3 Reasons why it may be hard to care for the A.S. Board
The new A.S president has been selected, and so ends the annual two-week period in which SMC students actually care about their student government. It is difficult to garner a student's full attention to the A.S. when they have no motive to give it. This, however, does not mean the A.S board is to blame. These are three simple reasons as to why interest in the A.S. is hard to gather:
I’m focused on the idea that I just need to pass my classes and get out.
When I applied to SMC, I did not come in with the idea that I would become the most popular student, have knowledge of every extracurricular activity or every resource that was available to me, and understand what my student government could do for me. I was here to pass my classes and transfer as soon as possible, as societal pressures gave me the impression that I would be imprisoned if I did not have my future completely laid out. Being invested in all of this, I didn’t have time to take into consideration who the Associated Students were and what they actually did.
SMC tells you about your AS fees but doesn’t tell you who is behind them
After enrolling into the school, much emphasis was put into me paying for my AS privileges. They told me what they entailed, why I should pay for them, and how they could make my school life much easier. The problem was that I didn’t spend enough time in school to really put the luxuries to use and SMC really didn’t provide a lot of detail into who passes the decisions on what the AS fees provide. Now, I’m not an imbecile; I am fully aware that most schools have a student government; I figured that out on my own but knowing the personalities behind the desks would certainly have helped my interest by allowing me to see how relatable they were to the common student. Just like citizens vote for candidates they feel make the greatest attempt to relate to them, students will vote for the nominees that they have the most personal interest, in which relatability is essential. The difference is that prospects for U.S government positions generally have years to show people who they are while SMC students are made to choose their government based on a two week campaign period where they vote for students who, just a couple of weeks earlier, were complete strangers to them.
The dividing line between administration and the AS is too strong
Again, I was told about AS fees and how they would complete my world but perhaps if SMC would have put a bit more emphasis into why students should actually get to know the AS board rather than just what they do, I would’ve been more comfortable with them as people. Instead, it sometimes seems like even the administration doesn’t know what the AS is up to. Every semester, new candidates promise new things that most students predict the administration will inevitably veto, an issue that was brought up during a Q&A segment of the most recent election. “I’ve been around long enough to know that no student up there that says they’re going to do anything about textbooks could do anything about textbooks. You can’t do anything about parking,” said Nahasi Lee, former Inter-club Council chair member. “There have been some difficulties that have popped up between the associated student organization and the administration of this campus. What are you going to do to ameliorate that?” By the candidates’ responses it seems that communication has been lacking between the AS and administration. In fairness to students, it is difficult to really invest in the student government if it becomes predictable that no changes will actually be made, something that can be directed to the lack of togetherness between the two groups.
With that said
I wish the best of luck to the newly elected board members and hopefully (and that's a big hopefully) real change is brought to SMC and real interest is given to the A.S.