Learning where to turn

Christina Colucci / Roundup

While the turnout at any given time could be counted on two hands, Shani Simms, Associated Students Organization President-elect, said the May 6 ASO Meet and Greet went exactly as planned.


“It wasn’t meant to be this huge event,” she said. “We simply wanted to say ‘hi’ to students and shake their hands as they walked down the Mall.”


The Meet and Greet was created by the ASO Social/Cultural Committee, which Simms chairs, as an opportunity for students to get to know the faces that represent them.


“We have an incoming board that has just been elected,” she said. “We wanted people to see our faces, know that we are the student government and that we are here for them.”


Were their efforts successful?


According to Mackenzie Layne, 20, the ASO made their presence known.


“I didn’t even know there was a student government until now,” he said. “I guess if I ever have a problem in the future, I know where I can turn.”


Shawn Bean, 18, feels the event taught him a lot.


“I learned that the ASO helps lobby for us,” he said, adding that students should feel grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.


 “That’s what we need in a community college, because some big universities don’t give students a voice,” he said.


Others simply showed up for the free food, which included popcorn, chips and candy.  


When asked what he thought of the newly elected officials, Tim Keels, a 20-year-old finance major, could only manage a sentence.


 “I didn’t really meet them,” he said, “I just met the nachos.”


Nursing major Nancy Ramirez, 20, told a similar tale.


“I still don’t know much about the student government,” she said. “They didn’t really say anything. I just got free chips and left.”


While acknowledging the food is probably what drew students in, Senator Norma Mejia, 18, thinks the event did more than fill hungry stomachs.


She believes it taught students about the role of the ASO.


“I think many people have an idea of what we are,” she said, “but when they came up to us we were able to elaborate and explain what it is we do.”


Simms agreed.


“We tried to address every student that came to the booth,” she said. “At least when they got the food, they knew it was from their student government.”


Overall, the President-elect believes the Meet and Greet was a success.


“We had a lot of students who knew nothing about ASO and were really interested in it,” Simms said. “They are looking forward to coming back next year and getting involved.”


For those students who claimed they didn’t learn anything, she said, “At least they know that there is a student government. That was our main goal.”

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