Ballot of apathy

Originally published in the Express on May 5, 2016

Student leadership to generate involvement in Student Senate, Club and Events Board

melodyjimenez
City College student Melody Jimenez, political science major, speaks to students in the quad during candidate forums on April 7, 2016. Jimenez is running for the position of Student Senate Secretary of Legislative Affairs. The position is also contested by Savannah Mendoza. Hector Flores, Staff Photographer. | hectorfloresexpress@gmail.com

Despite a low voter turnout and a majority of candidates running unopposed, City College students have selected a new slate of Student Senate and Club and Events Board members to serve in the 2016—17 academic year.

Current City College Student Senate president Marianna Sousa was elected by students from all four colleges as Los Rios student trustee, a position she will assume June 1.

Student Leadership and Development Coordinator Kim Beyrer released the results of the elections April 15, a day after the elections.

However, most of the candidates, including the Senate vice president, ran unopposed. No Senate presidential candidate was listed on the electronic ballot that students accessed through City College eServices.

The lack of student participation from the main campus and outreach centers resulted in uncontested positions being filled by appointment, according to Beyrer.

“There are reasonable [causes as] to why a lot of students don’t participate,” said Beyrer, “whether they have to work, they have families, they have other responsibilities.”

The Senate officers elected were Raymond Concha for vice president, Joshua Feagin for treasurer, Alan Neftali Hernandez for secretary of technology, and Melody Jimenez for secretary of legislative affairs. The five senators elected to office were Keanna Laforga, Emily Lai, Julianne Maninang, Gerardo Mendoza and Huinan Pang.

After the elections, the Student Senate voted to fill the presidential vacancy by appointment at the April 20 meeting which was held in the Student Center. At that meeting, secretary of legislative affairs-elect Melody Jimenez was nominated and appointed Senate president, pending approval of City College interim President Michael Poindexter.

The Club and Events Board (CAEB) faced similar issues with many candidates running unopposed and other positions remaining vacant after the elections.

Moises Ramirez was elected CAEB president, Leo Molten vice president, Ashley Michelle Rowe secretary of public relations, Zachary Silvia secretary of technology, and Georgia Sherman project coordinator.

To generate more interest in student government, the Student Advisory Council (SAC), a committee composed of associated student body presidents at all four Los Rios colleges and the student trustee, have discussed the possibility of recommending to the district stipends for some student government positions, according to Student Trustee Cameron Weaver at the April 13 City College Student Senate meeting.

Weaver said that three of the four colleges in the district must indicate support for the idea before it can be discussed on the district level. The student senates can do this through either an official resolution or statement of support. To date, only two colleges have decided whether to support the idea.

According to Weaver, Folsom Lake College decided against the idea, recommending that other options, such as priority registration, should be explored rather than any forms of financial compensation.

Tony Tran, the Senate president at Cosumnes River College, said that the CRC Student Senate informed Weaver that they intend to support the idea in full.

Weaver said that he is still waiting on responses from City College and ARC.

“The decision still ultimately lies with the district, however,” said Weaver.

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