Mt. Hood Community College’s Associated Student Government recently took steps to consolidate its two main governing bodies – the Student Senate and the Executive Council – into one governing body, referred to as the Associated Student Government (ASG). The student-driven merger will eliminate the Student Senate’s 11 positions and add four new positions to the nine Executive Council seats, resulting in 13 overall positions. The resulting consolidated governing body will operate more efficiently and communicate better with the MHCC student body, according to student leaders.
On Dec. 11, the MHCC Student Senate voted unanimously to implement the consolidation. The merger amendment will go to the Executive Council for ratification in January 2018, with a goal of implementing the new governing body by winter term. The consolidated ASG will oversee budget requests for student clubs, organizations and programs and improve student government interaction and teamwork.
ASG members began investigating consolidating the legislative bodies in October. An ad-hoc committee researched student government structures at 27 other community colleges in Washington and Oregon. The committee’s research revealed that the average student leadership team consisted of about eight students (MHCC currently has 26 positions), and that MHCC was one of only five community colleges with two legislative branches.
If the new model is approved, ASG members would all receive 12-credit tuition waivers (versus six-credit waivers for Student Senate members and 12-credit waivers for Executive Council members). Additionally, the four new proposed positions would be “more illustrative” of roles that will best serve MHCC’s student body, according to Executive Council Finance Director Nathan Skarphol. The new proposed positions include: Representative for Campus Resources; Representative for Student Support Services; Representative for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and a Representative for Academic Affairs.
“I’m excited about the future of the ASG,” said Skarphol, who helped draft the proposed merger with student senator Victor Ogelle. “This new body will allow us to communicate better and serve as a strong, centralized voice for what our students need.”
The consolidation was spurred largely by the overlap and redundancy in duties of the Student Senate and Executive Council, added Skarphol. The planning process involved 20-30 students and included soliciting feedback from students. Feedback indicated that students found the current system “vague, confusing and difficult to navigate.”
For more information on the Associated Student Government at MHCC, visit mhcc.edu/ASG