Being engaged on campus can provide students with leadership skills which can be valuable in their future careers. It can often be a low stakes environment for students to grow. So why is the Associated Students (AS) organization having so much trouble filling its positions while the Inter Club Council (ICC) had a robust field of candidates?
“I noticed recently that a lot of students are shy and they don’t feel comfortable going through the election process because they are afraid of losing,” said Peyton Huck, a graduating senior who is currently serving as AS vice president of internal affairs. Instead they opt to get the job by going through Otter Jobs. Candidates apply for the job and go through an interview process where a hiring decision is made.
“Applications are a lot more comforting for students than going through an (election) process,” Huck said.
According to Huck the AS is currently trying to fill positions for:
– Vice President for External Affairs
– Vice President for Financial Affairs
– Vice President for Internal Affairs
– AS Election Commissioner
In addition, they are looking for a variety of senators such as:
– Basic Needs senator
– Sustainability senator
– College of Business
– College of Education
– College of Health Science & Human Services
– College of Science
“The big issue is, for example, the College of Science hasn’t had a College of Science senator so there’s really no communication between us and that college,” said Huck. “Our senators specifically for colleges work with the deans, help create events and do outreach to the student body.”
“So by having those college senator positions still we’re able to communicate with the colleges. But since we don’t have those we’re not able to do it,” Huck continued. “We (the rest of the AS officials) could do it ourselves but we’re already so overworked.”
Huck said she doesn’t anticipate all of the AS positions to be filled. “It is kind of common for us, unfortunately, to have vacant positions. We make it work by delegating those duties to other students who are in AS so it is a little more work.”
During the AS elections, Ana Munoz was elected vice president of University Affairs, Caleb Robbins as the CAHSS senator and Angel Ray as the Diversity and Inclusion senator.
Should students be interested in applying for an AS position they should look at Instagram @AS_CSUMB where they are posting, but also Otter Jobs. The deadline to apply is Monday, April 10.
“Don’t hesitate to reach out. Always stop by our AS office upstairs in the (Otter Student Union) for any questions. We always are welcome to talk. We always want to talk to students,” Huck said.
The ICC also recently hosted their elections for the upcoming academic year. The ICC chose to push their deadline for nominations “because we weren’t getting the nominations that we looked for,” said Dan Burfeind, senior coordinator for student and leadership development.
“Then the other piece is that, you know, it’s important because if the ICC doesn’t elect their nominations, then we don’t have a board. There’s no (way to distribute) funding and, especially tied with the referendum (increasing student fees) that was just passed, there’s a lot more funding available for student organizations,” Burfeind said. “If we don’t fill a board, then no one’s gonna reap the rewards of that.”
For the ICC, that was a bridge they never had to cross.
“I sent out an email sharing that with everybody saying OK we’re pushing (nomination deadline) back, please fill that out. And then I also let them know, hey, this is the reality,” Burfeind said. “We got people for every position, at least two people running for it, so that was really nice.”
The election results of the ICC meeting were announced during the monthly executive meeting. Ramsha Iqbal was elected ICC president, Robin Fishman was elected treasurer, Serenity Mosqueda became public relations officer and Lexi Yokomizo was elected secretary.
Burfeind said he doesn’t believe that student engagement has decreased since the pandemic.
“I was only here for one year pre-pandemic, so I would say it’s about the same. To be honest, pre-pandemic … feels like a lifetime ago right? I think there are still some aspects of recovering that are still happening.
“There’s always different kinds of clubs, different clubs that are very involved and clubs that are not involved. We have a lot of graduate student organizations that I very rarely see because they operate either on a satellite campus or there are a bunch of students that are non-traditional graduate students that have families and lives,” Burfeind said.
A satellite campus would be Moss Landing or North Salinas where the two graduating programs – physician assistant and speech pathology – run.
“Moss Landing Marine Lab is kind of this weird relationship between us and San Jose State. So San Jose State actually runs it, but the student life portion is run by CSUMB because we are so darn close to it,” Burfeind explains.
April 30 is also the deadline for clubs to re-activate for next year. A question many officers might have is, how to find new officers?
“There’s a lot of organizations that are struggling to find individuals right now, so part of that is we talk about it all year. We prep people, we tell them that this is coming. I always ask this question in August and September and then in January, I’ll ask hey who’s gonna be your next president?
“And if no faces show up in your mind then you’re in trouble. I think it all starts with the organization. Like if you’re doing good meetings, if you’re doing events and if you’re doing all of those things then people would want to join,” Burfeind explained.
Should students be interested in any ICC positions they would have to wait until this time next year.
“We’re kind of on the tail end of this. We just did our hiring for this. If they’re interested in club things and then they’ll wanna run for something or I wanna be more engaged, or involved in things, be on the lookout next March for when the emails come out. The only requirement is a certain GPA and a number of units, and being enrolled as a student,” said Burfeind.
Burfeind said the jobs in the ICC are great for “student advocacy and student government, how can they make a mark? How can they make a difference here for their fellow students? There are plenty of positions. I am OK with everyone not knowing about the ICC. That’s why we don’t say ICC Karaoke Night with Saber Society. It is karaoke with the clubs and its Saber Society. It is all about the clubs. It’s trying to make the club shine, not us.”