Name: Georgia Frost
Major: Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy and International Relations
Minor: French and European Studies
Hometown: Dexter, MI
ASMSU, the Associated Students at Michigan Student University, is the undergraduate student government. Georgia Frost, a junior at James Madison College at MSU, has been involved with ASMSU since she was a Freshman. In this interview, she gave some insight into what ASMSU does and how other students can get involved.
What is your position in ASMSU?
Frost: I am the Assistant Vice President for Internal Administration.
What type of responsibilities do you have?
The work that I do is internally facing in the scope of the organization. Our department supervises the General Assembly (the legislative and policy-setting component of the organization) as well as the Class Councils. Also, in my position specifically, I run the Mentorship Program, which provides direct mentorship from the older, more experienced members of the organization to the newer members we have.
What made you want to join ASMSU?
I love government and as a Freshman, I was excited to find an opportunity for that on campus. It’s important to me that I can find occasions where my strengths are translated into positive outcomes for my fellow students. I quickly learned about ASMSU and decided to join the Freshman Class Council, where I was elected President. I enjoyed being involved to the greatest extent possible because I was quite invested in ASMSU’s mission statement and productive role on campus.
What are some of the events you have organized/coordinated?
During my time in ASMSU, I have been Freshman Class Council President and the Assistant Vice President for Internal Administration. This is now my second year in the AVPIA role. The Freshman Class Council was principally responsible for Battle of the Late Nights, a springtime event where we promote voting in the General Assembly election by hosting an event with free food where voting is the “ticket.” This event draws around 1,000 students annually, and I know our year of FCC was proud to pull that off. When I joined ASMSU’s staff in my second year, I was introduced to other ways of being involved beyond my explicit position like joining Academic Governance committees. These committees are important opportunities for student input considering that they are the way that various academic decisions are being made amongst academic faculty and university administrators. Specifically, I served on the University Committee on Undergraduate Education where we made decisions about academic adaptations to curriculum and various programs on campus.
How can someone become a member of ASMSU?
There are so many ways to get involved with ASMSU, and I think that’s part of what makes this organization so great. ASMSU has a full Staff, the Class Councils, the Student Allocations Board and the General Assembly — all where participation is encouraged. Although Staff hiring and General Assembly/Student Allocations Board elections happen under pretty specific timelines, all are worth evaluating to see where you’re best fit. The best entryway to get involved in my opinion are the Class Councils, where you can do event planning and find other possibilities to improve the livelihood of students in your class. Being a member of the Class Councils can be as great or as little of a commitment as you choose to make it. It’s also a wonderful way to see the intricacies of the organization without personally being a part of every one of our branches, which isn’t feasible. In general, if you’re considering joining ASMSU, talking to me or my supervisor (the Vice President of Internal Administration, Nora Teagan) is an excellent idea because we’d be happy to help. A large amount of information is available on the website, too.
Why do you think ASMSU is important on the MSU campus?
ASMSU gives a voice to the student body, who is privy to feeling detached from the functionings of a large university like MSU. As one individual on a campus of tens of thousands of students, it’s easy to feel like my concerns as a student are, on the whole, trivial. This is not the case. A school with the scope that Michigan State has necessitates regular student involvement. ASMSU is a principal liaison between the passions and beliefs of students and our university administration. Because we are the Associated Students of Michigan State University, our input is taken seriously and our policy-setting and objectives frequently translate to meaningful university policy. Without student opinions being valued and given a seat at the table, programs can get misguided or mismanaged, transparency does not exist and the disconnect between administrators and students grows wider. It’s always better to work together.
What are some of your favorite memories of being a part of this organization?
ASMSU has given me some of my most memorable experiences on campus. I truly love General Assembly meetings, where respectful debate is fostered and encouraged amongst representatives. Our bills and resolutions are so much more meaningful after critiques amount to fruitful changes. I also enjoy our annual retreat, where ASMSU members have the chance to bond, grow and goal-set before the school year takes off. Finally, some of my best memories of all time have come from conferences where ASMSU gains knowledge from other universities to take back to our own. Most recently, I attended COSGA, the Conference of Student Government Associations in Houston, Texas. I worked with a delegation from ASMSU to apply for the chance to present on the impact of the Larry Nassar (from now on labeled “the perpetrator”) crisis as well as an award application for the Most Outstanding Student Government. The perpetrator and consequent fallout have influenced Michigan State’s campus in one of the most disruptive and harmful ways possible. By presenting on our campus’s experience, we hoped to recognize the many survivors of sexual assault that have been tied to our university. After many hours of preparation and consideration, our delegation achieved both the chance to present and also the award recognition. The conference felt like the culmination of a lot of consequential work done by the organization in general, and it was very meaningful for me to attend with the company of VPIA Nora Teagan, Chief of Staff Andrea Bair, VPSA Dylan Catalano and past President Mario Kakos, who are some of the most incredible and hard-working people I have met in my life.
What are some upcoming events you want people to know about?
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made it so that most in-person events that ASMSU would have hosted cannot happen this semester. I would suggest following our socials on Instagram and Facebook to check in on upcoming virtual opportunities and regularly check our website!