ELP, SWC, and ME (Legislators)

By Erik Squire
Education Major
Bless your hearts SMCC; you’ve made it through the first month of the semester. I’m no cliché writer, so I’m not even going to mention the snow (except right there). Even though it may have been an unproductive few weeks for some, because of the all the $&*#, some have still shoveled their way into doing some pretty interesting things. The Emerging Leaders Program and Student Welfare Committee conducted their first meeting of the semester, and SMCC has arranged to host meetings with some of Maine’s State Representatives. Get ready fellas, because this is going to be more interesting than a unicorn named Charlie, or even a duck who likes grapes; THIS IS NEWS!
The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is swinging into its second semester after a successful run in the fall, now with even more students. As is obvious from the title, ELP is working with some of SMCC’s talented and proactive individuals to equip them with some valuable experience, critical thinking, and leadership skills. To start things off, the program had students take a survey online that helped determine their top five leadership strengths (quite accurately, we might add). The emerging leaders were then placed in three separate groups based on their qualities. Over the course of the spring semester, each group will develop and enact a plan to better the SMCC community.
To give an idea about the projects these groups are undertaking, The Beacon got some insight from team two. This team is looking at the struggles that students age 22 and under are facing when they come to college, particularly the students who live in the resident dorms. Statistically these students are at a higher risk of dropping out during their first year and they’re also less likely to be achievers in academics. As a frame of reference, there was a survey completed in 2011 showing that the average GPA of students living in Surfsite was 1.98. With this knowledge in mind, team two is going to explore the causes behind the students’ problems, and then endeavor to address these issues. Some ideas they are already looking into are: Creating an app that informs students where they have to be, giving them tips on life as an adult, and notifying them about important dates and events. The other idea is creating a preemptive film to present to high school students informing them of some of the normal challenges they will face as a college student.
In other news: The Student Welfare Committee (SWC), of The Student Senate, is up and running and they’re addressing some major issues affecting the campus and its populations. Some of the big things they’re tackling are academic prosperity, parking (of course), sustainability policy, and the marketability of the college. In the first session The SWC set out to make a list of prevalent challenges and the very root of each of the problems. During the next session they plan on strategically addressing and providing solutions to the issues they’ve come up with. They have also picked up two new members, Maam Fall, and Lorelei Hipkins, who is now the Secretary of The SWC.
Finally, in our last news segment: SMCC is inviting its students to advocate on behalf of the college. Our school has been, and is still, in the process of setting up meetings on campus between state legislators and students. The hopes of these interactions is to let the state know how much we appreciate our education, talk about how we’re benefiting from our college experience, and how we need the continued support of our representatives. Don’t worry if you missed out on the first few meetings; these gatherings are happening up until March 6th.
For information on dates and times, contact Clarke Canfield at: ccanfield@smccme.edu. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to meet your legislators and help SMCC!
That’s all the superlative news for this week. ‘Til next time, SMCC.

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