CSUF Associated Students will hold the first town hall meeting on Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. at the Titan Student Union Grand Staircase, bringing a new method of engagement between the campus community and its student government.
The forum will be led by Associated Students’ leaders including the president, vice president, the respective chairs of board of directors and board of trustees, and other lead members of the student government.
Associated Students President and CEO Josh Borjas and Vice President Ana Aldazabal said they intend to promote collaborative communication between students by encouraging discussion about campus issues and hope to interact with the individuals affected by their decisions.
“We don’t want students to see us as intimidating figures, and not just us, the board chairs and all of our other executives. We want to make sure there is an open line of communication and hold us accountable,” Aldazabal said.
The town hall was presented by Borjas and Aldazabal as a way of following through on promises made by their campaign to increase collaboration, engagement and development within Associated Students and the CSUF community. The representatives said they want the town halls to be made up predominantly of students to keep the conversations as open as possible.
“We want to minimize [the presence of] university staff and staff within ASI [at this event],” Borjas said. “We know that students can perceive and communicate differently with those people present, so we want to have this with mostly students.”
The executive team chair is working on finding ways where students can ask their questions a week in advance, to encourage the engagement with the town hall and to have as backup questions if students do not ask questions at the meeting, according to Aldazabal.
An official agenda and some logistics on how the town hall will run are still being finalized.
Tristan Torres, board of directors chair, is in charge of the board of director meetings. Torres is responsible for acting as the liaison between the board, campus administration and students. He said he hopes the town hall will encourage other leaders on campus to become involved with campus government conversations.
“I would like to see a lot of involvement, especially from organizations on campus to come out and give an opinion because those are our student leaders that aren’t necessarily in traditional student government but do a lot of work, and I would like to see them come out and voice their opinions because sometimes I think those get lost,” Torres said.
The leaders said the student voice will be the forefront of town hall forums. The forums will be a direct conversation between students and their government, and will differ from commenting during an Associated Students board meeting.
“It is different in a sense that we are not discussing business between each other. We are here to hear what the students want. It is dedicated for students to talk to us and not just ASI talking to each other.”
Borjas and Aldazabal said they hope to see a broad spectrum of students attend to gain information and awareness about topics on campus, as well as, hear the voices of individuals strongly following issues.
The outcome of the first event will determine how the student leaders will proceed with future town hall meetings. With success in the event, the pair hopes to hold two or more next semester. Students are encouraged to express their concerns or opinions regarding the event by contacting the leaders of Associated Students.