For the first time in years, there are no returning members on Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College’s current council. In the past, at least one member from the previous years’ student council has been reelected or rehired onto the council. This has been both a blessing and a curse. The expertise the experienced council members had often helped new council members grow. However, it historically also brought with it some baggage, such as allegations of misuse of funds, abuse of power and ethical violation.
So far this year, council members appear to be taking their positions seriously, and are working to get their goals accomplished. According to Taran Smith, ASCOCC advisor, the new council has already accomplished more this term, short staffed, than previous councils with more experience.
Part of the new council’s success could be attributed to the new executive structure.
For years, ASCOCC was run much like the soccer leagues we so fondly remember from childhood. Everyone shared equal responsibility, no one was superior to another member, and everyone had the chance to celebrate the team’s success. That’s great for the eight-year old soccer teams that never keep score at games; but the “system of equality” doesn’t work when you need to hold people accountable for their mistakes.
This year is a different story. The council is keeping score. Members of ASCOCC are now part of a hierarchy. Everyone has various levels of responsibility hopefully leading to more accountability overall.
To the new council: learn from the victories and failures of your predecessors. Utilize the experience of your advisor and those around you to help you make decisions. If you don’t know the solution to a problem, seek advice; when you don’t know the answer to a question, ask.You have been given a clean slate. In the coming year, COCC’s students and The Broadside will be watching what you do with this slate. Be cautious that you do not stain your canvas with the same mistakes that others have made before you.
Emily Kalei | The Broadside