Alpha Gamma Sigma gets a breath of fresh air

Justine Banal

Fullerton College’s chapter of Alpha Gamma Sigma was on the verge of ending until a group of freshman honors students decided to revive it.

AGS board
Bottom row: Janki Sukhadia, Catherine Young, April Santonil, Yena Yang
Top row: JP Dabu, Skyler Hardin, Ivan Espinosa, Jason Kim, Changho Kim Photo credit: Courtesy of Catherine Young

AGS is an honor society for California community college students that promotes scholarship, character and civic responsibility. It has been a part of FC student life since 1926, but over the summer the only remaining member from the previous year’s board, Leny Biala, had to step down as the president.

“I needed to focus on school and myself,” Biala said.

Unwilling to let the club come to an end, Jodi Balma, the honors program coordinator, enlisted the help of honors program students to fill the board positions.

“I knew that our honors students were going to step up,” Balma said. “I wasn’t sure who but AGS is too important to the school and to the students to not have it continue.”

The positions were eventually filled by members of the Freshman Cohort, a group of new honors students enrolled in Honors Introduction to American Government, Honors Introduction to Sociology, Honors College Writing and Honors Introduction to Research classes.

“The students in the freshman cohort are really active and engaged,” Balma said. “Because they have 3 classes together during the week, it was easy for them to take on a joint project, which is one of the goals of the cohort, to get them more involved.”

The club places emphasis on community outreach and service, including volunteering at Commonwealth Elementary School, holding campus cleanups and participating in club rushes and school events.

“We found that it was a lot about community service and all of us had done a lot of community service, so we were happy that it was something we’d already done and that we like to do,” said Janki Sukhadia, co-vice president.

The AGS board is very non-traditional compared to other groups. Most clubs on campus have four or five positions on their board filled by their most senior members: a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and Inter-Club Council representative. However, not only was AGS board comprised of all freshmen, but it has two representatives in each board position and one ICC rep.

“We decided to have such a big board because we thought that as freshmen, this was really going to stress us out, especially with one person per position,” said Catherine Young, co-vice president. “A lot of people wanted to help revive AGS so we decided to split up the responsibilities.”

Though taking on this responsibility in her first year seemed intimidating at first, Young said it was worth beginning her student involvement early on.

“I didn’t want to be that person who parks and then goes to school and then goes home. I think AGS sounded like a really cool club, especially since it was an honors club,” Young said. “We want to reestablish the club as a dominating club on campus to what it was before.”

AGS is not exclusive to students enrolled in the honors program. Club meetings are every other Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. in Room 1429 starting on Oct. 7.