ASSC elections rapidly approaching

ASSC Election Board meeting of April 12, in the faculty lounge building 2, Skyline College.  From left ()

ASSC Election Board meeting of April 12, in the faculty lounge building 2, Skyline College. From left ()

In the upcoming weeks, Associated Students of Skyline College will conduct events leading to the election of new student body officers to serve on ASSC’s governing council during the 2005-2006 school year.

Officers of the ASSC hold office for one term, which is a full school year including fall and spring semesters, according to ASSC advisor Amory Cariadus. Now that it is close to the end of the spring semester, it’s that time of year where the student body elects their new representatives.

In the first election board meeting on April 12, board members discussed possible ways to get students to vote and how the election process should be planned.

At this time, with the election scheduled for May 3 and 4, there are no definite candidates yet.

“No one is running for the office they hold, but they might surprise me,” explained Cariadus.

However, there will be some members of office that will run, like Melchie Cabrigas, who currently holds position of vice president of ASSC. Cabrigas, who is not part of the election board, said that she will run for the presidential seat for the upcoming 2005-2006 school year.

“ASSC officers are allowed to run as long as they are not a part of the election board,” Cariadus said before the April 12 meeting officially started.

Candidacy applications will be available April 18, the date agreed upon by Election Board members. Acquiring and filling out the application is the first step in becoming a candidate.

“What an individual has to do is fill out a candidate application and the candidate application asks them what position or positions they are applying for, which describes the specific duties,” Cariadus said. “They are also asked to write a statement on why they want the position that they are running for.”

There are campaigning procedures which candidates must follow. However, those who wish to be candidates cannot campaign until their applications are looked over and approved by the election board.

“It is important to get a lot of different people to run this year. A person can still advertise the day of the election as long as they are over 100 feet away from the polling area,” said Bivett Thompson, election board member.

More information on campaigning and other election processes will be discussed at the next election board meetings scheduled for April 21 and 22. Potential candidates must attend the meetings.

“There will be a mandatory candidate information meeting and there will be some kind of candidate forum or debate that the candidates will be required to be at,” Cariadus explained.

The April 21 and 22 meetings will be in the cafeteria, where candidates will be briefed on rules and regulations surrounding the election process. Also scheduled is a forum on April 27 in the school quad.

There are no incumbents to office, although positions may be filled by a new or old ASSC member who is currently a student of Skyline College. Potential candidates must specify a desired position when declaring their candidacy.

During the election board meeting, Ilka Barcala, current president of ASSC, asked the board, “What will happen if there aren’t enough candidates running?”

In response, Thompson said, “You still want to hold elections regardless. We can decide after the election if we need to run special elections.”

Cariadus mentioned that special elections occur during the fall where returning student government members have to recruit new members in order to have an election for positions not filled.

“The rule is 50 percent of the council needs to be filled. There are six executive officer positions and a minimum of 3-15 senator positions, so this leaves a minimum of nine individuals as student government,” Cariadus explained.

At the moment, there are exactly four executive positions filled and six senators presiding over the council, as printed in the April 14 ASSC agenda.

Last year, there were an estimated 200 to 300 voters, according to Cariadus. Peter Monrroy, a former election board member and staff work-study assistant to the ASSC, is unable to provide exact numbers of voters who voted in last year’s elections, however, he said “there was only an 80 to 100 voters difference between the two presidential candidates last year.” This semester, the San Mateo County Community College District records reflect that there are 8,392 enrolled students at Skyline College.

Voting is expected to take place on May 3 and 4. Voters include all students enrolled at Skyline College, part-time and full-time.

“Student government can be a great resource and tool,” Cariadus said. “Take the time to vote, and make sure the person you vote for is who you want to be represented by.”