The Associated Students of Madison, in its second meeting of the year, announced Wednesday a new campaign that will work to improve the rights of student tenants.
The campaign, headed by ASM representative Phil Ejercito, will consist predominately of non-ASM affiliated students.
'[This is something] we've really wanted to do for some time, so it's really great that we found someone to head it up,' said ASM chair Jessica Miller.
'We focus a lot on private housing,' Miller said. 'We're reliant on student input. ... We're going to start looking [for] and recruiting students.'
The campaign members will attempt to pass legislation through city council, Miller said, that would 'push documented tenants' rights.'
Ejercito said he was especially interested in this issue because of previous problems he has had with his living situation in Madison.
'I have a strong personal incentive to [have this] campaigned in this room,' Ejercito said. 'I went through three weeks of hell this summer'I still have a certain amount of hearing loss, the water shut off, [and they would start] drilling every morning at 5 a.m.'
Having campaign members work with other tenants' rights activists, such as the Tenants' Resource Center, will be key to achieving the aims of the campaign, he said.
'You can't do homework, you can't study if you don't live somewhere decent,' Ejercito said.
At the start of the meeting, ASM representatives approved two candidates who will serve as Student Services Finance Committee members pending approval of the Student Judiciary Monday. Andrea Wise, a senior international relations and French major and David Garza, a junior art major, look to fill the two seats vacated this past summer.
Jessica Miller, chair of ASM, said there had been complaints from students that the application deadline of Sept. 3 for the position had been too early to give new students sufficient time to apply.
Another topic at the meeting dealt with ways to give students alternatives to alcohol-related activities.
'We want to focus this year on programs dealing with educating [students] ... on binge drinking,' said ASM representative Amy Lundy.
Lundy said using methods such as featuring speakers who would talk about drinking issues in the same way that fraternities and sororities have guest speakers, would be one effective way to deal with the problem of binge drinking. Other campus organizations, such as the RWJ Project and the Wisconsin Union Directorate, will be involved in working to find drinking alternatives.