Students Leading Students

Students Leading Students

Brendan McDonald, Staff Writer

Learn the names of some leaders representing Grossmont students, and learn how and why you should get involved.


Last June, Amy Bianchi campaigned for president of the Associated Students of Grossmont College, or ASGC. The ASGC is a coalition of student leaders who represent all Grossmont students. Although Bianchi ran unopposed, she still urged students to vote through WebAdvisor. Only about 200 students voted in the last ASGC election, which is only about 1.1 percent of Grossmont’s more than 18,000 students. It seems that a large majority of Grossmont students aren’t concerned with campus politics. But why should they be?

The short answer is: Because they are students. Students deserve to have a voice when it comes to how their school is ran and operated, and the ASGC plays a crucial role in making sure that students needs are met.

Because Grossmont is a two-year institution, it can be hard to gauge the needs of an ever changing community of students. It can be easy for students to conclude student issues at this level don’t pertain to them or won’t in
the future.

“My biggest thing is advocacy. Advocate for someone who can’t advocate for themselves,” Bianchi said in an interview in the ASGC office in the Griffin Center.

The sentiment she expresses is at the core of what ASGC strives to be. In a way, ASGC is essentially a gateway between students and the resources they need. “As a community we need to be able to listen to each other and
have our voices heard,” Bianchi said. Edwin Hernandez Armenta is a Grossmont student graduating this Spring with an associate degree in social and behavioral science. He is also Grossmont’s student trustee for the Board of Trustees of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. In this role, he represents Grossmont students at monthly Governing Board meetings.

Decisions made by this board of elected officials will inevitably affect the college.“I’ll give you a crazy example,” Armenta saidin a phone interview. “Let’s say they wanted to spend $5 million on toilet paper, and I could say, ‘No, that’s ridiculous. You can spend that money on something more useful for the students.’” Armenta is one of two student trustees who represent the district. The other is Kyrie Macogay, a biology major at Cuyamaca College who
represents her college as their student trustee. Of course, it’s always important that students focus on their academic goals.

“Student leaders are students first and then leaders,” Armenta went on to say. He recommended students prioritize their academic goals over everything else. Bianchi agreed with the sentiment saying “You have obligations, and you have priorities, and that’s okay.” She added, “But if every student contributes just five minutes of their time to an
issue it can make a difference.”

Grossmont is an ever-growing community of 220 full-time faculty, 574 part-time faculty and 18,241 students, according to its website. Many of the decisions our student leaders make will affect this community for those in it and for those who will come after. And the resources and opportunities Grossmont offers can only be available to students in the future if the students of today get involved.

#1. Share your thoughts and ask questions.
“If students don’t tell the people above about the problems they’re facing, then there’s nothing they can do,” Armenta said. But as highlighted by Bianchi, “Students can be shy.” This can play a factor when it comes to figuring out what students need. Many college students are millennials, often referred to as “the anxious generation.” Some students may find it hard to speak up about their needs. “There are many different programs on campus; you just have to ask,” Bianchi noted.

Students who are unsure where to begin can find a list of all the clubs on campus online, or at the ASGC office in the Griffin Center.
“If you want to start advocating, we also need student representatives,” Bianchi added.

#2. Get a Benefit sticker.

The ASGC benefit sticker costs $12, providing students with a ton of rewards and perks. The sticker attaches to a student ID card, and is available for $12 cash at the Student Activities Window in Building 10. When purchasing the sticker, students will receive an ASGC-branded mug, a book of sticky notes, a pencil case and four scrantons. When they bring the sticker into the ASGC office, students can get free popcorn, tea and coffee. Students can also enjoy discounts on supplies and gear from the Grossmont bookstore and many of the dining locations around campus.

#3. Vote!

The best way to ensure one’s voice is heard is to exercise it. And the easiest way to exercise that voice is by voting. “The best way to get involved is by voting and getting to know your campus,” Bianchi said.
Students will start campaigning for the next ASGC election in April.