Oct 25th, 2018, 02:49 PM

The AUP Student Union Releases its First Newsletter

By Forrest Crellin
The cover photo of the AUP Student Union's first newsletter Image Credit: AUP Student Union
"We're very academically oriented," President of the AUP Student Union Dhouha Djerbi said. "We want to establish a conference at AUP in the spring."

The AUP Student Union emailed a majority of undergraduate students with a list of causes they are pushing for last Thursday. Their list of causes included reducing printing costs for students and extending library access, while also promising to organize yearly conferences featuring students’ work.

The Student Union first appeared last semester following the controversy surrounding the senior speaker election. Students first heard about the Student Union the following Friday when they left flyers around campus with a list of demands. Many of those demands have since been retracted.

"We're very academically oriented," President of the AUP Student Union Dhouha Djerbi said. "We want to establish a conference at AUP in the spring." She continued by saying that the union's academic advisor is Michelle Kuo, and that their meetings are every Monday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of Combes.

Peacock Plume correspondent Leila Roker reported Wednesday that a fellow student collaborated with the President of the Student Union and SGA Senator Dhouha Djerbi to further one of their causes at the most recent SGA meeting. Leila said, “A student teamed up with the president of the Student Union [who is also a senator] to make an announcement regarding the request to expand the AUP online library to include the New Yorker and that they would soon be taking signatures to make the appeal.”

There were questions previously as to the legitimacy of the AUP Student Union. Safia Banyahia, the advisor for different clubs at AUP, told the Peacock Plume that the AUP Student Union was granted official club status earlier this semester. The reason for their absence at Clubs Night was that their registration was not yet fulfilled. “It is a process to register,” Ms. Banyahia said, “They were registered shortly after clubs night.”

A 2012 AUP alumni communications letter by AUP President Celeste Schenck mentions the AMEX being "just the right space for AUP's future student union." Some five and a half years later, the legacy of the AUP Student Union is still unclear.

Traditionally, students’ rights at AUP are protected by the student government (SGA) and are enshrined in the student handbook, which states that any student-led organization must first be approved by the Student Leadership Office. Also, each member must be a currently registered student.

In 1896, the first student union was created at the University of Pennsylvania, according to a University of Oregon blog. In 1914, the Association of College Unions (ACU) was born. It later became the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) in 1968.

The Union Nationale des Etudiants de France (UNEF) was the first and now largest student union in France with 36,000 members across 60 cities. UNEF focuses on helping and informing students on their rights, defending those rights, and organizing solidarity. Many people are active members and insert themselves in negotiations for the furthering of student rights.

For more information go to the Student Union’s Facebook page.

*This story was a collaboration by the entire Peacock Plume Fall 2018 team.

*Corrections were made on November 7, 2018 concerning Djerbi's titles and  Student Union causes