Derek Fletcher, student body president of South Puget Sound Community College, lives to serve his community and works to meet the needs of the students.
Fletcher is a second year majoring in economics and wants to continue his education after graduating from SPSCC.
“I’ll be going for my master’s degree. I might go to law school. That’s still up in the air right now,” said Fletcher.
Plans for the future aside, his real passion is simply serving others. “What I really like is being able to serve the community,” said Fletcher.
Serving as part of the team is what he does best as student body president.
“Basically my main job is to lead the student senate. Not so much as a president, but more as part of the team. It’s really not a position of power but it’s more of a position of making sure things stay on track,” he said.
Fletcher has found that it is not difficult to find out what the school’s needs are.
“Our faculty and our students are pretty happy to talk about what’s going on,” he said.
The majority of issues Fletcher addresses with the senate come from students, who openly discuss their problems with senate members.
“At our events when we talk to students, we try to ask them how things are going. Usually they just come up to us and tell us things,” said Fletcher.
Once the senate knows what the students needs are, they meet together and discuss the issue.
“Then we will come and talk about it in a senate meeting, and after we’ll talk about who wants to lead this, who wants to do some research into this and see what’s going on,” said Fletcher.
This is the beginning of the process for Fletcher and the senate.
“From that we can then decide on what to do for our next step,” said Fletcher.
However, the needs of the individual student do not always match the needs of the student body as a whole.
“While we may still sympathize with that student, we still have to think about, ‘Okay, is making this change for this one student, how will that hurt or help the rest of the students?’” said Fletcher.
Every quarter, at the senate open house, Fletcher conducts surveys in which students can explain their needs, so that the senate can better understand the wishes of the whole.
“That’s a great time for students to give us their opinions on anything,” said Fletcher.
According to Fletcher, there are a few difficulties in getting student involvement. The fact that there is no on-campus housing is one such difficulty.
“It’s hard because students come and leave. It’s not like a university where students come and they stay in the SUB all day, and they go home, but home is still the university,” said Fletcher.
Since students don’t live on campus, it presents more challenges when trying to foster a sense of community at SPSCC.
“Here, some students just come to one class and go home; they don’t have that break period between classes. So it’s hard to hit every student and what’s going on with them,” he said.
However, Fletcher and the senate try their hardest to help create a community and a safe place for dialogue.
“We definitely take as many opportunities with students as possible. We try to let the students know that the senate is there,” said Fletcher.