STORY BY MARCO URIAS
PHOTO BY ANDREA HIDALGO
Associated Students is the student government at Cypress College. AS vice president of campus activities Lawrence Solis shared his thoughts on why it’s important to be involved in student government.
Psychology major Lawrence Solis joined AS ‘because he wanted to be part of something bigger than himself.’ Solis has been involved with AS for one year and a half. In that time he had a role in bringing the ‘Active Minds’ chapter to CC and the hiring process of chancellor Bryon Breland, he said via email.
“I believe that being part of student government is really important because it allows students to better campus and student life and it also helps to gain an overall better college experience for themselves,” Solis said.
AS adviser David Okawa’s office could be found in the new student life and leadership building which has a computer lab and lobby adjacent to the VRC. They were built in the fall of 2021 as a result of Measure J. He explained the potential impact involvement in student government could have.
One of the ways AS impacts students is through their advocacy, Okawa said. For example, if an enrolled student needed one class to graduate in the spring, but their last class was only offered in the fall someone from the curriculum committee would address the issue.
“That’s how we would represent the student body in this particular area,” Okawa said.
The curriculum committee has a say on what classes will be offered each semester and how many sections, Okawa said. In the short-one-class scenario, the curriculum committee’s advocacy could potentially help students graduate on time.
“A lot of good things can come from when we are either representing or getting the feedback from our student body,” Okawa said.
The student government system consists of the president, vice president, VP of internal and external affairs, VP of student organizations, VP of campus activities, VP of fiscal affairs, VP of public relations, executive secretary, the trustee, parliamentarian, senators, and activities coordinators.
At CC, the students who hold these positions, known as associated students, were elected. But students don’t have to wait until the next election to participate or fill out the AS application. Students could be appointed as non-voting members to AS which means they would still have the responsibilities and rights, Okawa said.
AS elections for the 2022- 2023 school year opened on May 2, 2022.
This story has been edited.