President Amanda Cerda (left), Vice President Dexter Patching (middle), and Advisor Marjan Coester hold a Zoom meeting with Business Manager Nakaela Hunt and Public Relations Officer Ella Rader, during the first official ASUCC meeting on Monday, October 10th.
Photo by Rachel Arceo / The Mainstream.

The current student leadership team of the Associated Students of Umpqua Community College is working to increase resources for the student body to thrive.

ASUCC is often referred to as the student government.  It is comprised of student leaders and volunteers who work coordinating outreach and student aid, while developing leadership and networking skills. Current ASUCC President Amanda Cerda explains, “Although we are viewed as student government, I prefer to think of us as an advocacy group.  We provide a pathway to services students need.”

The members of the leadership are current students with a desire to help and a desire to build and develop leadership skills. After some officers stepped down, many roles were left unfilled.  Most of the current leadership were voted in for different roles than they hold now and had to later step in to positions that intimidated some.  Cerda came on to the team as the business manager, but in late August when the former president resigned, Cerda found herself having a difficult decision: should she fill the role of president?

“I made a list of pros and cons.  My pros list was long,” Cerda said. She could help lead students, she could gain professional and personal development, the school would pay for conventions, and she would be with a team.  “After a year of COVID isolation, I just truly wanted to play a part in something valuable.”  

Cerda admitted, “I was scared,” which is what ultimately decided it for her. “I had to remind myself that from a physiological standpoint, fear and excitement feels the same. You just need to reframe it.”

With all the work and responsibility of just being a student, why would one want to take on a leadership role?  For Dexter Patching, current ASUCC vice president, “It is a great way to know what is happening on campus.” From new school clubs, interesting events, leadership conferences, to scholarships, or work and volunteer opportunities, there is not much going on in student life on campus that ASUCC isn’t aware of.  “Last year, I didn’t have much on my schedule except class and sports, but now I can help make a difference and help serve other students.”

Many members of ASUCC, past and present, will note that the biggest drive in joining the associated students is being a part of the services they offer to other students.  ASUCC is responsible for the student services that help other students in hard times, from food vouchers, to toiletries, to backpacks and other school supplies.  “You can’t learn anything if you are hungry or don’t have transportation.  This service makes a difference for a handful of students,” Vyla Grindberg, former ASUCC business manager and engineering program alumni, said.

While the ASUCC 2021 cabinet (Amanda Cerda, president; Dexter Patching, vice president; Nakaela Hunt, business manager, and Ella Rader, the public relations manager) help students in need, right now it happens that the ASUCC is also in need of team members.  These student leaders are on the hunt for an outgoing “people person” with a willingness to learn to fill the role of activities coordinator (12 credits of tuition assistance for 12 hours per week of work). The activities manager will learn how to coordinate events and activities within the school and the community. Applications are being accepted currently, and due to the pressing need in lieu of an election, the current ASUCC will be deciding together who will fill the position.  “As a team we’ll do our very best to find a good fit for our new activities officer,” Cerda said.

Currently, the student leadership team has four student credit paying positions available, tuition waivers for various responsibilities in ASUCC. For students who are interested in applying for student leadership but can’t make the larger time commitment, there are currently three senator positions.  Senators contribute to activities development. They will receive 3 credits of tuition assistance for 7 hours per week of work. 

Taking a one year remote break through this pandemic may be a reason that ASUCC student leadership has more spots open than usual.  Many students, having not been on campus, are unaware that there is a student leadership organization here on campus to help both fellow students and the community.

To join the ASUCC team, contact ASUCC using one of their social media websites.
Photo provided by UCC.

 To apply to student leadership, go the Hawk Hangout on the main dashboard in Canvas or reach out to Amanda Cerda Asuccpresident@umpqua.edu.

Contact me at:
UCCMainstream@yahoo.com

For more articles by Rachel Arceo please click here.