FEATURE: Meet Your DASB Senate

Betsy Meeker, Staff Reporter

The morning rain threatened to cancel the DASB Meet Your Senators Day event Thursday, Sep. 26. By noon the rain let up and a multi-colored prize wheel attracted a line of students to the booth in the main quad.

Students spun the wheel and won either a piece of candy or an In-n-Out gift card while learning about the DASB Senate internship and ways to get involved on campus.

Some senators walked back and forth calling out to passersby, while others sat under the tent, offering flyers, application forms and supplies marked with the DASB logo. The purpose of the booth was to give students time to get to know their student senators.

DASB senator Arjun Gadkari, 17, undeclared major, said that he first got involved in student government because of the “strong club culture here at De Anza.”

He joined the Students for Justice club after learning about it in a political science class. As his interest grew, one of his teachers urged him to run for DASB Senate.

“The Senate gets a lot of respect from administration because of their ability to control the $1.3 million budget and because their programs have generated significant improvement in student life,” said Gadkari. He said he “can be a real contributor” as a member of the Student Rights and Services and Finance Committees.

Gadkari is currently talking to a number of local businesses, such as Panera, Ike’s Lair, and Coldstone about signing student discount contracts. “There are about forty or fifty businesses we are pursuing right now.”

DASB president Julia Malakiman, 18, communications major, said her main goal for the 2014-15 school year is to “create change” before she transfers next fall.

She spoke about plans to advocate for lowering the required units for student workers from 12 units to eight units, following a revised plan to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in five years instead of four.

“Student employees can concentrate on school while still being able to do well at their jobs. They get really busy taking a lot of units and we want to make sure they don’t get fired because of it,” she said.

Malakiman is also involved in organizing events such as Moveable Feast, a weekly gourmet food truck meetup, and plans for a De Anza Spring Carnival.

Gadkari said students can stop by the DASB Senate office in the lower level of the Hinson Student Center, where there are plenty of resources available to answer any questions.

“There is no wall between the student body and the administration, said Malakiman, urging students to voice their opinions. “If a student wants to organize something, it’s going to be heard.”