Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University: Understanding the student organization

Hillary Thompson, Staff Writer 

Saint Martin’s is known for having many amazing clubs and organizations, one being the Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University (ASSMU).  Senior Hannah Salapka, who is a part of ASSMU, discusses the organization and their goals. “We are a senate made up of students from a variety of groups on campus. Our goal is to not only support clubs across campus, but make meaningful change by being the bridge between students and administration and the Board of Trustees,” said Salapka. 

Junior Cesar Sandoval, who is also involved, gives more information on the program, and said, “ASSMU offers and encourages students to seek opportunities for leadership, organizational training and service through active participation in student government. In this organization, there are students who represent different majors, communities, and other student related groups at SMU. There is also an executive board who oversee many of the different projects on campus as well as have other duties not specified towards a demographic of the SMU student population.” 

Salakpa discusses why students should join the organization: “Students join via running in your election in the spring for the following year. Everyone should want to join ASSMU not only because of the relationships and connections to be made with the Board and Administration, but also for the leadership experience they will gain and the feeling from having a real voice in our community.” 

Salapka and Sandoval discuss the activities the members have this year and shared: “My fellow Executive Board members and I are currently working on our yearly Whine, Dine, and Shine in the hopes it can still be done while abiding by COVID-19 regulations. At this event, numerous head staff and faculty, including President Heynderickx, join students for dinner and address the complements and points of improvement regarding the university.”

“Other than weekly ASSMU meetings on Thursday at 11am, our next upcoming event is the Involvement Fair set up by the Senators of Engineering, Brendan Leistiko, Business, Soukita Keopanapay, Clubs, Cheyenne Yap, and I. This event is an opening for students to see what clubs are offered on campus and to get any information regarding those clubs including meeting times, types of projects, and any upcoming events for those clubs,” said Sandoval. Sandoval also shared what made him join the club. 

“I had a plan on running for Senator of Cultural Diversity my first year, but due to some personal reasons it wasn’t my time. When applications opened for this year, I saw my chance to make a difference. I am someone who supports individualism. Anyone and everyone should be free to express themselves with not only full support from the school, but no discrimination in any way. As Vice President I feel I could offer that perspective in different scenarios ranging anywhere from helping a fellow Senate member to a student with questions regarding anything ASSMU related. Although I don’t get to vote, I am fascinated by the rules and regulations guided by the ASSMU constitution and would love to use my position to find any transparencies missed in the constitution to offer students more expression and freedom in whatever they may be looking for,” Sandoval said.

When it comes to ASSMU, there are many roles shared among members and Salapka breaks down some of her tasks and the role she plays in the organization. “I am Executive Secretary. This is my third year in the position! I act as an ASSMU historian by publishing minutes and agenda for all our meetings. I also act as the organization’s ‘Office Lady’ by assisting Senators with their jobs and small tasks assigned by the ASSMU President,” Salapka said. 

Sandoval discusses his role as the current Vice President of ASSMU: “My role is to play a supporting role for any senators that may need extra help. Along with that, I am well aware of what is said in the ASSMU Constitution. Finally, social media and advertisement of ASSMU is a large part of my priorities. I have many plans for social media for Instagram as well as different ways of advertisement for ASSMU. Currently I am finishing up a brochure that will be at the ASSMU table for the involvement fair as well as on a flyer in the form of a QR code put around campus for students to access whenever. This brochure will include pictures of the Senate for students to recognize them around campus, a list of every senator, their positions, and office hours.”

ASSMU meetings can be attended via zoom Thursdays from 11am to noon.

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