Student Governments Elect New Positions After Restructuring
Jonathan Song | May 1, 2015, 5:47 p.m.
Election season for 5C student government has been in full swing for the past month, and the results are finally in. This spring, the student governments of Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College and Harvey Mudd College all underwent restructuring or created new positions, making it a pivotal year for Senate elections across the Claremont Colleges.
Claremont McKenna College
The new members of the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC) are looking to work with students and administrators to reach compromises about campus culture.
Dormitory Affairs Chair Nicky Blumm CM ’17 hopes to act as a mediator between the residence hall presidents and the student deans.
“I’m really focusing on my role as liaison between the students and the dorms and the administration and the rest of CMC, especially considering the tension that’s been in the air about what we can and can’t do on campus, and how standards are changing about what we need to do to both be responsible and have a good time,” Blumm said.
ASCMC President William Su CM ’16 said that he would like to foster more collaboration across the 5Cs while improving the student experience.
“I plan to work on improving communication and wellness here at CMC,” Su wrote in an email to TSL.
He added that he also plans on “improving the campus climate and improving the caliber and diversity of our programming with the newly reformed event planning arm of ASCMC.”
Harvey Mudd College
On Feb. 8, the Associated Students of Harvey Mudd College (ASHMC) approved a revision of the ASHMC constitution, which replaced the vice president with a Senate chair and divided ASHMC into a Senate made up of class presidents, residence hall presidents and an executive board. ASHMC President Madeline Hartley HM ’16 will oversee the executive board meetings, while Senate Chair Phillip Diffley HM ’16 will oversee Senate meetings.
“It’s going to be interesting to get to see the other side of the way the school is run,” Hartley said. “When I go to all my meetings, I get a nice introduction to sides of campus that I haven’t really seen before, and I’m really looking forward to really enhancing that, and also allowing other students, who might not be as involved in student government, the chance to also see these great connections that are available but might not be as publicized as they could be.”
Similarly, Diffley said that he wants to improve communication between ASHMC and the student body and help students take advantage of the college's support systems.
“I want to have ASHMC be a body students can actually go to if they have a complaint or concern or idea, so that they feel that they are more connected,” Diffley said. “Avenues might be available to them, but people don’t necessarily see that as an option.”
In the Pitzer Student Senate elections, some candidates, including Sanford Glickman PZ '17, Treasurer John Kalapos PZ '17 and Communications Secretary Jimmy O'Hare PZ '16, became known as 'green' candidates among the student body because their platforms shared an emphasis on making the Senate more accessible to the student body.
Glickman, who was elected Junior Class President, said that his goals include "transparency, openness and inclusivity of the student voice."
“For the past year, student government has been a very insular group,” Glickman said. “I ran on a platform of trying to change that. A common question I would ask my fellow students was, ‘Who do you know on student government?’ and they’d be like, ‘I have no idea, I don’t even know what they do.’"
Andrew Lydens PZ ’16 was elected Senate President. He helped lead the recent revision of the Senate's constitution, which clarified senator roles in an effort to increase transparency, and seeks to break the barriers separating the Senate from the rest of the Pitzer community during his term. Lyden also hopes to continue supporting Pitzer institutions like the Green Bike Program, the Shakedown Café and the Grove House.
“I think that it is important to retain legitimacy and order within the Senate,” Lydens wrote in an email to TSL. “However, I feel that we need to reshape some of the Senate's more stringent guidelines that hinder productivity and inclusivity.”
In the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) elections, which began April 5, many candidates emphasized inclusivity of all students on campus. Environmental Affairs Commissioner Aidan Orly PO '16, for instance, said that he hopes to make discussions about environmental issues more welcoming to members of marginalized populations.
“Last week I hosted a discussion with a professor and an indigenous woman from L.A., critiquing environmentalism and giving a perspective on environmental affairs from a person of color, and I think that having more conversations is where I’m going to start,” Orly said.
ASPC President Nico Kass PO ’16 said that he will assist the college in an audit of the school’s disability support systems next year.
"My most important issues are mental health on this campus, creating safe spaces, combatting feelings of isolation, and working for disability justice on campus and for inclusivity of all students," Kass said.
Many of the newly elected members of Scripps Associated Students (SAS) emphasized that they would like to focus on improving the efficacy of SAS.
“I think we’re going to get a lot of stuff done, really important things are going to happen and I’m looking forward to it," SAS President Minjoo Kim SC '16 said.
SAS Vice President Anna Cechony SC ’17, who will facilitate SAS's BeHeard forums, said that she wants to ensure that the biweekly forums spark wider conversations and changes in programming and policy.
To help students take advantage of organization funding and demystify the budget hearings process, CLORG (clubs and organizations) Chair Sneha Deo SC '17 plans on holding office hours before and after Board of Trustees meetings.
“As the liaison between SAS and CLORGs, I have the special opportunity to serve typically under-resourced students on campus,” Deo said. “My primary role is to be a resource on SAS, with access to administrative and institutional support that can make a CLORG really flourish.”
Co-Treasurers Nia Gillenwater SC ’16 and Katherine Goree SC ’16 said that they plan to post a flowchart in the Scripps Student Union and on the SAS website to educate students about opportunities for organization funding, like the Funding Advisory Committee, SAS's discretionary fund or the Motley sponsorship. Gillenwater also said that she hopes to reduce redundancy among student organizations by encouraging students to collaborate with existing organizations instead of forming new ones.