“I feel you! It’s no fun being stuck at home. It’s ok to be sad, but if you’re feeling happy, spread it around!”
That is the message that Associated Students of Pasadena City College (ASPCC) President Dionne Shelton wants to communicate to all PCC students.
The ASPCC Executive Board is responsible for many things, including advocating for over 25,000 students and the oversight of more than 80 clubs and organizations on campus. The board serves as a liaison between the students, faculty and administration regarding all instructional matters and chairs the Student Services Committee, which helps to coordinate programs to further student development.
With the campus remaining closed, it’s business as usual for the student council—it’s just being conducted differently. They would like everyone to know that they are available to address any questions or concerns from the student body. Shelton encourages people to reach out even if they’re frustrated and need someone to vent to.
As with everyone else who is struggling to adjust to life in the COVID-19 era, the board has had its share of challenges.
“The biggest [obstacle] was figuring out how [we] can continue servicing the students from home,” said Shelton.
According to Jessica Wu, Vice President of Public Relations, a task force was created to provide opportunities for outreach. This involved the Inter-Club Council and how it will be handled, connecting with and supporting students, and ways to host virtual events.
The board also recently held a virtual town hall on Zoom, where over 30 students were able to participate and ask questions. There is another town hall scheduled for tomorrow and the hope is that more people will participate so they are able to hear about the experiences and concerns of students.
“Keeping PCC students informed in a transparent fashion is extremely important to the ASPCC,” said Student Trustee Alex Sarkissian.
He and all the board members strive to make sure that they are available to students and to represent all in a fair and balanced matter.
Sarkissian credits his fellow board members with thinking outside the box to come up with new ways of performing their jobs, including the use of Instagram to post meeting agendas and services that students use during these times.
“Being a member of the student council at PCC carries a great deal of responsibility,” Shelton said. “Unlike high school where the most popular guy or girl is elected president and their biggest responsibility is selecting the theme for this year’s prom, this is serious business.”
They are also the students’ representatives to groups outside of PCC, such as other colleges and legislators, both locally and nationally. One of the biggest disappointments brought about by the shutdown was a planned trip to Washington D.C. There, they would have had the opportunity to lobby to both the House of Representatives and Senate on issues affecting PCC and other community college students. According to Shelton, they had spent the entire winter semester preparing for the trip.
Like other students, the board members still have their own classwork. Combined with their work on behalf of the student body, it can be a lot to keep track of.
”I am not doing this because it will look good on my resume,” said Sarkissian. “I am doing this because I have a passion for helping people.”
The board members all recognize that students are struggling with a variety of issues, but they would like us all to know that they are here for us, eager to provide support in any way possible.
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