Student elections: what you need to know

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Campaign season for the Associated Students (AS) executive board has officially begun, as the list for qualified candidates was posted last week and campaigning started on Monday.

The executive board serves as the student’s representative body, who are responsible for presenting events, overseeing operations of student-led groups on campus and managing the Associated Students of PCC (ASPCC) budget, according to their website. AS members all participate in shared governance, planning activities and making improvements in their respective domains, often with the help of students in their various committees.

Of all of the available positions, there are four with only one student running: Kiely Lam for President, Christopher Morales for Executive Vice President, Dominic Ypil for V.P. for Student Services and Yulian Zhang for V.P. for Campus Activities. There are no candidates running for V.P. of Public Relations.

Lam served as the VP for Cultural Diversity over the 2016-2017 academic year and is the only candidate who decided to run again for next year’s executive board.

“Although I am running unopposed, my passion to give back, practicality and transparency should set me apart,” said Lam. “This is more than just a leadership role to me or something to put on my transcript. As president, I can have the chance to give back to the campus by dedicating my time to serve and fight for student’s needs.”

Other candidates in the running are:

  • V.P. for Academic Affairs: Jude Khatib and Jade Lee
  • V.P. for External Services: Gabrielle Guo and Jodee Ooi
  • V.P. for Cultural Diversity: Yahia Haggag and Yarenni Reyes
  • V.P. for Sustainability: Tara Agahi, Taylor Heo and Adrienne Talisay
  • V.P. for Business Affairs: Alejandro Chavez and Nicholas Chi
  • Chief Justice of the Supreme Council: Adrian Casillas and Joseph Heupler
  • Student Trustee: Byron Briones, Emily Ekshian and Remmy Selevco

I feel that institutions like PCC are undervalued and I want to know what the students themselves are concerned about, whether it be financial aid, transportation, textbook costs, campus environment, food costs, or anything else,” said Guo, an English major and candidate for VP for External Services. “By emphasizing a direct connection to students during events, I’ll be able to effectively represent their needs, if elected.”

Along with Lam, many candidates were already involved with AS this past academic year through the many committees on campus; some are involved in more than one.

  • Supreme Council: Adrian Casillas and Joseph Huepler
  • Academic Commission: Byron Briones, Gabrielle Guo and Jade Lee
  • Finance: Nicholas Chi, Kiely Lam and Jade Lee
  • Student Trustee Ad-Hoc: Tara Agahi, Byron Briones and Adrian Casillas
  • Lobby: Byron Briones, Adrian Casillas and Gabrielle Guo
  • Publicity: Emily Ekshian, Jude Khatib and Yulian Zhang
  • Campus Activities: Dominic Ypil and Yulian Zhang
  • Student Services: Gabrielle Guo and Dominic Ypil
  • Cultural Diversity: Kiely Lam, Yahia Haggag and Yulian Zhang
  • Sustainability: Yarenni Reyes

Among other things, committees are responsible for hosting many of the popular on-campus events, such as Finals Relaxation Week and homecoming, as well as assisting each respective vice president.

“[This year], our Executive Board worked very well together, supporting one another in our efforts to bring awareness to Associated Students and our events on campus,” said outgoing AS President Julia Russo. “Despite being thrown into an unprecedented semester with the outcome of the presidential election, we believe we were a voice for our students, lobbying in Washington D.C., and providing support for our students during this time of uncertainty.”

When asked what her plans are if elected onto AS, freshman biology major Reyes said “[if elected] as VP of Cultural Diversity, I will will focus more on minority groups that are often times not looked at. At the same time I will have events that discuss the importance of the LGBTQ society. I truly believe everyone should be treated equally, no matter their religion, sex or where they come from.”

There are also two slates up for election, Lancers for Liberty and United Students for Equity, which are essentially just two different groups of potential AS members who have similar goals and aspirations when it comes to their service on the executive board. Candidates can be voted for individually, but the slate that they are running with will appear next to their names.

Candidates are able to campaign for one week, however all of their posters and publicity need to be approved by Student Affairs Advisor Carrie Afuso and must be taken down by 4 p.m. this Friday. They are also restricted from campaigning in the Office of Student Life (CC-105) or in the AS office.

Voting begins May 24 at 12:01 a.m. and ends on May 25 at 11:59 p.m. Additionally, candidates will be holding forums Tuesday and Thursday from 12-1 p.m. in Galloway Plaza. The new AS board will be announced by 4 p.m. on May 26.

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