By Alex Guerra
ASI Student Government’s new Chief Justice, Angelmarie Taylor, a second-year business major, saw her new position as a great opportunity to help give back, especially soon after taking a special topics course at CI. It was not the course itself, however that sparked her desire to want to give back but more so what she saw happen in the fall 2020 semester.
In fall 2020, students found themselves talking about the idea of a credit or no credit grading option and how it became available for many courses during the pandemic back in spring 2020. Yet, what about this academic year? Taylor had the same idea, as she detailed that, “we were just kind of like collectively ‘Oh man I wish we had that this semester you know, we’re still virtual, if anything it’s hard this semester, why don’t we have it?’” Her professor was very encouraging in this aspect, encouraging them to act.
ASI Student Government did act and went out to advocate for the credit/no credit option, and sure enough, within weeks, inboxes were flooded, saying the credit and no credit option was back again. Taylor equates this as proof that real change can happen. As she put it, “Now I acknowledge that legitimate change can and will happen if the right people are there, and I just want to do everything to be a part of that, and make those necessary changes happen.”
Her desire to promote change and positivity seems to have paved the way for the role as ASI Student Government Chief Justice, especially with the responsibility it entails. ASI Student Government Chief Justice oversees the entire judicial branch of ASI Student Government, and thus if any person within CI’s ASI Student Government fails to follow the ASI Student Government bylaws, then it falls on Taylor and the Internal Affairs Committee to investigate and resolve the issue.
As it is, ASI Student Government gives each member a certain number of strikes. Then, it is the President, Vice President and Chief Justice’s collective role to ultimately determine the outcome. But, while it may sound like a tough role, it is not all bad. As Taylor put it, “it’s mostly a supportive type role to the other executive positions we have such as the president, vice president, chief of staff and both of our directors.”
It was her desire to give back that sparked her want to join ASI Student Government, and apply for the position of Chief Justice. So, one may ask: Why ASI Student Government? Well, as it turns out, ASI Student Government was not even on her radar of something to take part in until she received an email from ASI about open leadership positions and that is when things started to change and take shape. As she details, an anonymous individual recommended for her to join and take part in ASI Student Government, believing she showed qualities that would greatly benefit them.
At first, she was flattered that someone thought she was worthy of this, yet, she also had her concerns. As Taylor recalled, “I wasn’t going to do it at first because I was like ‘I have a lot of other things going on as a student as well as a person, so it’ isn’t just something I can hop on, you know, impulsively.’”
Yet it seems her worries would soon be put to rest. After a one-on-one informational meeting with ASI Student Government advisor Annie Block-Weiss, she recalls feeling more confident about applying for the new position and balancing it out with her student life. In fact, balancing life of a student and as ASI Student Government Chief Justice may not be as hard as it sounds, as Taylor mentions that for her, balancing is up her alley.
“Before accepting the [appointment] of Chief Justice, I was already sort of balancing two or three worlds, and a part of me, one of those worlds was trying to give back, just trying to initiate some good positive change for people, especially people that really deserve it.” She further detailed she’s been involved in a lot on and off-campus groups, with one organization working in Ventura County to promote social justice, and another job working within Student Affairs, “helping and providing resources to historically underrepresented students.”
However, you do not just have to hold a position within ASI Student Government to affect change. “They want you, we want you here. We want you to be a student to help make- not just students but other people- better,” stated Taylor. “That sense of welcoming, and the positive energy that we have in ASI Student Government is amazing … We want to have you, and it’ll be a privilege to have anyone help us in our mission.”
Any student is welcome to contact ASI Student Government on their social via Instagram via their handle @ci_studentgovt, where any student is welcome to direct message them or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how they can join and become part of the change that they want to see.