Winter quarter is almost over and the current student government will be disbanded come the end of spring. The deadline to apply for candidacy in the upcoming Associated Student Government elections is Friday, March 21. Applications are in C212, the student programs office on the second floor of the C building. Candidates will be confirmed by the 26. of March, campaigns will begin on April 7. and voting opens on April 15..
The ASG receives funding from student tuition through the Services & Activities fee in order to represent the student voice to the college’s board of trustees as well as the greater Washington community, working to better campus life for all, operating various programs and counsels. ASG is bound by the Associated Students of Bellevue College constitution and its by-laws.
ASG has undergone some restructuring for the 2014-2015 academic year and are working to continue to do so with the creation of a student senate in the year to come. This year there are two vice presidents, the VP of student affairs and pluralism, and the VP of finance and communication. Along with voting for candidates in this year’s election, students will also have the opportunity to vote on the creation of a new office, the VP of external legislative affairs. Komalpreet Sahota, current chief justice of the ASG, explained that the new VP position is being created “to structure communication between the Office of Student Legislative Affairs and ASG.” Currently the VP of student affairs and pluralism serves as the liaison between the OSLA and ASG, but according to Shawn Jafri, organizing director of OSLA, “student affairs and pluralism is so big that it’s almost impossible for [the VP] to do all of that and liaise between what we were doing and the ASG. So we said, ‘You know what? That’s too much. We need to divide this.’” The new position has yet to be officially created as it entails an amendment to the ASBC constitution which requires a majority vote from the student population, however, Jafri is confident and stated that he “can think of no reason why anyone would vote against it.” Applications for the position have been opened with a note on the application that the position is “pending approval from the general student body.”
Other positions in the ASG include the judicial board which ensure that ASBC’s constitution and by-laws are upheld, as well as three secretaries which were formerly listed as representatives: the Secretary of Campus Life and Events, who organizes activities and works with the various clubs around campus, the secretary of Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship, who is responsible for integrating new technology on campus and the Secretary of Environment and Social Responsibility, a position that serves as liaison between the office of sustainability and the ASG, an arrangement that informed the inception of the new VP position. The representative of marketing and public relations position is currently under review, thus will not appear in the April 25. election. How the position will be redefined or incorporated into other positions as well as whether or not the position be elected or higheredd has yet to be determined.
Alex Clark, current representative of environmental and social responsibility, explained that his office gives one “the ability to affect the campus and the campus culture in huge ways.” His work “can be somewhat of a burden at times” as it connects him with issues that are “important, sometimes dire.” Overall the experience of an officer in the ASG is “always a work in progress, we never stop learning.” Soon the current ASG will become teachers as they pass their knowledge on to their successors throughout spring quarter and into the summer.
The ASG Election Kickoff, formerly know as the ASG barbeque, will be held on April 15, where up to 2,300 of the BC population will be served free food and beverages. The candidate debate will be on Apr. 17.Voting closes on Apr. 25 and the results of the election are to be released on the Apr.28. After working with their predecessors, the new student government will assume office July 1st.