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ASMC president reflects on highlights of 2008-2009, acknowledges student leaders’ achievements

Our year began in a unique fashion: we had a brand new structure, constitution, and location. We were also operating with four brand-new members to the Executive Board, 25 brand-new senators and our brand-new advisor, Toni Blackwell. Fortunately, together, we hit the ground running and had a successful year, with all of our goals met.

ASMC begins their year setting high-level goals to guide their work, hoping to provide and serve many students, while fostering participation and inclusion to build strong relationships with all those in our community. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of our successes this year.

At the end of the fall semester, ASMC voted to put the Women’s Health Resource Center into the annual ASMC budget. Currently, the center is a student run and created space that is utilized by students on a regular basis, all the while operating without funds from Health Services on campus. In this spirit, ASMC granted a $3,000 portion of the annual budget to the WHRC for the school year. We felt that centralizing a permanent space where health concerns can be addressed has the first step in revamping the promotion of holistic health. We hope that by giving this organization sufficient funds, they will be able to carry out their mission, and serve a greater number of students with accurate health education and resources.

Initially, we hoped to address transportation needs and concerns by modifying the shuttle schedule or finding creative ways to address the lack of parking. Instead, thanks to the help of our sustainability senator, Katie Johnson, we were able to obtain AC Transit unlimited bus passes for the undergraduate student body. Through countless meetings and discussions, we decided that it was best to have the students decide if they would like their ASMC fee to rise by $96 in exchange for these bus passes. Through the help of many senators and Executive Board members alike, we received 306 votes; 258 were in favor of the passes. Previous to the vote, ASMC voted that we would need 20 percent participation and then 2/3 of the students would need to vote yes, in order to collect a true representative sample. As of Monday Apr. 27, students were notified that the referendum passed. ASMC is very proud of this monumental change in the way students travel in the greater Oakland community.

By way of spring elections for the upcoming school year, we had more than 40 students run for Senate, Executive Board and Class Council, filling 30 open positions. Many students participated in voting.

The entire Executive Board was filled, welcoming five new members and another five new students to the Senate.

Our final goal was reaching the student body in order to build stronger relationships and bonds between the students and student government.

During our weekly meetings we proudly awarded nearly $20,000 in funds to students and student organizations.

On a day- to-day basis, we, ASMC, debated amongst ourselves, met regularly with Trustees, administrators, staff, students and faculty. We answered endless e-mail, heard many concerns, gave away endless candy and cookies, slept little, cheered new students during orientation, ate pizza, all while becoming leaders and learning who we are and what we stood for.

Together, we became a wonderful group that represented the needs, hopes and experiences of all Mills students.

We are very grateful for the inimitable opportunity that we were given. It has been an honor and pleasure to serve our fellow students.

– Samantha Foster, ASMC president