New ICC Chair promises leadership by the book

After the three heads of the Inter-Club Council (ICC) were forced to resign during the Winter semester due to not meeting unit requirements, a large hole was left not only on the AS Board of Directors, but the ICC itself. The three vacant positions were filled by a vote of the ICC at their March 10 meeting, installing Kate Liang as the ICC Communication Officer, Orlando Gonzalez Gudin-Guizar as the Vice Chair, and Daniel Kaitel as the Chairman. For SMC students who don't participate in club activities, the ICC, now overseen by the freshly elected Kaitel, is a student government institution focused on managing the multitude of clubs on campus. Among other things, the ICC is in charge of promoting student awareness and participation in clubs, establishing coordination, communication, and cooperation among officially registered student clubs, promoting the development of student leadership and service, and promoting campus and public awareness of ICC activities.

The ICC is also responsible for overseeing the annual Associated Students (AS) Elections every spring.

“The reason why the ICC is involved is because we don’t have like they say, ‘a dog in the race.’ We’re not a part of it. We’re selected with a different election so we are the most unbiased people to do it,” said Kaitel. Beginning on April 4, and expected to be completed by April 7 before Spring Break, the AS elections are fast approaching and candidates have already started campaigning. The newly elected ICC head has had less than two weeks to prepare for its most hectic time of the year.

Kaitel said he has an eye on holding AS accountable for strict adherence to AS Election Code as well as AS Constitution and by-laws throughout the elections process. With the paperwork deadline for candidate submissions ending on Friday, March 25th (the deadline for vice president and president has been extended to Tuesday, March 29), the ICC is now preparing and planning for the elections themselves.

Kaitel, a 17 year old engineering student with a concentration in aerospace, graduated from CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts in Van Nuys. There he served as Captain of the Robotics Team. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kaitel is the third sibling in his family to hold a student government position at SMC, and considers his sisters Erin and Maya Kaitel his advisors. Kaitel came into the role after having previous experience serving on club boards as well as serving under Kevin Picard, the previous chairman of the ICC, as a commissioner.

“I chose the ICC because I really love the idea of clubs on campus. I mean, I can only be on the board of one club at a time so this really allows me to take part in all of the clubs because I really love the message of almost all of them,” Kaitel said.

When asked about his style of leadership Kaitel said, “I don’t like to bully people. I don’t want to bully the clubs and the AS into doing anything… I know last year, last semester, the ICC didn’t follow a lot of the rules — clubs have to attend all of the meetings and if they miss two meetings they get dropped. The previous board didn’t follow that rule for some reason so we’re reinstating that... I try to do everything by the book and as clearly as possible."

Aside from being an enforcer for elections, the ICC is also responsible for accepting and checking paperwork submitted by clubs. Kaitel sees room for improvement here as well. “I want to make it a lot easier for students to start clubs because paperwork is very difficult and a lot of clubs are confused which is preventing them from creating their own clubs, so I’m gonna work on simplifying that."

He said, “I want to see clubs working together. I want to encourage clubs to do events together. The Natural History Club and the Astronomy Club — they can maybe do something... So, I want to encourage it."