Associated Student Focus Group gives the student body a voice

The most recent meeting of Saddleback College’s Associated Student Focus Group (ASFG) took place at the quad in front of the Business and General Studies building to discuss topics of student interest last Thursday.

ASFG is a group that gives students the opportunity to voice their opinion and give their input on various issues at the college.

“We really treasure the student’s voice, because ASG can’t make decisions alone,” Lydia Natoolo, a 24-year-old biology major and board member of ASFG said.

These decisions often involve issues such as smoking on campus, parking and textbooks, all of which are topics that are brought up and discussed during ASFG meetings.

Textbook prices and related issues were brought up in the most recent meeting. Some students voiced concern because in some classes they were required to buy a specific code in order to pass the lab of their class, which some stated was unfair.

Another issue that was brought up by a couple students was the issue of Wi-Fi. Depending on the time of the day, reliability of the Wi-Fi fluctuates. Some students have a hard time connecting, and if they are able to connect, the signal is usually weak or slow. This was concerning to students who rely on the internet to complete homework on their personal laptops.

Parking continues to be an ongoing issue and concern of students as well. Due to construction in the Village parking lot, there has been a lack of parking that has caused more congestion on campus.

“Students are really worried about parking, it’s one of the biggest issues that ASG is having at the moment,” Nataloo said.

Despite active student participation and input, the board will also pose questions regarding different topics and issues.

“Typically the Board will ask if there are any relevant issues that students would like talk about, and then maybe they will bring up something,” William Vasetti, a 20-year-old engineering major and board member of ASFG said. “However, if they don’t, then maybe we’ll bring something up and ask questions such as ‘what do you think about the cafeteria?’ or ‘what do you think about the parking lot? Has it been better?’ just stuff like that.”

Some worry that not enough students are able to attend and give their input due to the time and date of the meetings.

“Attendance fluctuates, sometimes we have a great turnout and other times the turnout isn’t so great,” Vasetti said.

“We try to put the meetings at a time where we think the most people will be getting out of class. Our last meeting was on a Thursday at 11:45, when a lot of students are getting out of class,” Spencer Middleton, a 20-year-old communications major and ASFG board member said.

ASFG holds their meetings about every two weeks and tries to adjust the meeting times to what they think will be best for the student body. All feedback and issues spoken about will be taken to the Board of Directors and considered for further action.

“We’re trying to find what works best for people and bring relevant information to them about think they care about and make them feel like they have a voice on campus,” Vasetti said.