ASCC president, student trustee election time is upon us

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Prospective ASCC student body officers are (left to right) Hector Arellano, president; Charlie Zuniga, vice-president; (standing) Miles Aiello, president; Aldemar Sanchez, president; Dennis Garcia; vice-president, with student trustee candidates Venessa Vega, Daniel Flores, Joe Nino (hidden) and Lance Makinano. Photo credit: Joe Zermeno

The annual Associated Students of Cerritos College elections are in innate part of campus tradition. The positions of president, vice-president and student trustee are elected by the student body at-large and mandated by the ASCC constitution.

Students will have the opportunity to vote and elect their future 2014-15 campus leaders today and tomorrow, April 16 and 17, by presenting their ASCC student body card with sticker.

Student Trustee candidate Daniel Flores, a two-year Latin American studies major, is a member of The Social Equality Club, TSEC.

“I’m targeting both the day and night student. They’re equally important with different life responsibilities,” he said. “My platform is to increase course offerings to pre-recession levels and initiate textbook reforms so the library has more reserves; stopping tuition hikes and making sure extra fees aren’t levied upon the student body population. When I mention my platform (students are) able to connect immediately.”

“Things are going well for us. The students are responding and are aware of who we are. They’re happy for the 100 summer sections we were able to add. When I mention my platform they’re able to connect immediately.

“I’ve never been part of a campaign to get someone elected so this is very new territory,” Flores said. “I’m enjoying connecting with students and informing them of college politics.”

Student Trustee candidate Joe Nino’s main concerns are student success rates and the night student access to services. “I’m campaigning through social media, Facebook; speaking with students and sharing our intent. I’m working with the night students, spoken with them and received their support,” he said.

“Mainly, I’m focusing on student success. Increasing our completion rate at Cerritos College which is (currently) 39.9 percent, nationwide our completion rate is 10 to 25 percent.

“I’m trying to implement a program called “Community College Completion Corps” which will focus students who sign up for this program to make sure they have readily availability to counselors, other students with knowedgable information as to classes their majors require and different ways to access (their educational needs) through programs that they may not be aware of (at Cerritos College).

Speaking to issues of the evening student, Nino said, “Health services and counseling are a concern of mine. They aren’t available to the night students. Health Services closes at 4 p.m. and if you’re a working individual, you don’t have access to (Health) services.”

The same is true for the Counseling department he said. “Counseling is open only until 7 p.m. on Tues. and Wed. If you are working and have a class at 5 p.m. on those days, that student won’t have full access to counseling services … which is not right!” Nino said.

Charles Caguioa, ASCC student body vice-president candidate, computer science and education major, is running for office with Miles Aiello, candidate for ASCC student body president, a geography and sustainability major. They each espouse the same platform and are running mates with Nino.

“It’s going to be a really healthy competition,” Caguioa said. “I’m a night student (as well), and we are going up to people and letting them know that we are out here for the betterment of the student.

“We want an opportunity for student success and the environment. It’s making our (Cerritos) college a better, a greener community, while promoting success through initiatives and other leadership opportunities,” Caguioa said reflecting on the platform he shares with Aiello.

“The student voice is powerful and not to be underestimated,” Student Trustee candidate Vanessa Vega, a four-year English major said. “Being involved in student government for more than half of my time at Cerritos, I am painfully aware of the issues affecting the student body as a writing tutor since September of 2011.”

“I know what plagues the ESL/DSPS student and see their struggles. I realize how difficult it is for students in non-transferable courses to move ahead, not just because I went through it, but because I see it everyday. They often confide in me, and tell me what they are going through.”

“During my first year, I was the party whip officer, the liaison between the executive cabinet and the legislative branch, the Senate. This year, I am the Faculty Senate liaison,” she said. “During this election, I am not associated with a club or any presidential candidates, although I’ve been involved with several clubs such as the Literature club, iFalcon, and Order of the Falcon.

“Having attended Board meetings for two years, I know the issues affecting this campus and I have been able to listen to different perspectives on how to solve them,” Vega stressed.

Presidential candidate Aldemar Sanchez, is the current ASCC vice-president, and David Garcia is his vice-president running mate. “I think the elections are going pretty well, I know all the candidates have turned in all the required forms for electioneering materials.”

The presidential candidates have a friendly foe attitude. “It’s that way with every election,” he said. “When it’s done, we are all great friends and after the election we will all stay great friends.”

“I do take a lot of night classes so I’m talking to the night students and will be pursuing their vote. A couple of students will be out getting them to vote, informing them how important it is, as well as several professors are going to let us speak to them,” Sanchez said.

“Voting is important. After elections on Wednesday night, I will stay out there as well to inform students that elections are on Thursday evening as well.

“Go vote,” Sanchez stressed. “I want to tell (students) that tomorrow night, Thursday, it will start all over again, and will encourage them that if they are here at night again that they can vote from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

President candidate Hector Arellano, his vice-president running mate Charlie Zuniga, and running for a third term, current Student Trustee Lance Makinano were unavailable for comment.