Change has been a ubiquitous theme in the past year. Every business, corporation, and governing body is trying to change its respective methods of operation in order to better accommodate society. Society is constantly looking for new and improved ways of living, whether through new technological advances or calling for a change in the way that it governs itself. People, when they are unsatisfied with their current situations, will demand change. For example, the American people wanted a change in governmental figures, so they used their right to vote to elect many new governmental officials as well as a new President, Barack Obama. President Obama focused his campaign on the image of “change”, and that is exactly what the American people wanted.
Now change does not only apply to businesses and governmental bodies. Change can happen anywhere, and that is what Salt Lake Community College’s Student Association is doing. In particular, the Student Life and Leadership office is working very hard to bring about a change in the way the everyday student is being represented and cared for. As Student Body President Liu Vakapuna puts it, “I got to look out for the students…that’s who I represent”. President Vakapuna, as well as all the members in the SLCCSA, is constantly striving to find new ways to get the tuition-paying body of students more involved in all campus dealings.
But in all honesty, how much power do they have? And can certain changes around SLCC be made? The answer to this question is a resounding yes, but the power does not lay solely in those representing the student body.
“We don’t have power. The power is from the voice of the students,” says Vakapuna.
And what Vakapuna says is true. The real power comes from the students. Our elected officials are merely mediators between the students and the college administrators. They have just been granted the access to have direct contact with the school president and other administrators.
SLCCSA’s elected representatives are ordinary students like the rest of us, the only difference being that the student body, through the election process, has entrusted them to be the voice of said student body. According to SLCCSA’s Constitution, “SLCCSA officers shall promote the opinions and the interests of the student body as their voice and trusted representative.”
However, as previously mentioned by Liu Vakapuna, the real power rests in the voices of the students. If, as a student, you do not feel as though SLCCSA or the college administration is accurately representing your thoughts, opinions, and values, then make your voices heard. Go and speak to members of the Student Senate or the Student Association. It is their duty to listen to the students, and it is your right, privilege, and responsibility as a student to express any concerns that might arise. Students pay for their education; therefore, they have the right to see how the college spends their money.
The Student Senate holds weekly meetings for the purpose of, “reporting student concerns, reviewing current issues, and debating the resolutions and legislative bills of individual senators that address student concerns,” as outlined in the SLCCSA Constitution. They also host Open Forum Budget Hearings where executive council members will respond to student questions.
One important meeting that is coming up on February 23 at noon is the Tier 2 Tuition Forum. SLCC is proposing an increase in tuition that would take effect during the 2010-2011 school year. Students are encouraged to attend this meeting to see how their tuition is being spent and express any concerns. The forum will take place at the Taylorsville Redwood Student Event Center.
SLCCSA is not primarily focused on student government, but is also focused on student and community involvement. They are looking for new ways to get every student involved in campus activities. There are free student events that go on every week, from concerts to dances to other social activities, in order for students to have fun and get to know each other. For an up-to-date list of future events, go to the calendar link in the Student Life and Leadership section of SLCC’s website. Students have the power, so let your voices be heard.