This semester, UNM’s student government will work to improve its student outreach.

In its first meeting Wednesday night, the Outreach and Appointments Committee of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico reviewed its semester goals on how to communicate better with students.

The committee decided to allow students to discuss their concerns at a public forum later this semester to help ASUNM senators understand which campus issues need to be addressed.

The senators decided to host the forum on Oct. 2.

ASUNM Senator Grace Liu said she has attended student forums in the past. She said the fall semester is the best time to invite students to address their concerns with ASUNM senators.

“It’s important because there are so many new students on campus, and in order for them to get more involved, we have to hold events that are open to the general school,” Liu said. “So, I think that it’s good for students to be not only involved on campus but involved in ASUNM.”

Liu said she would like to invite an advisement counselor to speak about UNM’s new STARFISH program to the forum.

“Since this is a new program, even as student orientation leader, the first time I heard about it, it didn’t stick with me,” Liu said. “I want to just make sure the senators know more about the STARFISH program, and that if students come up to them to ask about it, the senators will know how to answer.”

STARFISH is a new online software UNM began using to track students’ academic progress in order to increase student retention. The program also directs students to Internet resources that can help them in their academics.

ASUNM Senator Frankie Gonzales said he would like students to learn more about the University’s parking and transportation system. He said the price for commuting and parking concerns UNM students.

“The reason I brought up parking and transportation is because that’s something that I have heard personally in my experience as a student and from the past notes from other chairs,” Gonzales said. “In past forums, parking and the Lottery (Scholarship) are two of the biggest issues that always come up.”

Gonzales said students will be able to talk with senators at the event. He said the goal of the Outreach and Appointments Committee is to encourage students to interact with ASUNM senators to help them learn more about the campus and to discuss their concerns.

“It’s a laid-back approach,” he said. “The interactions will be more personable.”