AS Board discusses Viking Union Gallery director changes, Sustainable Action Fund Referendum
By Kayna Dean
The Associated Students Board met on Wednesday, March 7 to discuss the Sustainable Action Fund Referendum and change the job description of the Viking Union Gallery director.
VU Gallery Director temporary job description change
Even with the Viking Union Gallery space closing in late March for VU renovations, AS Vice President for Diversity Erick Yanzon said there will still be a director position. The gallery will close in late March due to the expansion of the Ethnic Student Center and the construction of the Multicultural Center, he said. The location of the gallery once construction is complete is yet to be decided.
This gallery director in the past has been in charge of working with students and departments on campus to host art events each quarter in the VU Gallery. With the gallery closed for construction next year, the role is changing temporarily.
The VU Gallery director will now be in charge of putting art on display in the VU and in areas throughout campus that can accommodate it. Yanzon said the director will co-chair a committee of student stakeholders, such as those from the art department, and professional staff that create ideas for the VU art program.
AS President Simrun Chhabra said she wants to ensure that students still feel like they have an option for displaying their art despite the gallery being closed for the next 18 months. After talking to multiple students about the gallery issue, Chhabra said she wanted to be sure there would be a place on campus to display student art pieces. She said some students said the gallery is fundamental to their department. The director position will focus on the importance of art and will ensure that student energy can still be focused toward it.
Sustainable Action Fund referendum will appear on election ballot
Annie Gordon, AS vice president for student life, introduced a referendum a few weeks ago to change the name of the Sustainable Action Fund to the Sustainability, Equity and Justice Fund. The purpose of this name change would be to broaden the fund’s title to promote social justice on campus.
At the last Sustainable Action Fund Committee meeting, Gordon asked for feedback on the name change. Though quite a few seemed excited about the change, Gordon said there were a significant number who did not agree with it.
Gordon has suggested other names to both the AS Board and the Sustainable Action Fund Committee, such as the Environmental Fund. Gordon said she has her hesitations about changing the name to the Environmental Fund because it may limit the holistic approach to sustainability. The Sustainable Action Fund finances more than just environmental projects, said Gordon. It also focuses on raising awareness on campus about social justice issues and human health. Gordon said it is important the name conveys this definition of sustainability because with a name such as the Environment Fund, an unknowing student may assume they only work on environmental issues.
Though some professional staff in the committee are hesitant about the name change for re-branding purposes and not wanting to cause confusion, Gordon said she felt that most of the stakeholders on the board were excited about the change. Gordon said students voicing their opinions and voting on the change is important. This referendum to change the name of the Sustainable Action Fund will appear on election ballots in April.
AS Personnel Policy Changes
The AS Board has only begun discussing changes to the AS Personnel Policy.
The Board changed the language in Section 5.05 of the AS Personnel Policy regarding the weekly workload of student positions. Previously, the policy said “no student position shall be required to work more than 19 hours in a given week…” The board changed the language from students being allowed to work more than 19 hours a week if they choose to not being allowed to do so at all.
The Board will discuss more changes to this policy at their next meeting, Wednesday March 14.