RUSA committees address concerns
Students discuss problems with tuition costs, smoking on campus
The Rutgers University Student Assembly committees met in the Student Activity Center on the College Avenue campus yesterday to lay the groundwork for their responsibilities for the upcoming semester.
“As members of this body, you have a responsibility to be working on whatever you think is the most pressing concern that you can have a part issue to,” he said to committee members.
Connelly said their most imperative concerns include important issues such as rising tuition costs and even smaller concerns such as smoking near residence halls.
“Don’t think that you always have to be crusaders,” he said, “but also don’t be afraid to be crusaders.”
Pamela Navrot, chair of the legislative affair committee, said that an important concern to her committee is to empower students and show them how to get involved in their community.
“We try to get out to the student body and student [organizations and show] how the legislative process happens and how they can get their ideas across,” she said.
She said students can student could learn to lobby effectively and get their concerns across to state legislators.
Navrot, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said the committee would also be discussing two bills to cap tuitions, a bond referendum and a bill to get a student voting position on the Board of Governors.
The California Assembly recently passed a bill, she said, that closes a corporate tax loophole and provides scholarships, which gained the interests of committee member.
“We’re going to do research on that and see how they did it,” she said. “We may not have the same tax loophole here, but just to see how they got that passed.”
Navrot said a second student empowerment conference may be held at the end of the semester to bolster efforts to increase student involvement.
Michael Endicott, co-chair of the University affairs committee, also said that student involvement was a big matter.
“The current project that we’re working on is trying to focus on student dorms where we can get a lot of people registered to vote,” said Endicott, a School of Arts and Sciences, sophomore.
Endicott said RUSA wants to organize tables at student centers and dining halls to promote voter registration in the University community.
Saad Shamshair, chair of the academic affairs committee, said the committee is considering whether to endorse RU Selling, a website about book trading between University students.
“The only way you can log in is to have a NetID, and they’ll send you a verification email, so that’s how they will prove that you are a Rutgers student,” said Shamshair, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.
Shamshair said the committee is in favor of the site, but needs to introduce a resolution to next assembly before RUSA officially endorses it.
Endicott said the RUSA committee meeting serves as barometer of where things are going.
“We’re getting familiar with the committee and in addition to that, we’re just trying to gauge what people want to work on for the rest of the semester,” he said.