ASCMC Revamps Event Planning Positions, Holds Elections

After a tumultuous beginning to the spring semester, the event planning branch of the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC) has created and eliminated several positions in an effort to restructure its leadership. Former Student Life Chair Chloe Zagrodsky CM ’17 wrote in an email to TSL that the restructuring is an attempt to “distribute work and dedicate more time to events.”

The event planning branch has eliminated its Social Affairs Chair and Student Life Chair positions to make room for the new position of Vice President of Student Activities, which will be filled by Christine Horne CM ‘17. Four students will be appointed to the position of event commissioner.

Nicky Blumm CM ’17 was elected to the position of Dormitory Affairs Chair, which will have different responsibilities this upcoming year. The position no longer includes the responsibility of organizing Thursday Night Club (TNC) parties, so its main focus will now be planning residence hall events.

Former Social Affairs Chair Jessie Thomas CM ’16 wrote in an email to TSL that she believes these changes “will allow the students in the event planning positions to have an easier time which will result in the events being planned in a better fashion.” 

Thomas, who described the allocated work of the eliminated positions as “too taxing,” wrote that this restructuring will benefit both members of ASCMC and the school as a whole.

Zagrodsky echoed these comments, stating that the student body will be positively affected because “there will be room for more events and more creativity in events.”

“Since the current jobs of the social chairs are so work intensive, we see the same events happen each year,” Zagrodsky wrote. “Since there will be less burden on each event planner, they will have the option to be much more creative with the events they throw.”

She noted that this enhanced creativity will allow for a greater presence of dry events on campus and result in a greater variety in events, creating a less divided social scene that will appeal to a broader range of students. 

“The social scene will ultimately become less polarized and more inclusive,” Zagrodsky wrote.

While Thomas and Zagrodsky believe the restructuring of the event planning branch will yield positive results, ASCMC President Ben Tillotson CM ’15 said that some CMC students are upset that the four event commissioners serving under the Vice President of Student Activities will be appointed rather than elected.

Tillotson said that ASCMC began planning the changes at the beginning of the semester, and noted that the current leadership did not have much time to discuss the changes before last week’s ASCMC elections took place. 

“By the time we had the proposal ready to go it was two weeks before our last opportunity to pass it before our upcoming election cycle,” he said. “So we talked about it in open Senate meeting and had an open Executive Board meeting; got feedback there.”

Tillotson said that he understands the frustrations coming from students opposed to the appointment process who did not hear about the changes until after ASCMC passed them, but emphasized that the decision was discussed in meetings open to the student body. 

“We were under a time crunch, but it was definitely a transparent process,” he said. 

Thomas was less sympathetic to student complaints, referencing the ample opportunity students have to share their thoughts on changes within student government. 

“Senate and ASCMC Exec Board meetings are great places to give opinions. If students don’t come to those things they really don’t have the right to complain about changes that occur,” Thomas said.

Despite these grievances, Zagrodsky wrote that the new leadership structure aims to represent as many social interests as possible.

“If [the event commissioners] were elected, there would be a risk that students only interested in dry events or only interested in wet events would win the election and neglect the other portion of the student body,” she wrote. “By appointing, we can make sure that all student social needs are addressed by students who represent a wide spectrum of CMCers.”

The other ASCMC election results were announced along with the newly restructured positions. Will Su CM ’16 will serve as ASCMC president and Iris Liu CM ’16 will be the executive vice president. Kathryn Chakmak CM ’16, Kris Brackmann CM ’17 and Russell Salazar CM ’18 were elected as presidents of their respective classes.

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