Council of Student Leaders

The Council of Student Leaders (CSL) is Scottsdale Community College’s form of a student government. We are a council because we officially do not “govern,” but rather exist to represent student needs, provide funding for student activities and clubs, and serve as an official voice of the student body. We are also provided opportunities for growth in leadership skills and self-awareness. CSL meets every Thursday from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. This year, we meet virtually due to Covid-19.

For over the past 20 years, CSL (formerly known as the Student Leadership Forum) has been made up of a diverse group of individuals with varying backgrounds who have come together for the same reasons: represent their student body and further develop themselves as leaders. Members have been parents, returning students, veterans, athletes and international students, to name just a few. The majority have gone on to become successful and engaged citizens of our ever-changing global society. I am fortunate to serve as their advisor for the past 9 years and watch these individuals make a difference where it matters to them. – Jen Sydow, Advisor

Artie the Artichoke

Artie the Artichoke
Artie the Artichoke
Scottsdale, AZ
Major: Spreading cheer
“The best kind of leader is one with a heart.”

Remember the student protests? Nah, me neither. But here’s how it went:

“Not my mascot!”


“It’s a funny, cute, mockery.”

SCC students hear it all the time: “Aren’t you guys like the Brussel Sprouts or something?” The proud SCC student will correct them, “No, we are the Artichokes.” However, many aren’t aware of how we got our mascot in the first place.

SCC was founded in 1970. Like many other colleges, the school wanted to use athletics to increase the popularity and marketability of the college. This included recruiting athletes from out of state with the new college’s limited scholarship fund.

By 1972, there was a 1.7 million dollar gym towering over the rusted portable homes that were used as classroom space. The plan was to make the “SCC Dovers” a Junior College athletic power, to the dismay of the academic minds on campus.

A few years later, the administration asked the student body what it wanted to change the mascot to. The student government facetiously gave the student body three options:  the Artichoke, the Rutabaga, or the Scoundrels. After the Artichoke won, an infuriated administration called for a re-election due the low turnout (11% of the student population).

The war raged on: the athletics department versus the academically-driven student body. The following week, there was a re-election. Well, we all know the result. The Artichoke won by a wide margin. After several years of division and turmoil over the mascot, the Artichoke has become a delightful quirk on the SCC campus.

Is it weird? Yes. Does make any sense for a college mascot? According to convention, no. Is it easy to forget? Of course not, and that’s what makes the Artichoke so special. In fact, not just the Artichoke, we are the FIGHTING ARTICHOKES who can be recognized down the street during a parade in Old Town Scottsdale: “Here comes Artie!!”

About Us

The 2021-22 Council of Student Leaders consists of four Executive Officers.​

Sarah Drennon

James Gaspar
Co -Chair
Phoenix, AZ
Major: Audio Production & Disc Jockey
“I hope to make an impact on at least one person’s life for the better.

Patrick Bills
Gehrig Duarte

Vice Chair
Sierra Vista, AZ
Major: Film Studies
I hope that I can make the transition back to in person learning go smoothly and get students excited for on campus events again.
Gabby CoonsGabby Coons
Co-Chair & Special Events Manager
Peoria, AZ
Major: Administration of Justice
“If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Camilla O'donnell Saavedra
Camilla O’donnell Saavedra
Public Relations Manager
Phoenix, AZ
Major: Film Studies
“Let’s do what we love, and let’s do a lot of it.”



Every year, CSL’s Public Relations Committee publishes quarterly newsletters highlighting the events and activities of SCC’s clubs and organizations. If you are a club or organization and want to submit an article for the next newsletter, contact the CSL advisor, Jen Sydow, to find out how.

2016 Fall Issues I & II (coming soon)
2016 Spring Issue III & IV
2015 Fall Issue II
2015 Fall Issue I
2015 Spring Issue III & IV
2014 Fall Issue II
2014 Fall Issue I
2014 Spring Issue IV
2014 Spring Issue III
2013 Fall Issue II
2013 Fall Issue I


What do we do all year long? Here’s a glimpse into some of our past events and activities.