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ASUCC Leadership Team looking to increase student involvement

The ASUCC leadership team is Vice President Charles Martin, Public Relations Officer Susie Day, Buisness Manager Shane Rhinehart and President Sarah Gordon.
Photo Provided by Marjan Coester, UCC Student Life
The ASUCC leadership team is Vice President Charles Martin, Public Relations Officer Susie Day, Buisness Manager Shane Rhinehart and President Sarah Gordon.

The Associated Students of Umpqua Community College Student Leadership Team is a group of students serving many hours per week as a liaison between faculty, students and community.

Sarah Gordon serves as president; Charles Martin, Vice President; Shane Rinehart, Business Manager and Susie Day, Public Relations Officer. The student leadership currently has no senators and a vacant activities officer seat.  

Activities Officer Kattie Contreras was unable to fulfill the responsibilities of the position and is no longer holding the position according to adviser Marjan Coester. Contreras’s name remains on the college website because the site is being updated. 

The leadership team is looking to fill the open spot in order to be able to better serve students and lighten the work load on current officers.

Generating interest in student government leadership is often difficult due to the time commitment.

Leaders are required to attend two ASUCC leadership meetings per week, at least two committee meetings per week, attend numerous campus activities and commit to at least 10 additional office hours per week. Students must also remain in good academic standing and be enrolled in nine or more credits. 

However, Gordon notes the benefits are worth the time commitment. There are ample opportunities to improve UCC, grow as a person and to help your peers, she said. Student leaders, including senators, also receive tuition assistance.

As of October 28, one senator application has been turned in, but the activity officer position remains vacant.

The lack of senators and an activity officer means a heavier workload on the current officers and less staff to assist with events. For example, senators are required to maintain seven hours per week, which includes the two meetings, and the budget allows for the funding of six senators per quarter. That would equal 30 hours per week of assistance which is now unavailable.

Communication Goal

One of the main goals of ASUCC for the year is to increase communication between student leaders and students.

Public Relations Officer Susie Day expressed concern over lack of communication between student leadership and students.

“We don’t know what student complaints are, because students don’t talk to us,” Day said.

“We are the voice of the Students”

—Sarah Gordon
ASUCC President

One of the ways the student leadership team says they are trying to increase communication with peers is by spending time in the library, listening to student concerns. Leaders also practice “the open door policy,” meaning whenever they are in their office, students are welcome to come in and speak with officers, according to ASUCC policy. Day and Gordon both emphasized the importance of communication between students and leaders.

“We are the voice of the students, not just the voice of the team,” Gordon said.

Day is interested in also establishing connections with student leadership teams from other community colleges in Oregon, in order to better serve students.

Student Support

On campus, the purpose of the student leadership officers is to “manage, direct and monitor all of the activities and policies of the ASUCC Student Leadership Team and to serve, when appropriate, as agents for inquiry and support for the students of Umpqua Community College,” according to their bylaws.

Some funding and support for campus activities, such as clubs, interest groups and organizations comes from the student leadership team. For example, the volleyball program receives nearly $15,000 from ASUCC per year, according to the estimated 2013-14 budget. The Mainstream, basketball programs and other programs on campus also get support from ASUCC. The Mainstream will receive $2,000 this year from ASUCC to offset over $5,500 in printing costs.

The student leadership team also offers resources to needy students. Project C.A.N.S. offers emergency food boxes. Gas cards are available. The Backpack Program helps new students in need of school supplies. Applications and more information about these programs are available in the Campus Center.

Students are able to purchase bus passes at a reduced rate because student activity fees subsidize the additional cost.

The textbook reserve in the library is also maintained by the student leadership team. Students are able to check out books on reserve, rather than purchase textbooks, which can often be expensive.

Student leadership team plans the end-of-term “Study-In” before finals week, relaxation activities during finals week and seasonal events, such as The Harvest Festival, Fright Night or Spring Fling. 

Last year’s student leadership team purchased refillable water bottle stations. This year, the goal is to replace the benches on campus. They are also looking into the possibly of building a disc golf course on campus, according to Day. Gordon explained there may be concerns regarding smoking and security.

However, with the lack of student involvement at this time, following through with ideas is difficult.

“We have big ideas and goals, but we can’t always accomplish those goals because we are all busy students, and although we devote so much time to the [student leadership team], there just aren’t enough people to make things happen sometimes,” Gordon said. 

Gordon highly encourages students interested in being a part of student government to stop by Campus Center and speak with the student leaders in order to get involved.