Student Advisory Committee gives students a voice

State Legislator Chris Kennedy speaks at Aug. 30 SACAB Meeting. Photo: Taelar Pollmann · The Sentry

Helping students understand SACAB
State Legislator Chris Kennedy speaks at Aug. 30 SACAB Meeting.
Photo: Taelar Pollmann · The Sentry

Student Advisory Committee to the Auraria Board is more than another student resource office with an acronym for their name. Many students may be unaware of the importance of this state-mandated resource for the students of the Auraria campus, but the SACAB serves to voice student concerns to the highest authority on the campus. 

“Most students don’t even know that it exists,” Anthony Gambino, one of CU Denver’s student representatives serving on the committee, explained. “The purpose is to make sure that students from each school represent each school’s interests on the campus as a whole.” 

To ensure that the Auraria Higher Education Center (the state entity that provides and operates the tri-institutional campus) hears the voices of all students, each school elects two students from each institution on the campus to serve on the committee. The student representative’s job is to serve as the middleman between their entire university’s student body and AHEC. 

The committee is also comprised of an advisor for each institution and department heads within AHEC. 

Together the committee meets weekly to discuss projects they are working on, student needs they have heard, and how they can work on strengthening the connection between each university on one of the country’s only tri-institutional campuses. These students also have the power to vote for the budgeting for AHEC each academic year. 

In a traditional university, the respective student governments serve as an interceder between the student body and the higher ups within the university and the campus management. 

While CU Denver’s student government has the capability to create changes within the institution, they face more difficulty when the changes would affect the campus as a whole. That’s where SACAB comes into the picture. 

This year, CU Denver Student Government Association and SACAB will be working hand in hand to spread initiatives across the campus, such as installing composting infrastructure within each campus building and expanding participatory budgeting. 

“We are the bridge between the student body and the facilities and the board of directors,” Gambino said. 

Beyond SACAB’s main committee, subcommittees focus on specific projects across campus. From the Sustainable Campus Program Advisory Committee’s focus on reducing waste, to the Food Service Advisory Committee’s ability to select food vendors for the campus, their initiatives cannot be possible without students.  

“Each one of these subcommittees is chaired by a SACAB member, but the voting members are actually made up of any student on campus,” Gambino said. 

For Gambino, serving on SACAB means more than just planning a weekly meeting and relaying student complaints. Serving on SACAB means supporting every student that calls the Auraria Campus their home. 

“I definitely love being a part of CU, but there’s so much more here,” Gambino said. “I wanted to be able to work with students from the other schools, too.” 

Any student interested in working with SACAB is invited to visit their office in Tivoli 314, drop in to their weekly meetings Fridays at 11 a.m. in Tivoli 329, or email Gambino at Gambino also gladly invites students to voice any concerns directly to him. Students can also contact SACAB online via the SACAB Auraria Facebook page.

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