The Associated Students of Lane Community College Student Government held their open meeting in the Building 3 Boardroom on Jan. 31 and with the recent signing of the Unity Letter and a shift in leadership, it was a certainly a productive one.
Unlike the previous few meetings, there were statements from the gallery. One student, Shawn Zousel, who is relatively-new attending his second term, was surprised to find out that LCC had an active student government. His reason for speaking was not only to express his enthusiasm for ASLCCSG, but to also raise awareness for the lack of social meet-ups and student government meet-and-greets for new students.
His comments were received very well. Michael Gillette, who was recently made the President President Pro Tempore of the senate, mentioned that if all goes well, the members of the student government will have the matching shirts they’ve already ordered in an effort to be more visible to the LCC population. Additionally, it was announced that the school has recently hired a Dean of Student Services who will be handling things including social events.
Additions to ASLCCSG were also made at the meeting as two senators and two staff members were ratified.
The first of the senators—Seat 6—to be ratified was Valerie Hoffman. Hoffman stated during her public interview that the reason she wanted to join the ASLCCSG was so that she could have an impact on the students at-large. When asked about her goals as a senator, she said that “my main goal is to get more student engagement with clubs, unions, and student government.”
The second and last senator—Seat 7— ratified during the meeting was Laney Baehler. Well-prepared, she said that she viewed the senate position “as an opportunity” and that she hoped to bridge the gap between LCC and local high schools by discussing both environmental issues and gender diversity with them. She was almost ratified unanimously.
The meeting powered on with the ratification of two staff members.
Ratified as the new Multicultural Programs Coordinator was Chavon Wright, the current Vice President of the Black Student Union. President Nick Keough gave her a stellar recommendation. Both the ASLCCSG and the gallery were thrilled with her plans for LCC including “the idea of setting up a union of unions so we can have a unified voice.” More importantly, as she plans to graduate soon, she wants to “make an MPC manual so my successor will be able to hit the ground running”
The last ratification of the evening was for the new State Affairs Director, Rick Williams. Another well-known and active member of the LCC community, they are not strangers to the student government. When asked what they want to accomplish once ratified, they said “I want LCC to have more of a presence in the county.” They also “want to start a database of contacts and resources for students and student groups,” which would also help to potentially bridge gaps between groups both on and off campus.
Williams’ unanimous ratification marks a new beginning for their relationship with ASLCCSG. During their interview process, it became known that they have applied twice for positions within the student government and said that they had “faced racist and transphobic hiring discrimination,” later adding that they had been “intentionally attacked in this safe space.”
More ratifications took place at the following ASLCCSG meeting held on Feb. 7. It was led by President Pro Tempore Michael Gillette as Vice President Rehbein was out with a flu—for which President Keough jokingly apologized for being “patient zero” and getting other student government members sick—that’s stricken many at LCC lately.
John Brakebill, who has worked with the student government before, was ratified as the new Sustainability Coordinator, beating out several prospective candidates. He had originally wanted to be a senator in the past, but stated that he didn’t go through with it “because of where the student government was last year.”
In his new position, he hopes to be transparent and to help improve the food pantry. When asked how he was going to improve the food pantry, he said that he wants to help them switch to “using reusable bags” and to “work closer with green clubs.”
The second ratification for the evening was tabled—also thanks to the flu—until the following week’s meeting. Then, ASLCCSG plans to ratify Carmen Santiago as the Gender and Sexual Diversity Advocate.
Another highlight of the meeting was the passing of a resolution to hopefully have an official ballot drop-off box installed on campus. It passed unanimously with the contingency that Keough read the proposal at the next Board of Education meeting on Feb. 14.