Students work on plan to give AU ANC representation
Student Government President Nate Bronstein and SG Director of Community Sami Green unveiled a new initiative aimed at getting AU student representation on local Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3D.
At a Wednesday night meeting Bronstein and Green presented a plan to fill a vacant ANC seat covering the south side of campus as well as potentially to try to unseat Commissioner Tom Smith, who covers most of AU's north side.
AU is currently attempting to pass its campus plan through ANC 3E and ANC 3D. The plan, which includes development on the Nebraska parking lot, has met resistance from some ANC commissioners. Furthermore, some commissioners made it difficult for AU to make curb cuts for the new School of International Service building parking garage.
Green said that it was unfair for AU students to be counted in the census but not be properly represented in the ANC.
To fill the vacant seats and potentially unseat Smith, Green and Bronstein decided to enlist student leaders from the SG, the Residence Hall Association, greek life, ATV, AU Athletics, the GLBTA community and the College Democrats and College Republicans.
Using this team of student leaders, Bronstein and Green hope to be able to convince enough people to switch their voter registrations from their home states to D.C. Then they will stage a write-in campaign to fill both seats.
In the past it has been difficult to convince AU students to switch their voter registration to D.C. because the District does not have representation in Congress and votes consistently for Democrats.
Green has tried multiple times in the past few years to fill the vacant south side seat but was prevented each time by her inability to get enough signatures for a mandatory petition or to get the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to validate the petition.
Some student leaders at the meeting expressed immediate support for the plan, offering services from their respective organizations to help with the voter registration drive. Carter Gibson from the Inter-Fraternity Council offered to bring a Hummer that could turn into a DJ booth. Greg Cornell from SUB offered to organize some sort of "Rock the Vote" concert.
In addition Green and Bronstein plan to use social media to promote the initiative to students.
However, taking both seats would not guarantee success for AU's campus plan since there are still seven other ANC commissioners in ANC 3D. In addition, ANC 3E, which covers some of American University Park and Tenleytown, also votes on the campus plan.
Bronstein and Green both said that even though AU students wouldn't be able to control the vote, having a presence on the ANCs would give students a greater voice in issues that directly affect them.