Last weekend, the Unalaska Student Government traveled to Wasilla for the Alaska Association of Student Government (AASG) Fall Conference. This event is the largest gathering of student governments in the state, with over 530 delegates in attendance. A variety of student leaders came from Noorvik, Sand Point, East Anchorage, Juneau-Douglas and many more towns and cities. For the conference, the Menard Sports Center, which is an ice rink, was converted into a convention hall. Now we can say yes when people from the lower 48 ask if we have our events in igloos.
The conference was kicked off by the opening ceremonies and the first general assembly. Once the general assembly started, you can imagine the craziness of 530 high school students all cheering for their school and region. After the opening ceremonies, delegates headed to their first region meeting where they discussed resolutions and learned region cheers. In the meetings, they mostly asked questions about resolutions and thought of pros and cons that they could bring up at the upcoming general assembly.
At the general assembly, the authors of resolutions reinforce their ideas with a two-minute platform and then read their resolution to the crowd. After the resolution is read, delegates can approach the stand and aver their support, state their opposition, or ask a question about the resolution. If someone asks a question directed towards the author, they will be able to further explain their resolution. Usually discussion doesn’t take very long because people in favor of the resolution try to abet others to support it during the region meetings. Sometimes however, people are really adamant about their thoughts and discussion spirals out of control. This is where people can “call to question” and thwart any more redundant discussion. Once discussion is done with, the president moves to vote on the resolution and a definitive decision is made.
After general assemblies, delegates go to another part of AASG which is taking workshops and doing community explorations. Some of the workshop topics are healthy relationships, budgeting, public speaking, environmental activism, legislation such as the Every Student Succeeds Act, and safe driving. These workshops are a great way to expand a student leader’s horizons and maybe have them learn something new. Community explorations are where students get to see the location of the conference and have fun at the same time. Many Unalaska delegates went to the Wasilla High School field to play flag football and Ultimate Frisbee.
The conference was definitely fun throughout but it ended in quite a spectacular way for Unalaska. Firstly, Unalaska’s Student Government won the prestigious Resolution of the Conference Award for their resolution to oppose the Chuitna Coal Mine. The resolution was commended for promoting intelligent discussion and being an example of what students can achieve with a goal in mind.
The conference ended when Unalaska’s executive board member and vice president of AASG Taylor Holman was reelected for another term as VP. As you can tell, Unalaska had a lot of fun at AASG is hoping to attend the spring conference later in the year.