Recently, three new officers were elected to the Bellevue College Associated Student Government, Sam Akeyo, Abner Pagunuran and Amara Jambai. New leadership often brings to the table new thought processes and new ways to make the ASG as effective as possible.
Akeyo explained that there are going to be changes in how the ASG works strictly because of the new student governance structure. These include merging the internal, external and chief justice positions into one, changing the Vice President of Legislative Affairs into a representative role and shifting a good amount of responsibility to the Campus Activities Board.
Jambai said that through his leadership experience at Bellevue College, he planned to enhance the understanding of all ASG officers’ duties in their different positions, as that is one of his duties as the vice president of finance and communication. Akeyo intends on being engaged with the students through campus events and communication with different programs around the school.
Jambai also plans on using communication throughout the ASG to deliver on promises they made during their campaign speeches. This is to better help represent the students and ensure that their voices are indeed heard.
Akeyo is in the process of talking to some of the older officers at Bellevue College in order to build from where they left off, as it is hard to make new goals without a majority of the new ASG team having been assembled. Some of the main projects he wants to work on are textbook affordability and food, with an added goal of increasing Bellevue College’s digital footprint in order to help communicate and engage with students better while also promoting easier means of feedback. Akeyo hinted at the future, but said “We have a few ideas but I probably shouldn’t speak on this more.”
This year, most ASG positions have changed from being elected to appointed, which Jambai expressed was a good thing. According to him, the difference it makes is that “it would allow qualified students that have the required experience to represent Bellevue College if hired, rather than electing random students into these very important positions of representation without the necessary skills.”
However, Jambai did believe that should Bellevue College students elect their officers, it would help them feel like they have the power to help in the decision-making process on campus.
Akeyo added that from what he understands, the group which made the decision to hire the representatives was aiming to up the competition among the elected positions. This way, he said, “the combination of a more competitive election process and a sort of ‘best fit’ approach in appointing representative positions would theoretically establish a stronger student government.” Akeyo expressed that he might be wrong but stated that he was not the spokesperson and that it was too early to tell if the idea is effective at this point. This was due largely to the lack of data. Akeyo said that nevertheless he was looking forward to a good year ahead.