Student engagement, increased voter registration, and branch campus outreach. These are only a few of the goals guiding the 2014-15 Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College.
In past years, three members were elected by the student body and three were appointed. These six equal members were each directors of different branches. The council previously decided amongst themselves who would be in each position.
This year, instead of having undefined council positions, ASCOCC will be starting out the year with a president, Susana Hernandez; a director of public relations, Todd Munroe; a vice president of ASCOCC affairs, Amber Ruedi; a treasurer, Shanelle Allen; a vice president of legislative affairs, Justin Warren; and a director of student organizations and events, Ashley Poe.
And while two of these positions were elected by vote, for the others, the process included formal interviews.
“The hiring process for ASCOCC was difficult, challenging, and exciting,” Munroe said. “I’ve never sat through such a professional sort of board interview.”
This year’s council will be breaking the mold with preset positions. Hernandez believes this could give the council more stability.
“With [defined roles] we’ll have our goals more set to our positions,” Hernandez said.
While the 2014-2015 student council members will get to step into, and in some cases define, council positions, the student government is also hoping to emphasize several goals.
“I don’t want to run into other students and have them never have heard of ASCOCC, not know that we have a food bank and not know some of the discounts that we offer,” Munroe said.
This year, the council is expecting to offer the same amount of student resources as last year. Student perks include student discount cards, special events and access to a food bank for students in need.
Another area, the council hopes to offer support is in student campus involvement. Although the council does not yet have a set number of returning and beginning groups, last year 25 groups were listed as funded by the student government.
“For myself, making student access to resources through ASCOCC is really important,” Poe said.
Another main goal is voter registration. Last year, over 500 students were registered in the winter Vote OR Vote campaign, and over 1,100 students were signed up in the spring. This year, according to Munroe, Warren has equally high goals.
“His goals are really ambitious as far as how many students he wants to get to register each term, but definitely attainable,” Munroe said. “I think he’ll be successful.”
As classes begin, ASCOCC is encouraging students to stop by room 207 at the top of the Campus Center. They are also inviting interested students to sit in during posted student council meetings.
And overall, the goals tie back to campus participation.
“People don’t hear [about ASCOCC], and so they don’t know what it is,” Warren said. “We want them to know what it is.”
Junnelle Hogen | The Broadside