by Alison Omens '06
I have been president of Scripps Associated Students (SAS), formerly College Council, nine months, 26 days, and seven hours. In that time, I and the other members of SAS have changed the name of the student government, transformed the budget system, altered the Hall Council structure, and sent hundreds of e-mails to one another and many more to the student body. In short, we have strived to be active, visible, and energetic every moment of the day (and quite a few of us have dreamt at night about our duties, as well).
In recent years, College Council had fallen out of the mainstream. Because our real challenge was students’ relative disinterest and lack of knowledge, we have focused on advertising and making ourselves more accessible.We all wear sweatshirts displaying our names and positions. We have our contact information posted and have created a list serve and a website with FAQ, a calendar, forms to download, and other information essential to have online to increase accessibility. The changes we made this year are not perfect, but we believe that as the kinks continue to be worked out, the system will benefit students on a level that hasn’t been seen in years.
The most obvious change is, of course, the name. At the beginning of our term, we voted to rename College Council “Scripps Associated Students.” We did this because most of the other five colleges were all “Associated Students.” Because of the recent disinterest of students in student government, Scripps women did not know what the role of College Council was. We hoped that changing the name would eliminate that question. Finally, name changes can denote integral change, and this name change was no exception. Now, we are all “SAS-sy,” a cute nickname that has caught on. I believe one of the reasons we have been so successful this year is because of our new name and our advertisement of it.
Beyond the laundry list of things we’re trying to accomplish, the biggest thing we’ve focused on is teambuilding. We came back to campus earlier than in previous years and went to the beach, dinner, and bowling together.We enjoy each other’s company and don’t just spend time together when we must.This has made us answerable to one another not just as associates, but as friends. I hope this trend continues. We are only as strong as a body working together.We get along and work hard.
When we started this endeavor, many of us did not know what our duties entailed. I would have never considered running until a woman who was on College Council asked me to run. One of the things I hear again and again is that women just don’t consider running on their own—they have to be asked. Well, I was one of those women.
So today I issue a challenge to current and future Scripps women—run for office. Whether it be city council, state office, or Scripps Associated Students, run for the position; take the initiative. In recruiting people to run for office next year, I face the same challenge. Women I talk to are interested and excited about running but tell me they never would have thought about it if I hadn’t asked them. As our term comes to a close, we will watch the elections and work hard to find people who are just as passionate, energetic, and motivated as this year’s board has proven to be.