A.S. Hosts First Town Hall Meeting
The Associated Students (AS) kick off the spring semester with a town hall meeting at Santa Monica College’s (SMC) Cayton Center, on Wednesday, February 27. The meeting was organized to help encourage students to voice any concern or opinions they may have about the campus. “I think it’s an inspiring idea really taking into consideration what students are feeling, the demands and the needs of the students. I think it has a lot of potential and that’s where I see the real excitement of it,” said Lucia Aguilar, SMC Vice President Commissioner.
A sea of yellow chairs stood behind a wooden podium facing the AS Board of Directors as people gradually trickled in to the heart of the forum. Some students arrived prepared with questions to ask the Board. Some came into listen and support their friends discourse, while others went about their day to study in the Cayton Center. “I feel that it was important... students that had a lot of concerns that they didn’t feel comfortable asking the administration. But having your student government their people that the students elected given the answers...students got their answers for the first time in what would seem a while,” said Issac Shafa, SMC Student.
Students rose up to the podium, leaned into a thin a mic and addressed issues in concern to: prayer spaces for the devout, organic and kosher food items, students clubs continuing to be active during winter and summer semesters and international students credit concerns. Throughout the hour the AS Board sat with notice and responded with genuine concern. “If your in this office and you’re not talking to the students then you don’t know what they want. So if we’re official representatives of the student body, we need to hear from them. I’m very very happy and excited for the next three,” sai Isabel Rodriguez, AS President.
The AS Board of Directors plan to continue the town hall forum once a month for the rest of the spring semester at the Cayton Center. Rodriguez explains that they plan to address any concern that was brought up during this meeting, as she continues, “It was great. Students were extremely respectful to us. I think they felt comfortable. The Board of Directors had a chance to address very important questions they brought up. I’m extremely happy and the next three we’ll try to improve them and improve them and bring more and more students.”
The AS Boards of Directors hold regular public meetings every Monday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the student lounge, at the Cayton Center. The next town hall forum will be announced every month.