Student Senate proposal Unveiled

StudentSenateSliderAs Bellevue College expands, students, faculty and the administration have to keep up with the evolving environment, such as larger class sizes and parking congestion. The Associated Student Government is no exception. On Jan. 21, members of the BC Student Alliance convened to discuss a new proposed structure for the ASG.

Currently, the ASG is comprised of 10 positions spread across an executive board, a judicial board and a group of representatives. “Because our ASG is so simple, we are more efficient and can get things done faster,” Tradon Jordan says. Jordan, the chair of the Student Alliance, believes that this system used to work, but not anymore. “That worked when we were a smaller school. Now that we have 40,000 students and are the second biggest school in the state, we want to open up representation so that our student body is better represented.”

Instead, Jordan proposed a new system, drawing inspiration from the U.S. government. The proposed ASG will consist of an executive, legislative and judicial branch; most of the positions already exist. “Nothing much changes with the judicial branch,” Jordan said. “We added two justices, but essentially they would work the same. They would make sure that any kind of bill that the senate tries to pass or any actions that the executive branch takes are within the bylaws and don’t infringe upon student rights.”

The executive branch will consist of the positions in the executive board and the representatives. Jordan explains, “With the proposed plan, they are not leaving. We are changing the names of some of them, changing some of their duties, but technically all of those spots still exist.” The function of the executive branch will be to enforce the bylaws and protect student rights as well as to amend and veto amendments to the bylaws proposed by the legislative branch of the ASG, otherwise known as the senate.

The senate will be comprised of representatives from a lot of the major programs and clubs. “If your club or program represents a community on campus, that will qualify representation in the senate,” Jordan says. Senators will sit on committees whose functions range from adjusting bylaws, handling election and monitoring and allocating the budget. “Instead of going to ASG as you know it now, clubs will go to the senate which will be comprised of your peers who will decide how much you will get with the students’ money.”

Jordan hopes to have the new system implemented soon. “We are presenting it to the administration within student services and student programs. Once we have their approval, we’ll start putting  out changing the bylaws to reflect the new positions and the new titles that people will be receiving, as well as the new responsibilities that go with those titles. The turnaround for this is pretty quick. We want to have these elections by the end of spring quarter so that we have everything set up in time for the next academic year.”