ASU moves to modern facilities, redefines outreach potential

By Roxana Amparo, Editor-in-Chief

With a change in leadership, the Associated Student Union moves forward with plans to make Contra Costa College students aware of their existing student governance body.

“Visibility for ASU is a big deal. There was a lot of hit and miss last semester because we were tucked away (in the Applied Arts Building),” ASU President Safi Ward-Davis said.

Ward-Davis said one of the challenges from last semester was the Campus Center and Classroom Project construction restricting space for students.

This semester, the ASU is located inside of the Student and Administration Building, to the right of Student Lounge.

Ward-Davis said a sign above the ASU door would help students know where the ASU is located.

“What held us back last year was construction. But we are realizing that there is nothing stopping us now,” Ward-Davis said.

ASU Director of Public Relations Frances Sanson said, “Last semester (Ward-Davis) was already president, and we will continue what she started.”

Sanson said they plan to create a chance for students to be able to reach the ASU through social media.

ASU Vice President of Club Affairs Jose Areballo said, “I think it’s important to have an outlet (like the ASU) where decisions are being made.”

Ward-Davis said part of her role includes overseeing meetings, checking in with incoming ASU senators and making sure students have open communication with ASU members.

The ASU Board consists of 16 members. ASU meetings are held in SA-107 on Wednesdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Ward-Davis said, “Just like any other governance group, we have to make sure we stay in compliance with the Brown Act.”

Through the Brown Act, a California law, college councils must have information available for the public to easily access, such as meeting minutes and agendas.

“We have to post agendas online within 72 hours (before a meeting),” Ward-Davis said. “Some committees post (information) online. We also post (information) around campus and on bulletin boards.”

The ASU is also re-doing its own section online where members will have their own bios and pictures. “It is a work in progress,” Sanson said.

“This (the ASU) is kind of like a club, and these duties are still valued,” Ward-Davis said, referring to duties of the ASU Board during the ASU meeting on Wednesday.

For petitioning senators, part of their duties include three office hours a week, tabling or researching issues and giving class presentations, she said.

The ASU budgeted $14,071 toward the purchase of ASU “swag” from Silver Screen Design, a printing and design company, Ward-Davis said.

To promote the ASU, backpacks, pens, reusable water bottles and binders are used as prizes and give-aways during events.

Marketing Director Brandy Howard said, “They do a fairly good job with physical presence. They have tons of swag.”

Howard is working with the ASU to increase its social media presence.

“We have to be abiding by the college rules, but we are our own entity. We are the ASU,” Ward-Davis said.

Sanson said, “A lot of people don’t go on the college website (”

Howard said, “Social media is a good tool, but not a ‘stand alone tool,’ especially in such a small college.”