The Associated Student Council is “the official government of Seattle Central” according to the school’s website. Traditionally, a Student Council is elected by the student body in an open and democratic process, but here at Central the twelve-member board is hired through a “rigorous peer selection process” for each fall quarter. This Fall, four of those members are returning from last year and eight are new to the job.
Returning from last year is Brazilian-born Camila Christensen; the Executive of Administration for ASC. According to Christensen “[ASC] has the authority granted by the Board of Trustees of Seattle Central College, to interpret, perform and execute the duties and responsibilities as referenced in the ASC constitution and bylaws.” This year they are intending to implement some new projects and reconsider old ones inside this purview. Much of this will be accomplished by interfacing directly with the Washington Legislature, and advocating for Central and its students.
Christensen and the eleven other members of the board all had to apply for their positions during an open application period. These applications are open to the whole student body, but the number of actual applicants was not readily available. The Seattle Central website is still currently advertising open applications for the 2017-2018 school year. Applications are reviewed by the Selection Process Steering Committee, a group created by the Executive of Legislative Affairs, unless they themselves are applying for the position and stand aside. The ultimate decision rests on a vote by the ASC itself; creating, at times, a semi-circular process.
Every student, regardless of the method in which they pay tuition, pays a small amount into the Services and Activities fees. These fees not only create ASC’s budget but also fund services such as Info Central, on-campus tutoring and multicultural services and similar programs. According to Central’s website, “these funds are allocated in such a way as to reflect the needs and interests of the greatest number of Seattle Central students with a broad spectrum of services and activities.” This coming year, ASC’s Executive of Finance, Vukasin Nikolic, along with the Dean of Student Development, Ricardo Levya-Puebla, and “no less than three but no more than six non-ASC students” will be approving budget requests from the Services and Activity fees funding. The final approval must go through the general ASC board and ultimately the Board of Trustees.
This year ASC has large goals and intends to both implement some new initiatives and bring back older ones. When speaking with Christensen, she noted that ASC was hoping to “bring back the SCC Mascot,[…] revindicate EBT card use on campus” as well as improve on and update the Multicultural and Disability centers on campus. She also added that ASC plans on tackling issues around International Student costs, “updating and creating new systems for student engagement between the student body, student leadership, and administration” and “increasing the adoption of open educational resources at SCC”. Specific timelines or methods of implementation for these varied projects were not directly available.
The remaining members of the Executive Board of ASC; Jung Ha Yoo, Executive of Legislative Affairs; Sophia Tekola, Executive of Communication; Angela Blodgett, Executive of Student Success; and Mike Harris, Executive of Issues and Concerns will work throughout the coming school-year alongside their associate counter parts to achieve this lofty list of initiatives.