New ASG governance proposal focuses on bigger issues

A new governance structure of the Associated Student Government is being proposed, which will refocus the ASG’s responsibilities to larger student issues such as hunger, campus spaces, curriculum issues and finances, according to Student Programs Coordinator Brandon Lueken. The governance proposal will be voted on during the ASG election in April, and if approved, it will be in effect by July 1.

The new governance proposal will be in the form of amendments to the Associated students of Bellevue College bylaws. It will change the way students become ASG members and reposition some roles into other student programs.

Currently, the ASG consists of  11 elected officials, four of which are in the Executive Board, three in the Judicial Board and four in the Representative Board. Every member of the ASG is elected and participate in the April elections that occur annually.

In the new governance structure, the only positions that will require the election process are President, VP of Student Affairs and Pluralism and the VP of Finance and Communication. All other positions will be hired by a committee.

The hiring committee includes the Assistant Dean of Student Programs, one Student Programs staff member, ASG President and Chief Justice, a BC student at large, which will be appointed by the Assistant Dean of Student Programs and approved by the ASG Board of Directors, and one outgoing ASG BOD member. If the proposed changes pass, the hiring will begin with the elections, but will end later, according to Lueken.

Structurally, the new governance model will be removing two judicial board members: the Justice of External Affairs and the Justice of Internal Affairs. Instead, these two positions will transition into the Campus Activities Board as Club Coordinators, “to provide many of the same services: club charters, requesting funds and communicating with other clubs,” said Lueken. Overall, if the proposal is approved, the ASG will total nine members, three of which will be elected. Additionally, this remodeling will also allow the Chief Justice to become an official member of the Executive Board.

This proposed structural change coincides with BC’s overall plan to remodel its governing structure. “The system as we had currently didn’t allow for enough time to focus on how the college would like the students to interact with the governance structure,” said Lueken, referencing the college’s new governance model.

With the college planning to change their governance structure, the ASG is also proposing a new design “to begin working on a variety of long-term projects in a way that leads to success, rather than continued discontent – the quality and availability of the food on campus or the number of faculty of color on campus,” explained Lueken.

In addition, this new structure will allow the ASG to concentrate on student issues rather than event or trip funding, said Lueken. The goal of this remodeling “is mainly to refocus the student government on exactly that: student governance,” said Lueken. This way, anything related to student life will be shifted to CAB.

“That group has been helping clubs put on events for years, but hasn’t been able to begin the relationship with chartering, training or anything like that,” said Lueken, “With that authority to charter clubs, CAB is able to begin the relationship with clubs from the start and is always the main point of contact.”

If any project were to evolve and address larger student issues, then Lueken hopes the new structure of the ASG will rightfully handle that.

The new proposal also invites other changes across Student Programs. Aside from the addition of new members into CAB, they plan on “refocusing the emphasis of our student programs to be on building communities through regular meetings rather than events, pairing Peer-to-Peer with the Leadership Institute” and more, said Lueken.

Lueken is positive that the new proposal will pass. “The last change, adding the VP of External Legislative Affairs, passed with a 94 percent approval rate, so I think this will do just as well,” said Lueken. If it does not pass, a second election will be held following Earth Week in April.