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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Alternate Student Assembly Developing

“We feel there needs to be a voice for the students,” say both Andrew Tannenbaum and Todd Babbitt when explaining the purpose of their new group on campus, the Alternate Student Assembly. The ASA, as an alternative to the Student Senate, is for those who feel the senate does not offer a voice in the interest of students.

Todd Babbitt, a founder of the ASA, had served as a chair for Campus and Community Affairs in the Senate, and sees it only as a place where everyone is fighting amongst each other.

“The Senate rendered me ineffective as a senator,” Babbitt said, adding to his argument that the senate is “issue driven.” Tannenbaum noted, “Most of the students within the senate have personal agendas in mind, but not student needs, there has also been cases where visitors have been called out of order, when trying to share ideas or opinions.” When asked if he felt the Senate has accomplished anything, Tannenbaum stated, “The Student Senate has done well with budget finance.”

Because Babbitt and Tannenbaum do not agree with the approach of the Student Senate, they have offered an alternative way to get students’ ideas out in the open.

“The Student Senate needs to stop fighting with each other and start fighting for the people they are supposed to be [fighting for], the students they claim to represent,” Tannenbaum claims.

When asked what the ASA will provide for the students at UMB, Tannenbaum said, “We see a lot of active, intelligent students on campus, that are eager to make a difference but have no outlet. The ASA’s aim is to provide that outlet, and we will only be as strong as the students who are in it.”

Because there have been hundreds of students showing interest, Babbitt and Tannenbaum feel that they will be strong, providing an immediate voice for the students. Not being a special interest group, Babbitt and Tannenbaum think the only interest they need to provide is for the students. They consider the ASA to be a “grassroots organization, made up of anyone who will help.” Though the main concern may be students, Tannenbaum explained how faculty, grad students, and even post-grad students are more than welcome to join.

“The more people we have dedicated to changing the lack of student support, the more likely we will see results,” added Tannenbaum.

Both Babbitt and Tannenbaum have been attending meetings on campus, and trying to get their name out by speaking, and passing around sign-up sheets. Most recently, at a meeting about the budget cuts, Tannenbaum spoke to the audience. He raised the point of the meeting being something crucial, and asked, “Where is our Student Senate? They are supposed to represent our student body, and they cannot attend an important meeting such as this?” Many seemed to look at each other, and agree. That same day, the ASA had a fairly large amount of students and faculty sign up to be involved with their cause.

If the ASA seems like something you would like to become involved with, email Andrew Tannenbaum and Todd Babbitt, at:[email protected].