City College ASG president navigates challenges of college, COVID-19

Destiny Gallegos-Munoz wraps up her term as president this semester

ASG President at City College

Destiny Gallegos-Munoz, ASG president, leads the student body through the COVID-19 pandemic. SDCCD photo

Will Mauriz, Multimedia Journalist

Destiny Gallegos-Munoz recalled back to her first day as a freshman at San Diego City College, looking at flyers swirling around campus advertising the Associated Student Government.

“Where is the M building?” Gallegos-Munoz remembered asking.

The current Associated Students Government president now knows the building well. It houses the ASG of City College, the governing body that finances, organizes, and directs many student-sponsored programs and activities at City College.

“From the beginning, I was trying to get involved,” Gallegos said. “When I found the ASG I was the only person there. I put myself there. I was motivated to keep involved.”  

The first day of school often means a new beginning or new opportunity, but for Gallegos, it meant another way to get involved in the City College community she joined.

Gallegos found people in ASG who became her friends along with inspiration from the previous president. She became a senator in her first year.

When COVID-19 hit, it closed down all facilities and presented the challenge of communicating with the student body remotely. 

Gallegos had to take time to deal with the reality of having to operate in a virtual world.

She stayed in her position to reach out to student senators and board members to “advocate in your classes and to your professors.” 

Gallegos coordinated and streamed YouTube meetings and scheduled as many events as possible to engage with the student body.

She explained it’s a long and hard process to get into the role of president and being part of the senate. She describes the process of settling into her role as ASG president as long and hard.  

“Emails all day. Huge coordination challenges,” Gallegos said. “You do not always have the motivation because of family, work, and relationships. It’s a struggle for sure. But I always put time aside and focused on time management.”

With Gallegos’ term coming to end in a couple of months, she can reflect. 

“One of the greatest experiences is trying to get students involved,” Gallegos said. “We are struggling with student involvement. Students may not know that experience in ASG helps acceptance with educational goals like transferring colleges.” 

The reality is students have been faced with more commitments like health, employment and family in the face of COVID-19.

“People’s lives have changed so drastically, having to take care of your brothers and sisters and to get a job,”said Lori Oldham, Student Affairs supervisor, “adapting to the conditions presented.”

As of spring 2020, 88% of the student population are taking less than 12 units, per census information according to Tableu Public.

 Students like Gallegos still want to make an impact. 

ASG is a group of seven to eight students and currently short-staffed. 

“When I first joined first I was senator, then vice president, then president,” Gallegos said. 

She has been also involved as a peer advocate and member of PUENTE, describing it as “a cohort group where you learn from Chicano perspective to learn about my culture.” 

She has been able to credit her success to these opportunities and involvement.

“Destiny has been the glue that holds all the team together. She has been able to coach and counsel to get through things,” Oldham said.

Making a difference means sacrificing time you may not think you have. 

“ASG, it’s like a family,” Gallegos said. “A place where you can make a difference for students on campus. Look at everything they accomplished, especially during a pandemic.”

Gallegos loves to volunteer in community programs and working with children. She was a pro-active student but lacked resources to cover many costs.

She took public transportation to City.

 “It was hard to pay both ways. I would stay late on campus for classes,” Gallegos said.

She became an Ambassador for the City of National City while serving as Miss National City 2018

After almost three busy years, plans for Gallegos include transferring into the UC system as a political science major. 

“I want to see what the future generation does,” Gallegos said. ”My main goal is to leave nothing but success for future generations after me.”