The Bellevue College Associated Student Government has recently seen three departures. Dariga Tugan, Campus Life and Events representative, Evan Bowman, VP of Finance and Communications, and Marianne Albay, Environmental and Social Responsibility representative, have all recently left their ASG positions, all of which still need to be filled.
According to ASG President Sam Akeyo, Bowman resigned because he had other priorities such as family that he wanted to focus on and Tugan resigned because she needed more time to study for her MCAT exams and classes which are a priority for her. “Dariga is an exceptional student with an unparalleled drive and passion for academic achievement. One of ASG’s core values is that school comes first. From Tugan’s letter of resignation, it was clear that she was simply making every effort to ensure that she is prioritizing school,” said Akeyo.
ASG student positions allow students to work at their own pace, but balancing work and school can be challenging.
According to ASG advisor LaMeisha Reese-Taylor, the ASG provides resources for students trying to balance work with a busy class schedule. “To address student concerns about workload, lack of tracking, lack of support from peers, lack of role and positional understanding we encourage students to meet with an Academic Advisor to create a quarterly academic plan, meet with the leadership advisor regularly, and provide feedback to each other.”
ASG officers have a significant degree of job personalization, officers can decide to prioritize certain aspects of the job over other aspects. “In my opinion this ability to personalize a job is a great opportunity for candidates running in elections to refocus the job to more directly correlate with the platform they campaigned on and allow the individuals to make the most efficient and productive use of their skillsets,” Akeyo added.
The ASG can appoint people to positions, although this is uncommon. Most members apply for positions. The ASG Board of Directors will appoint a new vice president of finance and the technology position that is also currently vacated will be filled. According to Akeyo, whenever an ASG position is vacated by either the yearly cycle of re-elections or due to unforeseen events, the ASG always takes the opportunity to use the experience and when feasible, use the input of the outgoing officer to make refinements and adjustments to the job descriptions.
“My job was to keep an eye on the budget, and I was also charged with creating a communication plan for the ASG, and maintaining communications with the ASG. I was hired on towards the end of the training process because the person who had originally been elected ended up not taking the job. So I applied for it, just like I was applying to anything. I spent the first couple of weeks just trying to nail down the duties and responsibilities of the job,” said Evan Bowman, the former vice president of Finance and Communications.
According to Bowman, despite having its ups and downs the job was an overall positive experience. “That was during summer quarter so things were very relaxed and chill, it was kind of ‘find your own way.’ At first I was a little frustrated by that because I’m a military veteran, and I like guidance and structure. Working within the ASG was super cool. Legitimately everyone working there was just awesome. I really enjoyed working them, but between the philosophy of ‘you’re a student so we don’t want to put too much on you’ and the lack of structure, and my desire for more structure, that put me at odds with the position. I did a lot of stuff that was fun and organized a lot of stuff, but at the end of the day I felt as though the job was for someone else. Between that and my own grades, that is why I left. The ASG is an incredible learning experience. You get an insiders look on how student programs is run. Student programs is a truly wonderful place and you meet so any cool people there,” Bowman added.
“International Students have vacated ASG for reasons like serious family medical emergencies or issues with their visa. Sometimes students didn’t fully grasp what the realities of the job were going to be: There’s not as much time for them to work on personal projects, or they find the job too tough. It varies from person to person and there is no one single reason why an ASG member would leave,” said former student government advisor and current grant development coordinator Brandon Lueken.