'Brutally honest' draws quiet crowd
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:11
ASUSU Student Advocate Christian Orr, known for his “transparency, accountability, and responsibility” platform, fulfilled his campaign promise of an open student government in part in an event Wednesday afternoon.
Orr, along with the rest of the ASUSU Executive Council, held a “Brutally Honest Forum” in the Hub in the TSC. The forum has been held in past years, but not recently. When the council invited students to speak their minds through with an open mic, three students took the opportunity.
“A lot of times, we struggle to get students to give us the input that we need to meet their needs,” Orr said.
Orr said the structure of the forum was changed slightly this year because of difficulty in the past with getting enough students to participate in the Brutally Honest Forum. This year, the panel began by addressing a list of formatted questions Orr said are typically seen every year, or those that are connected to more recent events and issues on campus.
The open-mic style of the second half allowed students to address the panel about issues they care about.
“The purpose of this forum is to allow students to give the student government officers feedback — to ask questions, to voice concerns, to leave comments.” Orr said.
“Some people feel that ASUSU in some ways kind of distances themselves from the student population,” said a student speaking in the forum. “Do you guys feel that’s a concern and if so, what are you guys doing to try and make it so you are a part of the student body?”
Christian Thrapp, ASUSU president, said going out to individual groups and personally getting their feedback helps break down the walls between student government and the rest of the student body. Unfortunately, a very real disconnect still exists regarding students giving their input directly to ASUSU representatives because of the location of ASUSU offices, he said.
“The way that the TSC is set up, there is almost like a physical barrier,” he said. “This stigma that the third floor doesn’t actually exist. The third floor — if you go up there, any of these officers will be more than happy to help you out. They love talking to people. That’s why they are here. They’re here to represent you.”