Published: Dec 5 2016 12:00AM
<i>Emily Samuels is a life science major interested in pursuing a career in dentistry or scientific research. Emily is involved in Student Life volunteer opportunities and in the STEM-Ed and Math clubs. After Montgomery College, she plans to transfer to the University of Maryland College Park at the Universities at Shady Grove to complete her bachelor's degree in biological sciences.</i>
<b>Montgomery College (MC): What motivated you to serve in governance?</b>
Emily Samuels (ES): I feel it is important to be involved in governance because it is our way as students to have our voices be heard and help the College improve the student experience.
<b>MC: What is it like to be on a council? What do you actually do?</b>
ES: During Student Council meetings we listen to concerns from students and discuss causes and potential solutions. We receive guidance and advice from Student Affairs about how to get more information or how to share these concerns with the College Council. Guest speakers come to every meeting to update us on changes the College is undergoing in terms of policies and regulations that directly impact students, and we can share our perspective as students with the speakers.
<b>MC: What would you consider a few of the most important accomplishments of the Student Council?</b>
ES: The Student Council is collaborating with the Student Senate on each campus to reach out to more students. We notified the Compliance Office about an issue with the e-mail system that sends out important announcements to all students. The Student Council also recommended that the College develop a non-reprisal statement to protect and support students participating in College governance and other activities, and the College Council approved the recommendation and forwarded it to the Office of the President. We continue to offer feedback about the expansion of the MC shuttle service, and there are more proposals and ideas we are working on to improve the student experience.
<b>MC: What impact do you think governance makes on the College?</b>
ES: Governance allows the College to understand the different viewpoints of faculty, staff, and students, allowing leaders to know what areas need improvement to better the experience at and success of the College.
<b>MC: What are some ways that the Student Council can have an impact on student success?</b>
ES: The Student Council can present the factors that matter to students, such as financial aid, finding the right courses to take, programs that encourage students in the field they wish to pursue, and the effectiveness of standardizing the curriculum of different subjects, and provide input from the student perspective on how the College can address these factors.
<b>MC: What advice would you give to someone considering whether to serve in governance?</b>
ES: Attend a meeting to see whether you would be interested in participating. If you wish the College would change something about anything, you should serve on the council to have your voice heard and have the opportunity to represent the student body. If you care about your experience and want to be able to improve other people's experiences at MC, serve in governance. It is the only way to have a say in the decisions the College makes.
<b>MC: Are there ways for people who aren't formally on a council to participate?</b>
ES: The first 10 minutes of council meetings are open for constituents to share their concerns. The council can then begin to address and propose possible solutions to these concerns. Constituents coming to the council meetings can really help direct the council on issues that will benefit the student experience overall.
This article is one in a continuing series. To read about the perspectives of other governance members, please visit the governance website:http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/mcgovernance