In an effort to better represent and serve students, members of Mills’ student government said that they are preparing a number of structural changes that they hope will take effect by the Spring 2008 ASMC elections.
The Associated Students of Mills College currently comprises a large executive board and a legislative congress. ASMC will reduce the executive board to half a dozen members, and reform the legislative by creating a senate.
This should result in greater efficiency and internal support, according to Senior Megan Bunter, ASMC judicial board chair. Bunter said that these changes will enable ASMC to function more efficiently, resulting in better student representation.
With the changes in place, the six members who will make up the executive board are: president, academic vice president, judicial vice president, diversity vice president, accountant, and historian. Bunter said this should resolve the current problem of an over large executive board that struggles to manage its time effectively.
“[These changes will] make sure that each student feels represented by ASMC,” Bunter said.
A larger senate will replace the current legislative congress, with members representing each residence hall and independent housing facility, as well as managers of campus lounges and some commuting students.
Senators will also be selected from each of the academic subdivisions: Natural Science/Math, Education, Social Science, and Arts & Letters. In addition, 12 senators will be selected at large, which means that they will be general representatives of the Mills community as a whole.
This will ensure that as many students as possible have the opportunity to be involved in the senate, without being turned away if a specific senatorial role has already been filled.
Some approve of this larger senate. “I believe this [system] sets up an opportunity for the executive board to be able to function as a more nimble and cohesive team while being informed by student senators who have strong connections to their constituents,” said Courtney Young-Law, ASMC advisor and director of Student Activities.
ASMC will be broken down into committees of senators and executive officers, rather than assigning one person to each specific area of interest. The aim in taking this measure, according to Bunter, is to help to balance out the workload and gain a greater amount of input.
“We’ll have more minds thinking about the same project, so instead of one perspective it’ll be several,” she said. “And we’re hoping that will get more work done.”
Bunter explained that the committees will focus on distinct areas of Mills life, including judicial affairs, public relations, internal affairs, finance, student services, diversity and academic affairs.
Two current executive officer positions, co-organizational coordinators, will transition to become part of the Office of Student Activities in addition to ASMC. According to Senior Ashlie MacDonald, ASMC vice president, this is because these two officers already spend so much time working in OSA.
Young-Law, however, isn’t planning any major shifts in her role as director. “The advisor role will still be an integral part of ASMC,” she said. “The specifics may change, but students will still have an ally and support person in the Division of Student Life.”
” I hope the communication among students becomes stronger and that ASMC is able to affect change that improves the student experience at Mills,” she added.