Pacing around North Quad, sophomore Will Su ’16 anxiously awaits the phone call informing him of his finish in the ASCMC Vice Presidential race. Around 10:15 Tuesday night, Su hears the dreaded words, “Unfortunately, we—” before his phone cut off. After a suspenseful pause, ASCMC Executive Board members put the joking aside and informed Su, along with other candidates, of their victories.
The new ASCMC board will be led by Ben Tillotson ’15 who will serve as President of the ASCMC Board. Joining him are Su as Vice President, and Jessie Thomas ’16 as Social Affairs chair. Freshmen Chloe Zagrodsky ’17 and Elaine Sohng ’17 will serve as Student Life Chair and Dorm Affairs Chair. Abby Michaelsen ’15, Ben Turner ’16, and Cole Mora ’17 will serve as their respective Class Presidents.
ASCMC board members will assume their positions after Spring Break.
Senate reform is one of the top priorities for Tillotson, who said he plans to work with Su to improve the Senate’s dynamics.
“I think Senate as a body is better designed to address campus policy,” Tillotson explained. “The way it’s structured now it’s not a body that can effectively and productively address issues like that. It tends not to hold meaningful conversations. I think there’s a lot of structural things that contribute to that.”
Tillotson, a junior and Philosophy and Public Affairs major, said he wants to move more of the action from Executive Board to Senate. Current Vice President Maddie Hall ’14 has begun organizing proposals to expand Senators’ responsibilities and making senator-ship more selective. The newly elected ASCMC board is expected to deliberate on senate reform once in office.
Planning to stay true to his campaign promises, like throwing an Indian Wedding Party, Tillotson said he will also address issues like fencing restrictions.
“I think there’s a lot of events we do where [fencing] creates more problems than it solves,” he said. “People feel like they need to pre-game because once you pass the barriers you’re making a commitment to go in. It’s making it not as casual as it should be.”
Senate and the previous executive board passed the proposal to raise student fees by $15, which would increase the student fee budget by thousands of dollars. Tillotson said he didn’t see a “pressing necessity” for the increase and is wary of the growing cost to attend CMC. The bill will soon be up for vote by the Board of Trustees.
In addition to creating a more engaging Senate, Su has his sights set on establishing corporate sponsorships. A Science and Management major, Su already has been in contact with The New York Times.
“The New York Times has recently reached out about bringing subscriptions to campus,” Su said. “Beyond the subscriptions, we have to look at the other opportunities available. We can bring in their White House correspondents for talks, we can [also] bring in their journalists. These are a lot of cool opportunities we otherwise wouldn’t think about with corporate sponsorships. This will be an asset to the whole student body.”
Happy to “continue making small changes to ASCMC that save us money in the long run,” Su is in the process of virtually “subsidizing” some student-driven ideas. Su and others are in the final talks with Quad, a messaging and social network company. In school-wide contest, student groups can download their app, vote or submit a progressive idea of their own, and potentially win a cash prize. The scope of what the idea needs to address has yet to be disclosed, but the partnership and contest is likely to take place this year.
The campus should expect more live music and Friday events with Thomas as the Student Life chair. The Neuroscience major said she wants to implement ways to hear student feedback.
“The thing I’m most excited about is trying to cater to the students as best as possible,” Thomas said. “We want to do this through polling and talking to people at and after parties. We should be proactive about events that are going to happen. People appreciate being reached out to, and that’s something we haven’t done enough of in SAC.”
Like Thomas and Tillotson’s inclusive reforms, Sophomore Class President Mora wants to see more participation by his class during council meetings. Apart from the weekly council meetings, Mora said every month the council would hold a meeting in a different dorm lounge to encourage sophomore students to stop by.
“The beginning of the [council] meetings would be an open forum,” Mora said. “Like, ‘Hey, tell us your thoughts, your concerns. Have we done anything you want to see more of, anything you think we should change?’ And if they want, they can stay for our meeting so we are held accountable.”