Hopeful student candidates lined up and presented their electoral speeches about student affairs on Tuesday afternoon at the campus quad, conveying to the audience why they should be elected for next year’s Associated Students (AS) executive board.
Carrie Afuso, a student life advisor at PCC, spearheaded the student forum by introducing the candidates. In the electoral campaign, 12 students are running for a legislative or executive branch, some office positions remaining uncontested. Board positions that remain uncontested are VP for Academic Affairs, VP for Executive Affairs and VP for Cultural Diversity, according to Afuso.
VP for Executive Affairs candidate Sadia Khan was the first to speak about her role. The role, according to Afuso, entails representing students at a local level, talking to city council and advocating for legislation. Khan noted her commitment towards executive affairs comes from public speaking. She plans to make FAFSA more inclusive for all students and have their concerns “reflected to the outside world.”
“I have a passion for public speaking and making sure that people’s concerns are heard,” Khan said. “For the upcoming school year, I plan on making [PCC] more affordable, first by taking a look at textbooks…and by working to make second year at community colleges free of cost.”
The second candidate to speak was Faith Sy Go, running for VP for Cultural Diversity. Go expressed the idea that PCC students “all come from different backgrounds” and said that she wants the campus to “grow and learn from each other” because of PCC’s diverse student population.
“We see differences in ethnicities, including religion and sexual orientation,” Go said. “And this is something that I want, as a campus, to celebrate with each other.”
Students running for Chief Justice are Andrew Mendoza and Madeline King. The position is a non-voting member of the executive board that is responsible for “liaising between the Supreme Council and the Executive Board,” according to PCC’s executive board website.
Mendoza emphasized his political background from working at the Los Angeles Superior court and said that he can incorporate his skills as Chief Justice.
“My experience with the Los Angeles court and with city hall really make me a powerful player here,” Mendoza said. “I can bring the experiences I have [to the campus].”
Involved in three different AS committees and the Supreme Council for a year, King said that “the biggest issue” is the “transparency” between AS, the Supreme Council and the students.
“I plan to [liaise] through holding events and getting more even-leveled communication between students and the Supreme Council,” King said. “[The students] are entrusting us to handle club [constitutions].”
Elaine He, who is involved in the “Students for Students” campaign, is running for VP for Student Services. He described herself as a “willing person” and stressed that communication was essential in working as a team between AS and the students.
“Communication is the most important thing to me,” He said. “I encourage [students] to talk to me and work with me as a team.”
Dan You is also running for the same position. You explained that being involved in AS isn’t primarily about “a group of students that get elected,” but noted that they are also a part of PCC. He said that his position would entail working with PCC’s services and being a “voice for students.”
Following You’s speech, the next student that spoke was VP for Public Affairs candidate Royce Ho. Ho said that he wants to make “AS more available towards the students,” by giving students “more opportunities to [voice] their concern.”
Involved in the Publicity committee and Cultural Diversity committee, Alex Sarkissian is also running for the same position. Sarkissian focused on the idea of “promoting new ideas of student involvement” through creating Snapchat geofilters for PCC.
“I am running to promote student involvement, reach out to struggling clubs who need assistance and create events [for students] to feel celebrated—not tolerated—on campus,” Sarkissian said.
Up next was VP for Academic Affairs candidate Sana Padival. Pavidal emphasized that cultural and extracurricular activities were as important as academics. She plans to implement events that bridge the connection between students and professors.
“The main reason why most students don’t want to go to school is because they don’t have a relationship with their students, their professors, or with their friends,” Padival said. “I believe that fostering a relationship can actually make students go to school, ask questions and seek help from them.”
After Padival gave her speech, Han Ye began his candidate speech for the position of Campus Activities. In his speech, Ye said that PCC “lacked the fundamental of a community” and he wants to change this issue by “harboring education and communication” through hosting events.
Timothy Hu is running for the position of Business Affairs. Hu intends to meet with various faculty and administration to understand their positions, in order to “refer back” to the student’s needs.
Lastly, Dionne Shelton is running for the position of Executive VP. Working as an inter-club council coach, Shelton described how she gained a strong support network by joining various clubs and meeting a wide range of students. She plans to ensure that clubs and campus organizations have “the support they need to accomplish their goals.”
Voting occurs on May 9 through May 10. Students can vote in-person through casting a ballot or vote online through Lancerpoint.
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