jump to navigation

Student Government: Valuable Experience or Sideshow? April 11, 2009

Posted by roothogreport in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
trackback

 

Joe Blanchard prepares for an interview after winning a seat on the Fairbanks Borough Assembly.  Blanchard is a past president of the UAF student government, or ASUAF.

Joe Blanchard prepares for an interview after winning a seat on the Fairbanks Borough Assembly. Blanchard is a past president of the UAF student government, known as ASUAF.

Sorry for my absence over the course of the last month.  I’ve been sidelined for a variety of reasons, most of which have to do with reporting I’m doing on the student government at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  I’ve been doing a series of stories for the UAF paper – the Sun Star – on the efforts of some members of the student senate to remove the student president.  The experience got me thinking about student government and its relation to “actual” politics.  Is it a jumping-off point where future politicians can get their feet wet, or is it a backwater where political science majors with no hope of a career in real politics can stroke their egos and hold rein over their own little corner of the universe?

More after the jump.

 

 

 

The following is an excerpt from  a longer piece I wrote dealing with the subject:

Many university student politicians take their political career seriously – most of the delegates to the legislative conference in Juneau [editor’s note: this is the conference I went to to advocate for UA funding] talk seriously about what it will be like when they take the reins in the c    apital, or beyond – but few go on to hold elected office in the “real world.”  A quick survey of past ASUAF presidents shows that only a few of the past 40 or so have ever held office after graduating from college, and there are no real statesmen on the list.  Alaska’s great men and women, the Ernest Gruenings and the Bob Bartletts and the William Egans, may have come from somewhere, but they didn’t come from student government at UAF. 

That said, at the Juneau conference, one thing that struck me was that there were at least a half-dozen legislative aides who had been involved in student politics at UAF.  Also, Joe Blanchard (a former ASUAF president himself) was recently elected to the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, and Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) of the State House was a former ASUAF representative, so maybe there’s hope for student politicians in the “real world” yet.

Advertisements

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: