Student president has a vision for campus

Leadership is a quality that can’t always be quantified within any one person, but it is the sort of quality that becomes readily apparent once it is seen in action.

The newest Associated Students of Cosumnes River College President D.J. Mitchell has a vision for what being a leader means.

“Being a leader is being able to work together with a group of people and not let the power go to your head, because as soon as that happens then nobody else’s ideas are going to matter to you,” Mitchell said. “So by being a leader, a good leader, you have to be able to bring your own ideas to the table but also be humble enough that if somebody’s idea is better than yours to let them take the lead on whatever you are doing and just step back and help out.”

Taking the lead was something that Mitchell said he was inspired to do in his first year at CRC, when he served as the director of legislative affairs in the Student Senate.

 Students were not aware of the Student Senate and what they do, students were not involved and projects were not being carried out to their full capacity, Mitchell said.

As ASCRC President for this term, Mitchell has clear goals in mind.

“I really had a vision for how to get students more involved and that became my passion,” Mitchell said. “The biggest thing was just getting the word out that the ASCRC is here to advocate for students and to create more events on campus to get students involved.”

Student Senate Senator Joseph Johnson’s vision for leadership is something he has in common with Mitchell.

“Listening to others, actually following through on what you say you’re going to do, actually being involved with the actual team and everything that is happening,” Johnson said. “You can lead from behind but you are still leading. As a leader you need to be accessible and communicate and actually have followed through on what they do and say.”

Mitchell attributes much of his leadership experience to what he has learned from being on the Student Senate the past two terms and his time at CRC in general. One other place that Mitchell said he learned to be a leader was from team sports.

“A lot of my leadership skills also come from team sports,” Mitchell said. “Being able to work in a team, each person’s doing some different piece that is helping you reach your final goal, which in sports was a championship.”

Mitchell said he played baseball, basketball, football and soccer before he began to transition into politics.

Those experiences have translated into the way that Mitchell leads the student government. ASCRC Secretary Katelyn Rodriguez said that Mitchell has something that most people don’t have that it takes to make a great leader.

“Being a good leader requires a lot of patience and a lot of knowing what is going on at what time,” Rodriguez said. “There are a lot of people that aren’t on top of things and just don’t have what it takes. To be a great leader is more than that, you have to have the personality it takes, the stamina it takes and [the] energy, and I’d have to have some practice to do what D.J. does because right now, I just couldn’t do it.”

While patience is key in Rodriguez’s view of being a leader, there is one thing that Mitchell felt was most important.

“Being able to trust the team that you have put together,” Mitchell said. “Having faith in them to be able to accomplish the task just as well or better than you can, I think is one of the most important parts of being a leader.”