While the Corvallis, Ore. campus of Oregon State University was preparing to elect the next class of student leaders to the Associated Students of OSU Senate, House and Executive branches, the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend, Ore., is going through some leadership changes itself, as well as preparing for the next elections cycle.
Following the Resignation of Jade Warner as president of the Associated Students of Cascades Campus, Taha Elwefati, a social science student at OSU-Cascades, stepped up to Warner’s former role, becoming the new president of ASCC.
Elwefati said as president he would like to work on expanding support systems available to students at OSU-Cascades.
“We are working very hard to create a housing subsidy for students as housing in Bend is extremely expensive,” Elwefati said. “We have also continued our work towards food security for students through our food pantry, and to accommodate for these unprecedented times, we have started a grocery gift card program to send gift cards to students’ addresses at their request.”
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Banderas, a second-year biology student, has been appointed as vice president, as well as chair of the Student Fee Committee at OSU-Cascades.
Banderas was previously vice-chair of the SFC, and is also a first-generation college student, as well as both Latin American and Native American.
“When I applied for student government in 2019, I knew that I was doing so because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself,” Banderas said. “I knew that my goal in sitting on [the Student Fee Committee] was that student fees were used appropriately, honestly and in the best interest of the entire student body. I will continually strive to provide clarity on what the Student Fee Committee does, and how we come to the decisions that we do.”
While the Corvallis campus’ student government holds its elections in February, ASCC holds its elections during spring term.
“ASCC is in the beginning steps of identifying the members of their elections committee,” said Kristen Martin, associate director of Student Life at OSU-Cascades. “Once students have accepted the invite to serve on the committee, they will meet to set the elections timeline and process.”
The election process, according to Martin, is set by the ASCC, and the exact details will not be chosen until the committee meets for the first time. The ASCC elections committee is appointed by the student leaders of ASCC.
However, in the meantime, the new leadership is ready to rise to the task of meeting the needs of the student body.
“She is very [knowledgeable] and has been doing an amazing job,” Elwefati said of Banderas. “The VP job is very difficult and with some very important budgeting decisions and student fee planning for next year happening right now, she was the most qualified person to take over.”