academic matters and issues ASUC grants.

“In the past, the ASUC hasn’t prioritized academics,” said Denim Ohmit, chief of staff for the AAVP. “This is an opportunity to bring students from all colleges and who haven’t been involved with the ASUC to share their ideas. I think there’s a real value in having students from all colleges, because they have very different perspectives.”

The representatives will serve as a liaison for undergraduate students to the AAVP and the ASUC Senate, as well as the administration within the college or division.

“I’m excited that, as an assembly member, I could serve as a more direct liaison for students,” said UC Berkeley freshman Zamzama Azizi, who plans on applying to the assembly. “It can be frustrating when, as a student, we want to solve an issue, and there’s not a direct person we can go to.”

Although students within the ASUC can apply to the assembly, the ASUC is looking for students outside the organization as well.

“We’re looking for people who are very invested in their academic communities and have a lot of opinions and expertise,” said SQUELCH! Senator Madison Gordon, a UC Berkeley junior who spearheaded the project.

In addition to attending their monthly meetings, members will be responsible for reporting to the senate and AAVP, meeting with deans and professors within their college and presenting at the campus Academic Senate, which consists of faculty who advise campus administration and make decisions regarding academic policy.

The ASUC has reached out to the deans of all the colleges and has agreements with all the deans within the College of Letters and Science, according to Gordon. She hopes to have standing meetings between each representative and their respective dean.

Gordon hopes that each representative will work on a specific issue or project within his or her college or division.

“I want this body to be solution-oriented,” Ohmit said. “We have a lot of resources to make a difference — it’s just really important to understand how we best can do that.”

The ASUC has allocated funds for the assembly members to host events to engage with their constituents, Ohmit said.

Contact Sonja Hutson at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @SonjaHutson.