Thursday, August 12, 2004

Blog? What blog?

I got back from (an incredibly fun and interesting and relaxing trip to) Denver Monday at about 2:00am, and since then I've been working more or less non-stop at my office job, on the Squelch, on ASUC graphics/outreach activities, or in bed (asleep). Hence the no blogging since then. But no time for apologies.

So yeah. I'm working under the Leybovich administration in the ASUC as the president's graphic designer and "Deputy Chief of Staff of Outreach." (I bet you wish your title were that long.) While the former is self-explanatory, the latter is otherwise. In short, I help coordinate and oversee the Daily Cal page, the website, the "street team" (a PR posse), and the president's graphic designer (who, conveniently enough, is very sexy and easy to get along with). I applied for this job because I want to commit my skills to promote the ASUC and make it more accessible and visible to every student at Cal, not just those who want to be politically or socially active on campus. I am also very adament about working to improve revenue at the Cal Student Store, especially the bookstore wing. In the spirit of Jake Kloberdanz, if we run the ASUC as a successful business, we'll have more resources (namely money) available to serve students via student groups, publications, students' rights advocacy, and entertainment events.

Note that these goals are mine and not necessarily those of the president or ASUC in general. So before Prog Cal fires up his blogger page to contend that Student Action has no interest in diversity and thus must be comprised of card-carrying conservatives, understand the I Rebecca C. Brown and not SA am the one deprioritizing recruitment and retention centers. (That anyone could assert that SA representatives are "conservative" is laughable, by the way.)

This issue to me differentiates the two major ASUC parties. CalSERVE chose to prioritize student groups that performed minority outreach, which, while diversity is of course a desireable goal, was ultimately very exclusive. Certainly ethnic diversity on campus is an asset not only to those minority students who are recruited but also to white and Asian students; this much should be self-evident. The question for me is whether or not it's the ASUC's job to attain this diversity, to which I say no.

From my plebian observation, I also felt that during this past year the ASUC did little to promote itself to the average student. Many graduating seniors still haven't the faintest clue what the fuck their $55 each goes to every year. The ASUC student store would be a great place to hatch out a terrorist scheme because there's no one hanging around to discover your plot. The Cesar Chavez study room is only bustling about two weeks out of every semester. Almost nobody knows where the Squelch gets all the money it needs to be so damned funny all the time. (Actually, the funny is free; the paper the funny is printed on is not so free.)

Hopefully the preceding conditions can be remedied over the next nine months. The bookstore is a main focus because as soon as we raise volume over a certain amount, the ASUC starts getting additional profit dollars from eFollett. Look for more shrewd marketing and offers from the bookstore soon. Now I just need to get them to advertise in the Squelch.

P.S. If you're ever in Laramie, Wyoming during lunch time, head over to the Sweet Melissa Vegetarian Cafe. It's fantastic. The rest of the state is full of meth heads.


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