A YouTube video will be the new form of the Associated Students’ Town Hall meeting this semester.
Westin Yacoubian, business management major, thinks going virtual is good.
“Virtual meetings I think are a lot better because of the fact that you can get so many people together so quickly in one place,” said Westin Yacoobian, business management major.
A.S. president Conor Lansdalesaid there were two major problems with having the town hall meetings in person.
“For one thing, students always complain that they never know about these meetings,” Lansdale said. “That’s something I hate to hear because we think we advertise it well.”
The second issue, Lansdale said, is that once the date and times are released for the meetings, there are only certain people that can attend because of their work schedule or class schedules.
“It’s also that you’re going to get the same people who come over and over again and we’re trying to get out to students who don’t typically have that opportunity,” Lansdale said. “We’re hoping that students who typically commute to campus and then leave to go to their other obligations will have an opportunity to get a dialogue with myself, the university president and the faculty president.”
Vanessa Alvarez, 18, said she thinks switching the meeting to online would make it more convenient for students.
“Not everybody has time to make it and when it’s online everybody can usually get onto a computer pretty fast,” said the graphic design major. “Like with their phones, almost all of them have I nternet now and that’s definitely more convenient.”
Students can submit their questions online through Facebook, Twitter, email and just submitting it on the A.S. webpage. Lansdale said students can submit questions until the last minute.
“Because it’s online, as long as (the questions) are appropriate, not any derogatory terms, that sort of thing, the day of the event, I can just check online and see if there are any new questions posted and just ask them,” Lansdale said. “So we’re pretty open to that. It’s one of the nice features about it.”
Carla Mercado, 19, undecided major, said she thinks it’s an easier way to communicate.
“I guess it would make it easier for freshman like myself, to approach them and make suggestions, because you wouldn’t have to face them being a freshman and being shy,” Mercado said.
Past town hall meetings were always dominated by two different types of questions, Lansdale said. Last year it was questions about having centers on campus for the LGBT and veterans centers and the other question was on student fees.
“I would like to see more questions, whether it’s asking about parking situations, about course section offerings in the future or even housing on campus,” Lansdale said. “I would like to see students ask questions that aren’t typically asked because those are typically the ones that lead to the most growth and knowledge out of it.”
He added that he hopes all the questions asked will be answered.
“There’s always going to be some questions that you can’t really answer,” Lansdale said. “Such as certain questions about next year’s budget. I don’t know, nobody knows, not even Gov. Brown knows.”
Lansdale said that although there are questions that can’t be answered directly, what he can address is how to get to the conclusion of those questions.
The town hall meeting video will likely be posted at the beginning of April, but Lansdale said there is no specific date at the moment.
“The nice thing about these video forms is that you can put it up at any date and time and people are going to have access to it,” Lansdale said. “Students won’t have that issue of ‘oh I didn’t hear about that or I would have gone.’ It’s up there forever, you can view it whenever you like, you can send it to your friends if you think it’s something relevant to them. It’s at their disposal.”
Junior Evan Clause, kinesiology major, said because so many people go on YouTube, it’s a great way to connect to more students and to get more information out there.
“I think things like being online basically provides the ability to have a lot more people in one place,” Yacoobian, 21, said. “When you have to have a physical meeting, you have to basically get people together, pull a bunch of people to promote,whereas you know everyone is online in the first place.”