Mya Leonhard has been appointed president of the Associated Students of Highline College (ASHC), filling a vacancy that had existed since spring.
Leonhard previously was speaker of the caucus. Last spring’s election saw only one candidate, Anita Wambui, who was elected vice president unopposed.
“With support from her team, our ASHC speaker [of] the caucus has stepped up and accepted the role of president for the 2021-2022 academic year,” Student Government adviser Thomas Bui said of Leonhard.
“After reviewing our constitution and a discussion with our executive team, we weighed many different options and scenarios to fill the role of president this year with no initial candidate during our regular spring election,” said Thomas Bui.
“We enacted a constitutional amendment that allowed either one of our confirmed ASHC officers the opportunity to take on the role as president when there is a vacancy in the position,” Bui explained.
Latieya Thomas is the student government’s new speaker of the caucus.
Leonhard had multiple discussions with Bui, and Anita Wambui, the vice president of the student government; it was decided that she would be best for the role.
“We decided it would be best if I took on the role since finding a candidate and going through the voting process for a president would be more extensive than finding a new speaker of the caucus,” Leonhard said.
Leonhard used to attend the bi-weekly ASHC meetings when they were being held in person and participated in voting as a club member.
Now, she sits on the other side of the table with the student government during council meetings.
Leonhard recalls being a club member and feeling “intimidated [from] walking into a meeting room with the student government sitting across from me.” Leonhard said. “Now I am one of them, I don’t know why I was so intimidated because ASHC loves hearing from students and being able to represent student voices.”
The role of the ASHC president is to act as the main advocate for the student body and government by taking on the role of liaison to the administration and Board of Trustees.
The president is to provide leadership, organization of the student council’s actions, and serve as the students representative.
After getting her AA, Leonhard plans to transfer to the University of Washington, Seattle, for a B.A. in psychology.
“It’s important to take a step back from our busy lives the best we can,” Leonhard said.
Leonhard hopes to share with the students of highline that when life gets busy, “find[ing] a system that works for you and sticking to it can be crucial to your success both as a student, but also more importantly, as a person.”
With the president’s position filled, and a vacant spot for the speaker of the caucus, the ASHC released an application to fill in the open position during the summer.
“We interviewed multiple candidates and selected to hire Latieya Thomas,” Bui said.
Thomas was confirmed at the first council meeting on October 5. She is majoring in respiratory care.
The role of the speaker of the caucus is to serve as the representative for the needs and concerts of the caucus community in student government.
The speaker of the caucus is responsible for organizing the growth and development of the caucus program.
“I put in an application and once it was reviewed, I had two interviews. The first interview was with management and the second one was with all of the members of the ASHC.” Thomas said, in reference to the application process.
“The interview was guided towards my experience with advocating for students. ‘How did I want to help students with my background being a student?’” said Thomas.
Thomas, as a fellow student, hopes for the students of Highline to, “work hard at what they want in life, never give up and always start [the] day off with a positive mindset.”
With all the positions of the student government filled, the ASHC student government heads into the 2021-2022 year with a full team.