By Andrew Gregg
With Cuestaâ€™s student government elections coming up on April 17 â€“ where students will have the chance to elect a new president as well as vice president â€“ the current leaders reflected on their time serving as members of the student government.
The Associated Students of Cuesta College, Cuestaâ€™s student government, offers students the opportunity to practice leadership skills and improve the welfare of Cuesta students.
The ASCC participates in various events on campus, often centered around student wellness and success, with notable examples being â€œStress Free Finalsâ€ day, as well as â€œGiving Tuesdayâ€ â€” an event set up to offer financial assistance to struggling students.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, both current ASCC leaders expressed their motivation to join the ASCC stemmed from a desire to improve the lives of Cuesta students.
ASCC president, Michael Constable, originally hailing from San Pedro, Calif., called his decision to attend Cuesta a â€œshot in the dark.â€ A second year political science major, Constable plans on transferring to Cal Poly after Cuesta.
Constable admitted that he initially came to Cuesta with â€œthe immature view that [he] was going to treat college like an extended form of high school: irresponsible partying, laying low and not having much responsibility or social engagement.â€
He credits leadership classes with Dr. Anthony Gutierrez, the ASCCâ€™s adviser, as a positive influence and for sparking his interest in the ASCC.
“He had practical skills that gave me a new view on leadership, and looking back I appreciate how much those classes got me prepared to take on a leadership position like president,â€ Constable said.
Additionally, Constable cites his religious faith, as well as his participation in a Christian club on Cuesta â€“ â€œCuesta Cruâ€ â€“ as a motivating force.
â€œ[Cuesta Cru] built me up and encouraged me to stop my irresponsible living and step into a life of freedom and love found in Christ,â€ Constable said.
His said that his faith also inspires him to be a better leader.
â€œMy faith in Christ also calls me to be a leader eager to serveâ€ he added. â€œSo the obvious step that I felt was getting involved in a student government that is dedicated to improve the everyday life of all Cuesta College students, and I was excited about it.â€
Constable is not the only one who saw the ASCC as a chance to improve student life at Cuesta.
Tyler West, the ASCCâ€™s vice president and a business major, said that he joined the ASCC after he attended one of its events and was moved by the passion displayed from its members.
West, an Atascadero native, added that he viewed participation in Cuestaâ€™s student government as an opportunity to represent student interests in Cuestaâ€™s decision-making process.
â€œI joined [the ASCC] Â because I wanted to be more involved at Cuesta and I wanted to better the lives of the students by advocating for them,â€ the Atascadero native said.
While advocating on behalf of students drew both men to the ASCC, Constable mentioned that his time in a leadership role offered valuable lessons.
â€œI have learned that being an effective leader is a hard, but challenging and rewarding experience,â€ Constable said.
He added that the most valuable lesson he has learned as ASCC president is not to over-commit, and with the ASCCâ€™s numerous commitments â€” participating in and hosting charitable events, raising awareness for Cuestaâ€™s various on-campus clubs and attending leadership conferences â€” Constable said that the most challenging aspect of being student body president is figuring out how to manage his time wisely.
Despite this challenge, Constable noted that he remains proud to be a part the organization.
As for the future of the ASCC, Constable would like to see its involvement and recognition on campus grow, and encourages students to sign up, hoping that they â€œfeel comfortable and encouraged to take action to improve the life of the student sitting next to [them].â€