AS Vice President/International Studies

Alex Van Dertol“I started out in the Psychology Club, and I got so much more information about all that is offered here. The club just opened everything up for me.”

Alex Van Dertol—even though he makes the long haul from Hawthorne—loves his role as Associated Students (AS) Vice President. “The VP position allows me to meaningfully connect with all the clubs and help them to succeed. I get the chance to develop my own agenda,” says Alex. “And mine has been creating, with my colleague Dan Tran, the CEP Program. That stands for Civic Engagement Program, which is a volunteering effort that we host. We do things like getting volunteers to go serve food at a soup kitchen, for instance.”

But Alex also has his eyes on other prizes that he hopes to offer his fellow students. “I’m facilitating what we’re calling ‘Open Forums’—events where people can go and express their wants and needs to their representatives. And to help each other as well. They’ll learn about pertinent topics occurring locally and abroad.” Informational exchange is what Alex believes to be key to success at SMC. “When you first get here, really ask questions from everyone. I have learned so much from just listening to people. And I went to every single meeting of the last AS Board, and learned so much. It inspired me to start my career in a definite leadership role.”

The ‘career’ Alex envisions is one that he hopes will keep him right in the thick of the world’s most crucial issues. “I want to be a facilitator through Urban Studies to help nations that might not have the biggest tax base. I want to help fix the problems of cities worldwide. And who knows? I might just end up helping fix cities in Africa. Or America.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.