Elections to reshuffle ASU Board

By Lorenzo Morotti, Associate Editor

Students at Contra Costa College can vote for the next Associated Student Union (ASU) president, vice president and parliamentarian starting on Monday in the Student Lounge.

The ASU is the legislative body capable of bolstering campus culture by hosting events, funding student-based community projects, and representing the voice of CCC students at the district, state and national level.

“We have a really diverse board,” current ASU Vice President Alexander Walker-Griffin said. “All the California community college ASUs table together, so I know a lot of people on ASU boards from Eureka down to the Mexico border — and ours is very diverse.”

Out of the 13 active ASU members five hold executive positions that are up for election. These include the position of president, vice president of club affairs, secretary and parliamentarian.

And out of six nominations, which also includes bids for the roles of director of public relations and director of training and recruitment, only three members are in the running for a new position on the ASU Board.

The three candidates, who are running unopposed, can campaign on bulletin boards, by word of mouth and on social media until Friday.

Per the ASU Bylaws, a candidate must be an ASU senator in good standing for at least one semester, have a GPA of 2.0 and not be on social or academic probation to be eligible to run for an executive position on the board.

ASU Elections Committee member Jose Arebalo said the polling station will be located inside the Student Lounge on the first floor of the Student and Administration building starting at 10 a.m. on Monday.

Arebalo said the Elections Committee, comprised of three active members, is responsible for ensuring that the candidates campaign within the ASU’s policies and procedures.

He said candidates are required to remove all campaign material before the voting period begins on Monday, and they must not violate any of the bylaws while campaigning.

“Posting any campaign posters on doors or walls is not allowed and they will be taken down,” he said. “Candidates also can’t be endorsed by anyone in the ASU or exceed $50 in campaign materials.”

Also, he said once the polling locations are set up the candidates are not allowed to influence voters or try to sway the election results within 50 feet of an open polling table.

Per the ASU Election Code, violating any of these policies is grounds for disqualification.

Voters will be required to input their student I.D. number into a laptop at the ASU table in the Student Lounge by 5 p.m. on May 4.

But because no one is running against anyone, Arebalo said the rules are less stringent and the election serves a larger purpose of bolstering the ASU’s diversity and its presence on campus.

“Even though no one is running against anyone we are still promoting the ASU to students,” he said. “We are still going to uphold the Election Code, but for this one we will focus on boosting our presence on campus and go recruiting.”

“We need more diversity on the team in terms of age,” he said. “Mostly high school students are a part of the team, but we need to reach out to older college students and get them to join the ASU.”

Walker-Griffin, former Community Organizing Political Action club president who is currently running for ASU president, said being involved with student government on campus connects people to the communities in a way that puts politics into perspective.

“Be the change you want to see,” he said. “You can have a vision, but no one has a vision identical to your own.”

But the focus of the election is on endorsing the ASU to the larger student body, he said.

ASU Secretary Esmeralda Topete said the candidates are encouraged to go to classrooms and inform students about their role.

Topete, running for vice president, said she has developed communication skills that she would not have if she was not involved in student government.

She said she is currently visiting classrooms to connect with students.

“(Being active in student government) makes you connect with people at the college,” she said. “And people reach out to the (ASU) president.”

ASU Senator Jaqueline Ortiz, currently running for parliamentarian, said working with other ASU members promoting campus life has sparked her desire to teach.

“I see them as mentors,” Ortiz said, “and I want to work my way up to be a mentor for new ASU members in the coming years.”

The remaining executive board positions, which are treasurer, activities coordinator, secretary and director of public relations will be selected by ASU Board members early next semester, Student Life Coordinator Joel Nickelson-Shanks said.