by mike turk, third year

As the Fall semester comes to a close, many of us within the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) may wonder if anything has improved for us within the past semester. The answer to this question can be addressed by many people in many ways, but that really doesn't matter, the response that matters is yours. For myself, the answer is a simple clean no. But the next question I have is why?

CASU, which stands for College of Architecture Student Union, was originally established to address the issues presented by us students; however, the numerous and conflicting tasks require much more than one organization "fighting the system" can accomplish. This in fact has been proven over the lifecycle of CASU. But what is being done? Does anyone really care what we students think? Well, the answer to this question is yet to be determined.

With the radically changing format of programs and faculty and requirements of each division of the CAED, with us students at the brink of it all, is there anything we can do to make our voices heard within this system? What CASU exists for is conveying the information, complaints, and concerns of students to the faculty. This set-up has sadly been proven insufficient, and new measures are to be taken for the Spring semester. Speculation, speculation, lets see some facts.

The two architecture-related organizations and an Undergraduate Student Government Senator, representing CAED are the only forms of student government we have. But, the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Kent State University chapter is limited by their national chapter by-laws to function in certain manners. So this leaves us students with CASU and the Undergraduate Student Government Senator. These forces are all that connect us with the faculty, their heavily-guarded system of decision making. But what can we do to contribute to the decision making process?

CASU has been doing some reformatting of its own. The executive board has revised the organization's constitution so that the power of the involved faculty member is limited to advisement only. The revisions insist involving the organization in the decision making of the Undergraduate Student Senator while limiting his or her power within the group and enhancing their vow never to merge with any other organization. This is to prevent monopolizing student representation within CAED. But most importantly, CASU has devised a way to engage directly with the faculty groups established in the decision making process for our college. CASU executives have been informed that student representatives at faculty meetings for various types of decisions are encouraged and welcomed. The nice part of this arrangement is that more than one student will be representing the ideas of CASU, which are a collaboration of the ideas of every student within CAED at each of these different faculty meetings. But so what?

Well the existing system simply doesn't work. CASU will not allow its members, which by the way are all CAED members, Interior Design, BA Architecture and BS Architecture students, to go unheard. The beauty in this existing system is that we as students are all way too busy to do anything about our complaints, but CASU will prove this to be false. We only ask that students within the college contribute their input at the meetings, talk amongst their peers and establish opinions about their environment here in the CAED. We put enough blood, sweat and tears into our work; CASU is here to make sure we're getting heard and changing things for the greater good.

1 comment:

Jake said...

CASU is/should not necessarily just be a "get our voices heard" mentality.

Because, sometimes, nobody cares....

CASU should be more of a "get things done" mentality. Sometimes nobody needs to be told....

Fast, good, action and swift, firm communication.