By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer
On Wednesday, Student Congress will vote in its new treasurer during its general meeting, which will be held from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in ʻIliahi 123ABC, to complete its executive team.
Although this will give the organization its respective five leaders, Shannon Sakaue, the faculty advisor of Student Congress, fears that the group may continue to struggle due to the lack of student involvement. Serving as the advisor since Summer 2015, Sakaue continues to notice the lack of awareness students seem to have about Student Congress and its role on campus.
Student Congress, one of the three chartered student organizations (CSO) present on campus, serves as the official voice for students attending KCC. It is also the channel between students and administration.
“Student Congress is more about supporting the student body than driving the personal opinion of whoever’s in charge that year,” Sakaue said. “And as a result, because every year they’re using the data collected from the spring survey to move forward, it’s much more effective to represent and say ‘this is what students want.'”
Based on the results of the 2018 annual spring survey, Student Congress was able to determine whether students wanted additions such as a tech help desk, Biki Bike share system, coffee shop, or UPass fee to decrease the current semesterly price, which was approved in June and will go into effect as a mandatory $40 semesterly fee in Fall 2019.
Having the voices of students heard through these votes have helped Student Congress to generate a better understanding of what students feel should be present on campus. Ally Villanueva, who serves as Student Congress’ president, hopes to see an increase in students approaching the organization to share their experiences.
“Our campus is so diverse … it would be helpful for the community just to have different perspectives,” Villanueva said. “That’s why we’re here. We want to know [students’] concerns and issues.”
It is during Student Congress’ general meetings that students can participate in discussions involving updates and campus changes that may occur. General meetings are held monthly every first and third Wednesday from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in ʻIliahi 123ABC.
Besides attending to voice an opinion, Villanueva also encourages students to attend these meetings since they serve as the first step to becoming a member-at-large. Voting rights are given to those in these positions, another way for students to express their stance on a particular subject.
Member-at-large positions are open to those who have attended at least one general meeting, have KCC listed as their home campus, are enrolled in six credits, and maintain a 2.0 GPA. If eligible, an application packet can be received from Diane Russia Famorca, Student Congress vice president.
As Student Congress moves forward, it has plans to continue reaching out to students through its general meetings and events. As a new way to reach out to students, the executive team works together to do chalk writings on the sidewalks around campus to write updates or motivational quotes to help others get through the day.
Student Congress is located in ʻIliahi 129 next to Subway and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.