A.S. seeks to add media manager position

AS needs to step into the 21st century.

That was the thought of Associated Students (AS) president Jared Gibo at a recent AS Senate meeting that didn’t conclude before the senators voted in favor of adding a new media-related position to the senate’s lineup. This new position, called Media Manager, will work under the AS marketing director and be primarily responsible for updating the senate’s up-and-coming Web site and filming commercials for AS events, said marketing director Scott Munekawa.

Gibo said the need for this position arose when AS leadership realized it was not going to have sufficient manpower to make good use of its new, video-capable Web site — a Web site it spent $10,000 on last year. “Content upkeep is crucial to the success of the Web site,” Gibo said.

According to the AS Senate proposal that initiated this position, the media manager position will work 15 hours a week at $8.75 per hour. The position has yet to be filled, as AS just began announcing the opening.

A position was also added to the AS Spirit Board this year called the Club Director. This position is responsible for meeting the needs of more than 40 student clubs on Biola’s campus. According to current club director Justin Woodside, the need for this position arose out of the Spirit Board’s realization that it was overworked.

“Everything was in shambles,” said Woodside of the Spirit Board’s effort to perform its functions.

Of why he chose to pursue the position, Woodside cited his previous experience as an AS Senator and a desire to cater to students’ interests. Also, he thinks it fits his people-friendly personality.

AS has also been experiencing significant monetary changes. Recent reports announced by AS Vice President of Finance, Rob Johnson, show an increase in the funds available to the Senate this year compared to last. He attributed this increase to last year’s surplus, the increased student enrollment and fewer large projects requiring the Senate’s money.

The Senate’s larger pocket book has been good news for Woodside, since the Senate recently passed his proposal to add an additional $5,000 to AS Spirit Board’s club fund. The increase put the fall 2007 club budget at $15,000. A week ago these funds were distributed to the clubs who requested money.

According to Woodside, the extra money was needed because the club community is growing.

“There are a lot of new clubs this year, and the old clubs have a lot of new members,” Woodside said.

Despite the extra money, most clubs still do not receive the amount of money they initially request. Woodside says he looks at the size of a club, how much fundraising it has done and its future on campus to determine how much money a club will receive.

Johnson emphasized that the Senate’s extra money has nothing to do with an increase in the AS student fee, though he did mention the possibility of proposing an increase in coming years so that AS could “do more.”

Senate money is distributed to various proposing parties within Biola who request the funds through proposals. The senators then approve them with a majority vote.

AS advisor Eric Lapointe sees the changes within AS as signs of a student-minded leadership.

“I’m very excited about the direction AS is going. I think the new leadership is taking steps that are making them more accessible to students.”

AS is a student organization on campus made up of both elected and appointed Biola undergrads. It operates on an annual budget of around $500,000, much of which comes from a fee incorporated into each student’s tuition cost.

According to the Biola Web site, AS seeks to “represent the student body on an administrative level, as well as provide services and facilitate events to foster a Christ-centered community.”

The future AS Web site address is http://as.biola.edu.

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