After spending two years on ASCMC, first as the Student Life Chair and then as the Junior Class President, I have become extremely invested in the future of the organization. Over the years, I have noticed that people often vote for the most popular, and not necessarily the most qualified candidates – I think this might have to do with the fact that people don’t necessarily understand what each positions entails, making it natural to vote on instinct rather than considered judgment. So, in order to clarify, I have outlined the responsibilities of each position and the skills necessary to succeed. This is not necessarily what each position has entailed in prior years and does not include every single responsibility of each position. You may choose to not agree with everything I say, but, I for one will base who I vote for on whether I think they can perform the job description described below well.
President and Vice President:
The ASCMC President and Vice President are the face of the organization. They must work hand-in-hand with one another, with the administration (the President and Dean of Students), and with the executive board. I believe that both of these positions should be incredibly hands-on – they should not be figureheads. They should meet with the rest of the executive board individually and frequently in order to make sure that each member is doing their job well, and they should try to identify ways in which they could help the rest of the executive board do better, so as to serve the students at CMC in the best possible manner.
Both positions are accountable for anything and everything related to ASCMC. On top of that, they must work to meet the desires of the Board of Trustees. This is no small task. The two positions should be filled by candidates who are able to be diplomatic while still convincingly pushing the issues students care about. The Vice President has the additional responsibility of leading Senate, making sure that it remains efficient and discusses important issues related to student life in order to find plausible solutions for them. Right now, Senate is in the process of being reformed, and it is of utmost importance that a Vice President who is elected can organize this reform and make any necessary changes so that senate can start to do more as a body.
Anyone elected to either position should be proactive in their dealings with the students and the administration. They should not sit back and wait for things to come to them or fall apart; they should be actively seeking out ways to make the campus better and checking for potential problems. If an issue comes up, it is their job to make sure it is resolved as smoothly and effectively as possible. They must always keep their ears open to student feedback – if the students want something and it is feasible, then they should work hard to find a way to make it happen. They must also make sure that important issues are not forgotten once other issues come up.
Finally, both positions play a large role in making sure everyone on executive board works well together and trusts one another. Otherwise, the board will never be successful.
Although some may disagree with me on this point, I believe that the most important thing for the social chairs is their ability to work and collaborate with one another to maintain and better the social scene, despite the differences in their responsibilities. Therefore, they must not only be interested in their personal area of the social scene, but all others.
Social chairs must also be willing to give up enormous amounts of time to make sure everything goes well with regards to their events. They must work with the administration to make sure everything is up to their standards, and walk the tightrope between students and administrators, keeping both parties happy. All three social chairs must think outside the box to make their events more attractive to the entire student body, and not just a specific part of the population.
The SAC and DAC must find creative ways to “spice up” events and make them less repetitive – no one wants to go to the same dance party in the same lounge with the same music every Thursday and Saturday for the entire year. The SLC must find ways to make their events fun for all – they shouldn’t be planning “dry” events, but simply, events.
Finally, social chairs must be completely dedicated and ready to put their all into their respective roles. Being a social chair means giving up some opportunities to have fun yourself so that the rest of the student body can have fun. If a candidate is not prepared to make that sacrifice, quite frankly I don’t think they’ll succeed. Furthermore, they must make sure they maintain good relationships with the Dean of Students office because if they fail to do so, we will lose DoS’ trust which is more important than anything else with regards to the social scene.
Generally, all the class presidents must help form some sort of unity within their respective classes. They are responsible for throwing all types of events – from smaller parties and gatherings, to brunches and dinners, to scavenger hunts, and anything else you can think of. They are also responsible for creating class apparel that appeals to the many different types of students that make up each grade.
The Sophomore and Junior Class Presidents must also realize the importance of helping transfer students become integrated within their class, especially if transfer students are not given on-campus housing.
The Junior Class President is responsible for Monte Carlo. This involves a lot of planning throughout the summer, managing a huge budget, and good delegation skills to ensure a successful event. At the same time, with many juniors abroad and off-campus, the Junior Class President must think of ways to keep all students within the class connected.
The Senior Class President, on the other hand, has three major responsibilities. The first is throwing a multitude of small-scale events, much like the ones mentioned above. The second, and probably most difficult, is organizing Senior Class Events like 200 days, 100 days, the Vegas Trip, and Senior Week. They are also heavily involved in planning graduation. The third is to be in constant communication with the Office of Alumni Relations because the Senior Class President is the class President for life, and thus is our connection to CMC after graduation.
My Pitch for You
Please take your time when deciding who to vote for the different ASCMC positions. I know some of you may not like ASCMC for various reasons, or may feel like ASCMC has no impact on their livelihood at CMC – but, I firmly believe that ASCMC does impact the larger CMC community. ASCMC controls a portion of money that you paid to CMC. Make your voice heard. Tell ASCMC how you want your money spent. Vote for who you think will do best and will be able to perform all the above described functions related to their position well, not necessarily who you like best or who has the funniest posters. If that person happens to be all of these things, then that’s great. Most importantly, think: is this candidate seeking a validation of their popularity or another line on their resume, or do they genuinely care about the position they are running for and its impact on the student body?
I urge you to grill all the candidates with different questions and learn more about their plans for their time on ASCMC; do they actually have the initiative to make it happen? If they do, then hopefully your next year at CMC will be unforgettable for the all the right reasons.
You can find out more about the ASCMC candidates at the Presidential and Vice-Presidental debates today in Pickford Auditorium at 2 pm. The Forum will be live-tweeting and updating on the website during the debates.