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We have all heard the acronym ASUCD, and while it is either prompted or proceeded by more acronyms, causing even MORE confusion, we still think we know what is means, but do we? I can speak from experience when I say that this term is used ever so lightly during orientation as well as other campus events and, although never rightfully explained, it is still a concept that is recommended we all become familiar with, but the real question is how? Or, more importantly, why?

The Associated Students, University of California, Davis has more to offer than many believe (or care to know), and my recent volunteering in the Association has opened my eyes to the capabilities it has along with how much they deal with on a regular basis.  

You may not even realize it, but you probably interact with ASUCD every day. Do you ever take the Unitrans bus? Or buy your favorite drink at the CoHo? Both of those places are run and advised by ASUCD along with 22 other units on campus that employ more than 1,000 students.

ASUCD encompasses the student government. Yep, that’s right, we have one of those on campus – there’s a constitution and everything. As I’m sure many of you know, ASUCD is a three-branch model government with Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches; however, there are city council-style modifications.

There are seven commissions:

Academic Affairs Commission (AAC), Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission (ECAC), Gender and Sexuality Commission (GASC), Business and Finance Commission (B&F), Internal Affairs Commission (IAC), External Affairs Commission (EAC), and Environmental Policy and Planning Commission (EPPC). These commissions, along with the various committees, were created with the intention that students have the opportunity represent and advocate for all groups on campus as well as promote efficiency. And we all have the opportunity to find our place within the Association – don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it sounds. ASUCD is intended to be run by students like you, who are working and representing you.

So, when I talk about becoming a part of ASUCD, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a Political Science major running for office. You can join in multiple ways, from becoming a chairperson on a commission to running for office to volunteering like me or simply by voting in the annual elections that occur every fall and winter quarter.

But here is the fact of the matter: as the first couple weeks of my voluntary position commenced, I saw that the Association had a lot to do all the time. It is not always perfect either. They are constantly working, and even if they aren’t working, they are stressing about something. They contact administration to try and make campus changes, they draft and vote on legislation, deal with crises, arrange events, and allocate funds in attempt to do what is best for the student body.

So, yeah. ASUCD is actually a pretty big deal. I’m not saying it’s a perfect system because when is anything really perfect? Everything has its flaws and, let’s be honest, compromise is always difficult; however, in the last election this past February, only 10% of undergrad students voted, which is downright disappointing.

But guess what y’all? ASUCD does matter. The work they do and the decisions they make can matter if we let them matter. The least we can do is realize that each decision they make affects thousands of students, including ourselves. It’s just sad that no one views it this way. If we want to see change, maybe we can start by caring a little more, getting involved or contacting the Association – we’ve got to start somewhere.

For more info on connecting with ASUCD check out their website!

Cover image source: Murillo de Paula via Unsplash

Madi is currently a fourth-year student at UC Davis majoring in English and Poltical Science. She is currently a marketing intern for the Mondavi Center at UC Davis. Her favorite hobbies are reading, making Spotify playlists, and grabbing lattes with her girls! 
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