On Sunday, February 23rd, all the Spring interns for the ASUC gathered for a half-day bootcamp that had them learn more about ASUC. The purpose of the bootcamp was to inform incoming interns about the inner workings of the ASUC while providing useful information about the ASUC’s history and structure before interns begin their work in student government. This year’s bootcamp replaced the previous ASUC DeCal that was required for interns. The bootcamp was split into several workshops focused on a specific aspect of the ASUC. Claire Goudy, the Chief Legal Officer, introduced the interns to how the ASUC is governed and its bylaws while Ken Lohatepanont, the Chief Communications Officer, discussed ASUC branding and public relations. Other workshops included talks from ASUC President Alex Wilfert and EAVP State Affairs director Varsha Sarveshwar about ASUC history and advocacy.
Within the history portion, many interns were interested to learn that the ASUC has actually experienced a period of bankruptcy in its past and had to be bailed out by the University. They were able to use this history as a means of understanding how the ASUC has transitioned from a fully-independent organization to one that works in coalition with the university, while maintaining autonomy. When asking students about their experience during the ASUC’s first bootcamp, Shreyans Sethi, the new Publicity Coordinator in the Office of Communications and Marketing revealed “One part of the bootcamp that I really appreciated was when the ASUC CCO, Ken Lohatepanont, introduced an activity in which the interns were asked to read an article highlighting all the weaknesses of the ASUC, as explained by an ex-member. The article was extremely critical of the internal structure where candidates hold a position for just one year and it also shed light on difficulties with inter-office communication. This activity showcased to me that the bootcamp was not meant to brainwash us into approving of the ASUC’s every move but rather, to motivate us to recognize and work on weaker areas.”
Ultimately, the boot camp helped equipped new interns with the tools and knowledge to begin their work in the ASUC. With fresh faces and new ideas, these interns will hopefully play a role in the many new ASUC initiatives this year.