Joseph Hassine is the newly-elected president of Saddleback College’s Associated Student Government. (Courtesy of J. Hassine)
Joseph Hassine, new president of the Associated Student Government at Saddleback College, accepted his new role with enthusiasm to bring forth fresh ideas and a positive spirit.
The new ASG team was announced April 21. As elections came to a close, Hassine was the chosen candidate, winning by 66 more votes than his competitor.
Competitor Justin Huft is an ASG member whom Hassine holds in high regard and trusts his leadership capabilities.
“He (Huft) was an essential member of ASG this year and he would have been a great president,” Hassine said. “I’m confident that either of us would have done an excellent job.”
Huft refused to comment about the election.
Saddleback’s large population, with little chance to get to know one another makes for a rather tricky election. But as confirmation of Hassine’s abilities, he says he has ample experience in leadership both in high school and in college.
“It’s hard to predict an election like this. Saddleback has about 26,000 students total, and the vote could have gone either way,” Hassine said.
Hassine graduated from Tesoro High School in 2010. This is where his love for student leadership began.
Being the first member of Saddleback’s ASG team to be accepted, Hassine said he was coached and encouraged to aim high by his peers from the start.
“I knew I wanted to be a member of ASG leadership as soon as I became a member almost a year ago,” Hassine said. “Melissa, the current president, put the idea of running for president in my head and I’ve planned on running since October of last year.”
“Joseph has a great energy and strong passion for learning in any situation he puts himself in,” said current ASG president Melissa Fenerci. “I think as a leader, he’s going to be great because of his strong work ethic and his devotion to ASG”
Now that he has overcome the hurdle to become president of ASG, Hassine will begin to come across more hurdles with his new title and says he hopes to change the scene of Saddleback.
“For the most part, Saddleback students are focused on getting their school work done and getting out,” Hassine said. “I’d like to make Saddleback a more fun, student-oriented college campus.”
Within his own team, Hassine says he wants to prepare the members of ASG for their positions, defining the duties of all, and making sure that everyone is suited to their positions.
In an attempt to create a team that represents the many faces of Saddleback as a whole, Hassine and other group members, “revised the ASG bylaws and we plan on implementing them during the 2011-2012 school year.”
As Hassine’s second year at Saddleback approaches, Hassine will have to manage the juggling act of being an active member of his school while also preparing to transfer.
He plans to transfer to either University of California, Los Angeles or UC Berkeley in fall 2012 as a sociology major, then pursue a master’s degree in business. Whether he will attempt to take on leadership roles once he transfers and later in life is still up in the air for Hassine.