Voting set to begin for student government elections

83
0
SHARE

With Associated Student Body Government election season beginning, students say little information is leaving them with questions going into next week’s voting period. Those running for office have begun reaching out to students and passing out flyers. However, many students are not yet aware of the student government elections.
“I never saw anything about voting,” said student Carolina Quezada. “There is only one person that I ever heard was running for student
government and that was last year. I’ve been here for four years and only heard of it once.”
There have been a lot of changes within the student government this past year. Many officers were new to their positions. Additionally, less money was spent overall this school year compared to previous years. Out of the $400,000 in ASBG reserves, only $60,000 has been used so far this school year, according to ASBG President Nicholas Aguirre.
When Aguirre campaigned last year, he was hoping to bring a student health center or gym to campus, but wasn’t able to after the flea
market was removed from ASBG’s control.
“We had to be mindful, because without any fund revenue and without the flea market we would spend $200,000 and there will be nothing left for next year’s board,” said Aguirre. Even with the loss of the flea market revenue, ASBG has been able to aid the student community, creating three new
scholarships for students participating in extracurricular activities.
The governing body also supported some campus clubs. ASBG also gave money to the Puente Club for its annual Southern California field trip and to the Writer’s Guild’s for the club’s April 14 writer’s workshop.
ASBG also provided food and entertainment for College Hour activities.
“We always do things for the students that will benefit them,” said Aguirre.
Some student government officers have also taken it upon themselves to notify students about important issues that affect them, such as
budget cuts and fee increases. But there have been issues directly contacting students. “We can’t directly email students,” said Aguirre. “We have a general email where we list all the week’s events, but it’s a hindrance we
can’t get to students on a specific issue.”
The ASBG has a Facebook page with nearly 200 friends, but it is not regularly updated. 
“In the past, the ASBG Facebook wasn’t utilized right, but to me whether we use it or not doesn’t show if we did a good job or not this
year,” said Aguirre. “That doesn’t mean I’m not meeting the administrators or that I’m not telling them how it is and what we think.”
In support of students, some members of the ASBG, including Aguirre, recently traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with Congressman Jerry McNerney to discuss pieces of legislation. One bill concerns a student loan forgiveness act, and the other is to prevent raising the student loan percentage rate.
A bigger issue for students on campus is a perceived lack of access to ASBG officers.
The posted hours for the ASBG office are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“Every time I pass by the student government I noticed it’s never open when it’s supposed to. It’s supposed to open at 9 a.m. and I not
once have seen anyone there at that time,” said Quezada. “That’s very inconvenient for students who actually use and need their services.”
Aguirre said ASBG officers are not given keys to the office.
“If our advisor, Aja Butler, isn’t here then we have to call campus police or the VP’s office, and it’s a struggle to get into the office. I can’t count how many times we’ve been out there waiting around until 9:20 or 9:30,” he said.
Aguirre said he would not be running for re-election. He said he will be transferring to University of the Pacific in the fall.
Candidates can file papers to run through the end of today.
Last year there were about 200 students who voted, and they expect the same turnout this year.
However, this year a new system leaves paper ballots behind in lieu of online voting through the school’s website.
The elections run through May 3.