Student government president hopes to return to campus
Felicity Orrell might be the youngest president to ever lead the Associated Student Government at Clackamas Community College. The Clackamas Print sat down with the 16-year-old ASG president to talk about her work at the college and why she wants to be back at school in person.
The Clackamas Print: What do you do as the president of ASG?
Felicity Orrell: So as the president, it’s a lot of communicating with the college. There’s this thing called the President’s Council, so I do attend that, and it’s where all the presidents of the associations and such come from the college together to talk about things. So as the president, it’s a lot of communicating with the rest of the college, and trying to get students’ voices heard, mainly. In our general meetings in student government, we have students come in, and they can also give student comments. So I can take those comments and give them to people in the college who can really implement changes.
TCP: What made you decide to join the student government?
Orrell: So I actually joined last year. I’m in an early college program. So technically, I’m still a high school student. But I found out about it through one of my peers, and I thought it was such a great opportunity, because they give you credit waivers, and you get to kind of see all of the different things that go on in the college. And then coming into this year, I decided I wanted to be the president, not only because they kind of needed one, but because I was kind of ready to take on more of a responsibility.
TCP: What is student government doing this term?
Orrell: Students can apply for grants for their classes and books and stuff. We gave out all of them this term, but they’re planning on doing more next term. There’s a lot of different stuff that we offer to students, including Chromebooks and food boxes. And the thing about food boxes that they’re trying to get out there is that literally, anybody can apply for them. And it’s good food, too. It’s good quality. It’s fresh produce. We’re still striving to do a lot of different things like virtual events. It’s mainly just focusing on how we can include more students and get more students’ voices heard and especially online, and student involvement is a big one.
TCP: What’s been your opinion of CCC, and if there’s anything about it that you would change, what would that be?
Orrell: I really, really like CCC. They have a diverse culture, they have diverse students, and they have a wide range of classes. Honestly, I feel like they really do care about their students. And they really do care about where they go in life, and they want to help them get there. If I could change anything, I guess I would say go back to being in person. I feel like that would be really fun. Given I only got to experience it for a really short amount of time, it’d be really cool to actually go to the college and be able to be immersed in in-person classes. But other than that, I don’t think I would really change anything.
TCP: What are some of the things that you’ve discussed with the leadership at the college since you started with student government?
Orrell: We have a lot of clubs that need renewing. So they come to us, we do a lot of appropriations for giving other people money to do events. As far as other leaders within the college, we, as the student government, actually have student representatives go to some committee meetings, like College Council, the Budget Advisory Group meeting, the swag meeting. So there’s a lot of different things that we talk about, and that we can put student voices in and there’s honestly so much that it’s hard to come up with specifics. We go from talking about transportation and the shuttle to talking about different ways that we can be more diverse and like, equity conversations. The other day, we were talking about the land acknowledgment and how we can further implement that as a college rather than just having the land acknowledgment, but more so of having something, maybe like signage on some of the buildings.
TCP: Can you explain what the land acknowledgment is?
Orrell: In the beginning of some meetings, we’ll have a student or a leader acknowledge the land that they’re on.
TCP: For students that are interested in getting involved in student government, are there opportunities for people to get involved?
Orrell: So if anybody wants to get involved in student government, if you go on the CCC website, and you type into the search box, like ASG, you can find an application form. We have open positions right now. There’s a multitude of different options based on your credit load. And you do get credit waivers. So like, if you are an officer, you get credits waived per term. And you also get book stipends as well. So from like, $100 to $300 per term of book stipend, so it’s definitely a great opportunity.
This interview has been edited for clarity and space.