First off, I want to thank Vice President Musman and the Senate for allowing me to deliver the Fall 2017 State of the Associated Students address. As a former senator, I know the hard work that goes into fulfilling the duties of your positions. You face the challenges that accompany the positions you hold, and you continue to overcome adversity in your personal lives as students of Long Beach State. The work that you put in today affects thousands upon thousands of students — not only now, but for years to come.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the State of the A.S., each semester the sitting ASI president is required by the bylaws to deliver an update on the state of the organization. What the speech must contain is mostly undefined, but I see it as an opportunity to look into our story — celebrate our achievements, preview our future accomplishments, and lay out a path for the success, security and wellness for all of our students.
Over the past five months in this position, I have witnessed enormous growth in our dedication to serve students. I could not be more proud of the effort that our student leaders have contributed. I am most proud to see that students are leading the way in enacting the very change that they want to see on campus. Students are and have always been the driving force for progress in higher education.
I am also proud of the urgency with which all of our campus partners responded when ASI has called on them. For example, our DACA/Undocumented student support group brought together many different campus and community partners to help students when they needed it most. Our collaborations continue to serve students exponentially.
These are testaments to the shared governance that occurs at Long Beach State. We currently have over 75 students serving on more than 45 academic and university committees who ensure that when decisions are made on campus, students are on the front lines of bringing change.
But, ASI’s story is more than just our student government representation. A large part of our story comes from the facilities, departments and programs that our student leaders advocated to create. As you all know, we operate the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Recycling Center, University Student Union and Isabel Patterson Child Development Center — and the many programs in between. I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate our achievements in these areas by highlighting some initial statistics for this academic year.
Since August 1, our SRWC has had over 120,000 visits from participants who have taken advantage of our 60 weekly fitness classes, been a part of 65 intramural teams, and had the opportunity to attend 15 regular weekly programs and 12 special events. And more than 4,300 of these members have already signed up for Owen’s Condition for Tuition — a generously sponsored scholarship program that has encouraged thousands of students to achieve their fitness and wellness goals every year. For some comparison, at the end of last academic year, we had signed up just about 5,000 members — so it’s great to see that we are already zeroing in on surpassing that marker.
Also since August 1, the Recycling Center has recycled over 72,000 pounds of glass, 70,000 pounds of paper, 30,000 pounds of plastic, and many more materials. ASI continues to be at the forefront of sustainability with Sustain U’s efforts to educate students, develop policy and implement environmentally friendly practices.
Working alongside them, our facilities and maintenance teams have been regularly updating and renewing the University Student Union to model more sustainable practices. From the installation of our new Zon solar-powered umbrellas on the Southwest and Southeast patios, to the rejuvenating of our restrooms and lighting — they have been unyielding in their commitment to this facility — not to mention their tireless work during the SLD/ASI office reorganization project of 2017.
It’s clear that we have a lot to be proud of in the USU. Just one year ago, ASI took tangible action in the fight against food insecurity with the opening of the Beach Pantry in the USU, which since the first day of classes this year, has received nearly 2,500 visits.
Also in the USU, Beach Pride Events hosted 36 events since the start of this semester—including movie screenings, noontime concerts and activities, and various special events including the first-ever drag bingo! Our special events also boasted great student participation, with over 5,000 students showing up for Smorgasport and thousands for Week of Welcome. And in the Isabel Patterson Child Development Center, we continue to serve student parents with a commitment to excellent childcare. The IPCDC currently serves 219 children and 186 families with four different programs built to help children grow and develop in holistic ways. But also this year, the IPCDC faced some obstacles. I know that many of you here today know the story, but in summary, the IPCDC staff demonstrated that what matters most to them was the safety of the children they serve and the access our students have to close, affordable service. The relocation that had to take place at the start of this semester was a true show of dedication and teamwork.
Each of these achievements are significant, and only spotlight some of the great things ASI can accomplish together. Now, I could go on and on, but these numbers tell an important story — a story of dedication from the outstanding leaders, staff and students in our facilities that lead ASI in leaving a profound impact on our institution.
As we look at this chapter in ASI’s story, I’m honored to witness the deep commitment and dedication exemplified by so many of our students. But just as we have come together to achieve remarkable things thus far, the fight is still ahead of us. Let’s continue to partner, collaborate and encourage each other as we fight for the success, security and wellness of all our students. Let’s write the next chapter of our story together. Have a great day, and as always GO BEACH!”
State of the Associated Students