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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Meet your Senate president; Leader Melody Jimenez gives City College students a voice

City College Student Senate President Melody Jimenez addresses students and faculty at the weekly Student Senate meeting held in Rodda Hall North. Ulysses Ruiz | Staff Photographer |
City College Student Senate President Melody Jimenez addresses students and faculty at the weekly
Student Senate meeting held in Rodda Hall North. Ulysses Ruiz | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

Maxfield Morris Features Editor · maxfi [email protected]

Melody Jimenez is no-nonsense when it comes to her job as president of the Student Senate at City College. She’s also very humble about her role. When she walks around the campus, she doesn’t feel like a president.

“I just feel like a normal person,” says Jimenez. “I just happen to have more responsibilities, that’s it.”

Jimenez, a second-year political science major, didn’t originally run for president in the April 2016 election — she ran for, and was elected as, the secretary of Legislative Affairs, the same position she held the year before. That wasn’t the end of it, though. There was something a little bizarre about the election.

“In the original elections, no one ran for president,” says Jimenez. “The board had to decide what to do about that. Either we could wait until the new year starts or have an interim now and have someone voted in officially at the start of the year.”

The board opted for an interim president in the hope that it would keep things from falling through the cracks. A total of three candidates were nominated for the position, including Jimenez.

“I needed to take an initiative, I couldn’t just let that spot sit there,” says Jimenez, “because I know that as a leader, I just needed to step up.”

Ultimately, she was chosen and served in an interim capacity during the summer and was officially sworn in as president of the Student Senate during the first week of school in August.

Since then, Jimenez has passionately worked to fulfill her presidential duties. One of the primary aspects of her role is to appoint people to on-campus committees, such as the Student Equity and the Campus Development committees.

“Right now I want to make sure that there’s a student voice on all of the shared governance committees,” says Jimenez. “Student voices have to be in those conversations. That’s one of my big goals.”

Another of Jimenez’s goals is to work to address a number of pressing social issues, including mental health treatment and helping homeless students.

“I helped advocate for a bill called AB-2017, which would allocate more money to the mental health services of all of California,” says Jimenez. “I also care about our homeless students … There was a bill, AB-1995, that I helped advocate for, which was for homeless students to have access to showers on campus.”

Though AB-2017 was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Jimenez makes it clear that she isn’t giving up on the cause.
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“If it comes up again, I’m going to make sure that we advocate for that bill as hard as we can,” says Jimenez. “That includes making calls to legislators, going down and dropping into offices, actually attending the legislative hearings more often. That’s something I’m planning to do if it comes up again next year.”

Jimenez works alongside students who are determined to help others.

“One of our senators on our board is having a big initiative on addressing the needs of homeless students on campus,” says Jimenez. “She’s been helping our campus food pantry over at RISE.”

Student Senate Vice President Raymond Concha has worked with Jimenez for the past year, and he has seen her continued efforts.

“Melody is very passionate about the topics and the issues that she has experience in,” says Concha. “Seeing her grow throughout the past couple of months and being more confident about herself and her abilities … has been pretty awesome to see.”

Aside from her continued advocacy for legislation that benefit students, Jimenez is also largely responsible for communication between student government and the administration. She has monthly meetings with City College Interim President Michael Poindexter and Vice President of Student Services Debra Luff.

“Basically we talk about what’s on our plates, what’s on our agendas as far as the Student Associated Council goes,” says Jimenez. “If we have any initiatives coming up, we want to share it with the VP of Student Services and the president of the college to make sure they know what we’re doing.”

In describing herself on a personal level, Jimenez stresses that she really enjoys the political process.

“I like politics. That’s really broad, but I like having to think about issues that are affecting us, and I like forming ways that I can help progress a certain issue or how I can address it,” says Jimenez. “My voice can be just as powerful as someone who’s more outspoken than me.”

After a slightly hesitant start, Jimenez is immersing herself more and more into the presidential position.

“At first I was a little nervous. I was worried about not sounding confident enough, I was worried about how people would see me in the new position,” says Jimenez. “It was a very big challenge for me to get over. But now each day I’m getting more and more confident in the things that I’m advocating for and the things that I’m doing for students.”

Jimenez is passionate about giving the students of City College a voice to address their needs, and as Student Senate president, she has the opportunity to do just that.

“This was a challenge that I was willing to take,” says Jimenez. “And I also just care about students. I just care.”

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