Jordan looks to bring ‘realistic’ ideas to DSG

Ashley Jordan, a junior, spent three years in Campus Council before pursuing the DSG presidency.
Ashley Jordan, a junior, spent three years in Campus Council before pursuing the DSG presidency.

Ashley Jordan is not a current member of Duke Student Government. But to the junior, her outsider’s perspective is exactly what qualifies her to take the reins as DSG president.

As a current Central Campus representative on Campus Council and chair of the Residential Group Assessment Committee, Jordan said her broad experiences across different student groups allow her to bring the student voice to DSG—a perspective Jordan believes is sorely missing from the organization.

“DSG needs to be less about what [its members] want and more about what students want,” Jordan said.

Naming policy transparency and publicity as two major problems facing DSG, Jordan hopes to increase the organization’s visibility with the student body by requiring senators to meet regularly with the groups they represent. Jordan noted that senators must work harder to collaborate with student groups.

Jordan also acknowledged the lack of representation for independent students. She plans to incorporate opinions from the student body by holding forums to discuss future endeavors.

“I would form an open forum for [all students] to sit down and brainstorm... and we would come up with a plan for what we want to see in five years,” Jordan said.

Jordan noted the difficulty in actualizing proposed policy in a one-year term, and stressed that the ideal presidential candidate should focus on making progress toward realistic long-term goals rather than ones that are only appealing on paper.

Central Campus Graduate Resident Yuvon Mobley, a graduate student in molecular genetics and microbiology who worked with Jordan through Campus Council, said Jordan will fairly represent groups regardless of size.

“She’s a very dynamic, determined leader,” Mobley said. “In watching her interact with her peers [in Campus Council, Jordan is] shown to be the type of person that’s not afraid to speak up and represent a different viewpoint.”

Jordan said her ability to hear all sides of an argument while forming policy will help her improve DSG’s approachability to the common student.

“Approachability is a big issue,” Jordan said. “Right now... students feel like their concerns aren’t going to be heard if they go to the meetings.”

Jordan said she believes DSG meetings should be restructured to encourage students to make their voices heard. Rather than hold a short public forum session sandwiched between hearings, Jordan plans to allow students to speak at any point during the meetings—provided that they follow parliamentary procedure.

Jordan’s leadership has not gone unnoticed by others who have worked with her.

Lisa Beth Bergene, assistant dean for residence life on East Campus, said Jordan’s depth of experience working with the student body makes her a qualified candidate.

“[Jordan has] been in numerous student organizations, she’s headed up numerous committees, she has effected change through her work with campus administrators,” Bergene wrote in an email. “She’s led meetings, been in charge of projects, managed budgets, planned events, written proposals, led groups of peers, met with administrators and drafted recommendations. She uses logic and common sense when she forms her opinions, not just passion. I’m not sure what other skill or experience a person would need.”


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