New administration already at work at Associated Students

Justin Satzman

As soon as they were allowed into office, newly elected Associated Students President Adam Salgado and Vice President Sarah Jackson began working on possible changes to academic advisement and how the administration deals with class availability in the hopes of making graduating an easier process at California State University Northridge.

“The minute we were open for business on June 1 and the past administration left office, we were ready to start working,” Salgado said.

During their campaign, academic advisement was one of the most important issues for Salgado and Jackson and they wanted to do everything possible to make sure that students received proper advisement.

Salgado said that he and Jackson have gone over a couple of ideas about advisement to Dr. William C. Watkins, who is associate vice president of student affairs and also serves as dean of students, and EOP Director Jose Vargas. Salgado said that they are both excited about new ideas and programs that he and Jackson have been trying to implement.

“We’ve been trying to meet with various advisers throughout the summer to try and get their input on what perspective they have on student advisement,” Jackson said. “On what areas they think students need help in and what students can do to make sure they receive proper advisement.”

One of the ideas that has been discussed is an academic bill of rights and responsibility, which would tell the student the procedures that one must follow in order for the student to have these rights. If the student follows these rights, then the student should be able to obtain good advisement and be allowed to schedule an appointment with an adviser, Salgado said.

If a student makes an appointment with an adviser a month in advance or obtains their DARS report, it will be much easier to get advisement, Salgado said.

Peer advisement is another option that Salgado and Jackson have been looking into. But their biggest concern is the training of the peers to make sure that they are not giving students the wrong information, Jackson said.

“If the program (peer advisement) has a positive reputation, then I think it will be an accurate resource for students to get their information from,” Jackson said. “It would be to provide support to the advisers.”

Another option for advisement is through peer advisement instant messaging in the case that students have a quick question and could ask that question of an adviser over an instant messaging service rather than scheduling an appointment and taking up an adviser’s time.

Advisement, however, is nothing without class availability and Salgado and Jackson have been in talks with the administration about the web portal and being able to map out a student’s class schedule so the administration can get a better sense of how many students are going to be taking a particular class a year in advance.

“We had a meeting with Dr. (Jolene) Koester and Dr. (Terry) Piper where we were discussing the changes to the web portal,” Salgado said. “It makes classes more available.”

Rick Shaw, who is the director of student information for technology, said the program is basically to enhance DARS.

“(The program) is going to put an enhancement to allow students to project what courses they need over multiple semesters,” Shaw said. “The enhancement is letting students map out their future.”

Shaw, however, was not sure whether the program would provide feedback to the administration.

Marketing is also one of the new administration’s goals that they want to get across, specifically clubs and organizations and school spirit.

One of the ways that Salgado and Jackson want to go about marketing is to create a visibility committee and hire Zach Mendelsohn as Visibility Chair. Mendelsohn lost the presidency to Salgado last April.

“The visibility committee is a community of kids that will meet on a weekly basis in order to better market the school,” Mendelsohn said. “We are catering to the PR market (of students) but anyone can join.”

Salgado said that he wanted to also continue Mission Matadors but have it combined with the visibility committee as well as start a campaign where a student can turn in another college’s clothing and receive CSUN clothing for free or a minimum price.