Hosting parties, organizing events, and maintaining the spirit of Bell on campus, the ASB has long served the Bellarmine student body as a cornerstone of unity and well-functioning. But if the struggles of the past few years have shown anything, it’s that the ASB isn’t without room for improvement – thus, with plans to implement drastic internal changes next year, the ASB seeks new and more effective ways to be the “voice, ears, and face” of the Bellarmine community, with benefits of these changes to be shared by all.
THE FIRST CHANGE – A NEW WAY OF SELECTING PRESIDENTS
The first of the biggest shifts happening next year concerns the election of ASB’s three co-presidents, a position which holds the most student authority within the ASB. Starting next year, two of ASB’s co-presidents will be elected internally by members of the ASB, while one co-president will be elected by the greater student body at large.
According to the ASB, having one co-president step into office through a direct election from the student body will allow the ASB to adopt a stronger model of representative democracy, providing the Bellarmine community at large a greater say in the internal workings of the ASB. Ultimately, this reflects the central theme of ASB’s reforms for next year: to allow for greater connectivity, unity, and diversity within the organization.
Functionally, the three student presidents (two ASB-elected presidents, and one student-body elected presidents) will share equal power and say in internal matters. One of the things that worked in past years was that a triad presidentship allowed for the workload of the position to be more efficiently split and handled; the ASB intends to continue with this model of triple leadership.
THE SECOND CHANGE – CLASS REPRESENTATIVES
Class Reps in particular have always sought to be the voice of the student body. Elected directly by students of the greater Bellarmine community, the purpose of the Class Reps was to serve the interest of their respective class and provide a say for them within the ASB. But as leaders of the ASB conclude, the system of Class Representatives gathered to serve the interests of the student body eventually lost its distinctive role and position as the “voice” of the student body, instead becoming no different from the ASB’s members-at-large who are internally selected by the ASB. Rather than specializing in serving the needs of their classes, the Class Reps more or less ended up being regular members of the ASB, causing Class Reps lose their intended purpose and significance.
To resolve this issue, the ASB will assign a “class council” to be overseen by each Class Rep. Contrary to before, when Class Reps took the entire burden of serving their class’s interests, this new system will allow Class Reps to lead and collaborate with individualized teams that share the job instead. Under this new system, the ASB hopes to see gains in both efficacy and efficiency.
THE THIRD CHANGE – DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS
One of the core features of effective governments is their ability to structurally split the organizations’ duties and tasks into well-functioning departments. In the past, the ASB divided themselves into three main internal associations: The Department of Human Resources, The Department of Records, and Class Representatives.
While this structure was effective in holding members of the ASB internally accountable and organized, the layout’s critical flaw was its limited access to organizations and student networks external to the ASB. Collaborating with organizations like Unity Council or the CSP Department, though far from impossible, had plenty of room for improvement as there was no department or sub-group within the ASB specializing in managing relations with these organizations.
To keep the organizational strengths of the preexisting structure while patching inefficiencies, the ASB will, starting next year, divide itself into three entirely new departments: the Department of Operations, the Department of Events, and the Department of Government.
Keeping members of the ASB well-organized, the Department of Operations will oversee the ASB’s internal functioning and keep all members accountable, ensuring that they do their roles. The Department of Government and the Department of Events, meanwhile, are meant to improve ASB’s connections with external campus organizations. The Department of Government will work primarily with Bellarmine’s administration and organize input from the student body at large, serving and executing the needs of the Bellarmine community at large. The Department of Events, meanwhile, will plan and execute all ASB events, as well as coordinating with CSP to specialize in ASB’s “servant leadership” philosophy.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
With these major changes coming next year, the ASB hopes that it will better serve Bellarmine’s student body and champion the model of servant leadership that the community needs. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, contact Josh Darlucio ’23 or Chandler Aldana-Taylor ’23.
The ASB will have both external (student-body-elected) and internal (ASB-selected) positions available for prospective volunteers. Don’t be afraid to get involved! If you just want to voice suggestions or proposals without joining the ASB, contact your Class Representative or his Class Council.