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ASW prioritizes community this semester, leaders say

ASW reworked its funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic to account for personal challenges students have faced, according to ASW leaders. This led to the creation of a COVID-19 relief fund unveiled in April to support students displaced as a result of the pandemic.

As ASW finalized its 2020-21 budget, student leaders say they centered their goals around supporting students — whether it’s financially or through a student project. 

ASW Director of Budgeting and Accounting Paula Wang said the board’s focus is building relationships with the student body and providing financial support, specifically through the Opportunity Fund. 

“I really want to make sure our fund is helping students for their personal development this year,” Wang said. 

Through the Opportunity Fund, students can request ASW funds to support a student-led initiative or project. Students complete an application through the ASW budgeting director to receive this funding. 

ASW reworked its funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic to account for personal challenges students have faced, she said. This led to the creation of a COVID-19 relief fund unveiled in April to support students displaced as a result of the pandemic. 

“We are still giving the normal budget to Clubs and Creative,” Wang said. “But I guess they might need more budget on the Creative team, because if we still go back to online we need more advertising on social media.”

It’s unclear how the Fall semester funds will be distributed as ASW did not release its full budget to The Forum. However, the budget is funded through student fees from all enrolled students at the beginning of the school year. 

The portion of the budget going toward ASW Creative will handle advertising and social media through promotional designs and marketing. 

“Our mission is to reach out to the students with a call to action to come get involved whether its clubs, events, senate, etc.,” Zaine Stetich, ASW executive creative director, said in an email to The Forum. 

Stetich leads ASW creative in designing advertisements that encourage students to learn about activities and events around campus. 

“I want to innovate and create new ways to bridge that gap of communication with the students to get people involved,” Stetich said in an email to The Forum. 

He said this school year may place an extra strain on students’ sense of community as they adapt to the pandemic.

“I anticipate the possibility of a lot of the students feeling that lack of community as well as excessive isolation,” Stetich said. 

Similarly, ASW Clubs President Dwain Worrell is focused on fostering a community for students to grow into the person they want to become. 

“For ASW Clubs our goal for our budget is to encourage clubs to spend the money that we have! We’re encouraging our great clubs to do more activities and more projects to help build their community,” Worrell said in an email to The Forum. 

To do this, ASW Clubs will turn to virtual activities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — while also providing an environment for students to engage with their peers.

Ultimately, the money that ASW budgets out for the year is meant to bring students’ ideas and goals to life, ASW leaders said.

“I’m not concerned about the ASW budget because I know whatever the circumstances are, the money will be used for something,” Stetich said. “Whether it’s a student’s idea, an innovation to better reach students, or help aid the education to compensate for going virtual.”

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Alexys Smith is a senior studying communication. She is excited to learn more about managing a budget and work with outside campus organizations. You can find her doing yoga, making short films, and talking with her family.

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