ASUC must address institutional shortcomings to succeed

The ASUC falls short serving students because it lacks the constitutional foundation necessary to function as an effective agent of change. Hundreds of enthusiastic UC Berkeley students become involved with the ASUC each semester through its numerous offices, committees and programs. The one common force driving all of these volunteers is a desire to better student welfare. Despite pouring their hearts into projects, many student leaders will run into frustrating institutional walls barring them from successfully implementing their visions. Their work will often be lost in sea of undertakings and forgotten over the summer.

The ASUC meaningfully improves the lives of students, whether that be through advocacy or by directly offering services. Nevertheless, a sense that something is wrong with the organization permeates all those who interact with it. Common analysis and reporting of the ASUC’s deficiencies focus on the failures of individuals or the nebulous concept of partisanship. But the greatest factor limiting the success of the ASUC operates far more insidiously. The very structure of the organization prevents ASUC leaders from realizing their potential of having a lasting impact on our campus.

The framework of an organization guides what kinds of relationships its members will have and how projects will be carried out. Although libraries of literature exist on the effective governance and administration of political bodies and nonprofits, the ASUC’s anatomy defies almost all of it. The ASUC in practice…

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