Future Cabinet members offer plans for 2017-18
April 17, 2017
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The incoming officers of Linfield’s student government emphasized student involvement and communication between themselves and students for a better college.
The new Cabinet members will be ratified April 20 and officially begin working May 1. The past few weeks have been spent shadowing the current members and learning each member’s daily responsibilities.
Every incoming Cabinet member expressed excitement about being a part of the Associated Students of Linfield College’s executive branch. The two elected officers and seven appointed officers have already begun thinking about how to improve events, the school and student government itself.
They referenced their experiences as leaders of sports teams, class representatives or members of student government in high school as motivation for joining Linfield’s student government. Some students have also been ASLC senators, club leaders, or held positions in the Cabinet or on the Linfield College Activities Team.
The Cabinet’s incoming vice president of programming, Kainoa Cuttitta, has been working as the LCAT Secretary under her predecessor, Cruz Morey.
She said Morey’s hard work at refining Linfield’s brand inspired her to take the position. Cuttitta said she hopes to diversify the activities LCAT offers and is happy with the increased publicity LCAT is getting compared to last year.
Junior Mike Sheldon is the only incumbent Cabinet member; he has been the Student Center director all year.
His job is to make students aware of the resources they have, like the game room in Riley Hall and the bicycle co-op near Campbell Hall. He commented on how it is difficult to reach all students, saying much of the same people come to his events. Sheldon said he hopes to “level out the gender ratio,” specifically at events like the Super Smash Brothers Tournament.
Most of the nine incoming Cabinet members commented on diversity at events and in the Cabinet itself. Vice president elect Alleta Maier said diversity was her priority and that she would accomplish her goal by proposing a variety of events and inviting diverse speakers to campus. She said diversity and inclusivity were two areas Linfield as a whole can improve on.
President elect Tenzin Yangchen agreed. She emphasized how the student government is made of and works for all Linfield students, so students should know they can approach ASLC members and fight for what they want. Yangchen, who grew up in India, contrasted the Indian government with the United States’, saying American officials take positions to serve the people. “We are students serving students,” she said, encouraging students to approach her any time.
But aside from approachability, the officers said, publicity for ASLC is itself problematic. Incoming Vice President of Business Drew Accimus said the ASLC gives students opportunities to go to events, but students are either unaware those events are happening or are unclear of what the ASLC does to make them happen.
Future Club Director AnnaMarie Motis echoed the sentiment, saying that students are unaware of how to start a club and may be deterred because they think it is difficult. Motis wants to make sure students know it is doable and to approach ASLC members if they have questions.
Transparency and approachability are valued by the ASLC. All of the Cabinet members prompted students to ask questions, attend Senate meetings and approach them anywhere on campus, giving their emails as the best way to digitally reach them.
In addition to attending Senate meetings, the students also recommended installing the ASLC Linfield app for news and more information. They said the app, although new and imperfect, has been growing in popularity and that installing it is an easy way to stay informed.
Some officers suggested improvements to the app. Incoming Secretary Jacob Jackson wants to add a polling function that will provide a visual representation of how the Cabinet can improve students’ lives.
Yangchen wants to add a textbook exchange feature so students can trade their books and get higher return rates at the end of the semester.
Incoming Publicity Director Matthew Totaro’s job is to foster communication between students and the ASLC. He said representing the student body is dependent on forming connections. Future IM Sports Director Brian Valentine agrees. “We’re here for the people,” he said, and students should voice their concerns and opinions even if they do not think they are valid.
Student involvement is what motivates and improves the ASLC, the officers said repeatedly. Yangchen promoted as open a dialogue as possible between the ASLC and students, saying, “Without the support, ASLC is nothing…To clap, you need both hands.”