Team Johnson-Laing to raise ASUS profile

Revamped website, separate equity office space part of campaign promises

Robyn Laing, ArtSci ’11, and Doug Johnson, ArtSci ’12, are running for
Robyn Laing, ArtSci ’11, and Doug Johnson, ArtSci ’12, are running for

ASUS presidential candidate Doug Johnson, ArtSci ’12, and vice-presidential candidate Robyn Laing say they’re exactly the type of people they want to reach with their five-pillar platform.

Although both candidates work with ASUS, they’ve been involved with other extra-curriculars—experience they say helps them relate to the average student.

Johnson, a self-confessed gym buff, plays intramural squash and hockey.

He’s also the ASUS commissioner of internal affairs. Last year, he was an intern to the ASUS president.

Laing, ArtSci ’11, is the departmental student council (DSC) co-chair for environmental studies. She was also on Gael Force, an AMS Campus Activities Commission committee, in 2008-09 and 2007-08.

Team Johnson-Laing wants to raise ASUS’s profile among Arts and Science students.

“They see us during Frosh Week and then the society disappears,” Johnson said.

Laing said the team wants to improve ASUS’s website by posting meeting minutes online and updating events pages regularly.

“That’s just a way to have a check on us,” she said, adding that the team also wants to send out monthly updates on the ASUS listserv.

“We want everyone’s home pages to be ASUS,” Johnson added.

Laing said the team wants to strengthen ties with DSC chairs, who represent students at Faculty Board.

“They’re our link with department heads and they need to know the society backs them when they represent us at Faculty Board,” she said.

Laing said she’s heard many students in her department say they’ve never heard of ASUS.

Team Johnson-Laing wants to hold regular DSC meetings so representatives can discuss issues that are important to their departments and have a unified voice at Faculty Board, she said.

Johnson said the team also wants to make operations more efficient.

They want to purchase a server system for the Core, ASUS’s office space, Laing said.

“A lot of times, people come into the Core, want a form and we can’t print it for them because it’s on a computer in an office that’s locked,” she said. A joint server would make all files accessible to the computers in the Core.

Team Johnson-Laing also wants to cut operating costs, she said, adding that they want to create an inventory of office supplies so they’re not overstocked.

“We want to cut out wasteful spending,” she said, adding that in previous years items have been bought multiple times because there was no record they were in the office.

The team wants to create a resource room with the excess supplies for student clubs.

“It’s an area where committees could come together and make posters for events,” she said.

Johnson said they want to set up an ASUS equity office outside of the Core.

“Currently some people may not be comfortable in the Core,” he said, adding that a separate office space might encourage more students to talk to the equity officer.

Laing said the team’s committed to making ASUS more open and accessible in the next year.

“Right now we really think that anyone not in ASUS doesn’t know what it is,” she said. “I do think it can grow exponentially.”

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