On Oct. 10, the Augustana Student Association (ASA) approved the addition of 10 at-large members to their organization. The motion passed with one dissenting vote from junior senator Hank Freese.
At-large members are non-voting members, chosen by ASA, who work with the student-run committees, according to vice president Audrey Cope. They do not hold elected or appointed positions and their terms run concurrent with ASA senators, according to the ASA constitution article 6 clause 1.
At-large members are “included in the ASA constitution as a way to directly incorporate people who were not elected but still have a direct stake in what [ASA is] doing,” Cope said.
According to Cope, the at-large members were selected by the ASA committee chairs from various campus organizations.
“We have identified direct stakeholders in the projects our committees want to finish by the end of the year,” Cope said.
Freese voted against the addition of at-large members.
“One of my fears is that if we designate students to be on our committees, that kind of takes responsibility away from senators, which I think is one of the worst things you could do for ASA,” Freese said.
While at-large members are included in the ASA constitution, there is no groundwork for their practical application, according to Cope. “We couldn’t find any time in recent history where at-large members have been appointed,” Cope said.
According to Freese, members were appointed to work on specific projects such as getting sustainable showerheads in the dorms, but what happens after these projects is still up for debate.
“It puts more responsibility on the students to put someone in that at-large position, when we should be asking more of our senators,” Freese said.
Newly appointed senior Justin Radermacher said that he is looking forward to being an at-large member on the housing and dining committee on behalf of Augie Green.
“We’re really excited to actually work together,” Radermacher said. “I know one of [Audrey and Luca’s] platforms was transparency. I think [this is] the best way they can do that.”
“Luca and I have said from the very beginning that we fully understand we might not execute this process 100 percent right, but what we want to do is open the door, start this process, and the administration next year can make it better,” Cope said.