On Feb. 15, the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) streamed their weekly meeting on UStream.com for the first time, marking a new effort to increase transparency. According to the ASPC’s UStream profile, the ASPC Senate hopes to enhance interaction between Senate and students.
“Our weekly broadcast will enhance the ease with which students can access senate meetings. We hope this service will provide for more student engagement with the student governing body,” it reads.
ASPC Commissioner of Communications Darrell Jones III PO ’14 said that the first stream went well but had a few glitches due to technical inadequacies that he hopes to fix in the near future, including acquiring a better camera and microphone.
Rachel Jackson PO ’15 was one of the few students who tuned in to the broadcast because she wanted to get a better idea of what actually happens during Senate meetings.
“I watched it because I love Senate, and I’m interested in the nitty-gritty of the Senate meetings, and also because I’ve heard of some dubious goings-on in Senate,” Jackson said.
She specified that these “dubious goings-on” referred to the budget transparency debate that has been ongoing since the Senate voted to publish its entire budget online in a process that left Senators confused and uncertain about what its rules of order dictate in certain situations.
Jones hopes that the broadcasts will help with students’ confusion about issues and generally give everyone a better idea of what happens in Senate meetings.
“We want to establish this as a staple of the ASPC, so we can increase transparency and give people a better idea of what we do,” Jones said.
Currently, meetings are open to all students, but if students cannot attend meetings, their only consistent option for live updates is the independent, student-run, parody ASPC Twitter account @NotASPCSenate, which provides accurate information about Senate meetings but often distracts from issues by engaging in Twitter banter with various Pomona administrators.
Jones added that the streamed meetings might also provide some entertainment value for anyone who enjoys political discourse and/or Jersey Shore.
“We make for great reality television,” he said.