Do students really have a say in ASCC senate?

Briana Hicks

Every year, ASCC holds elections for potential senate members. And each year the student body decides, based off the campaigning efforts of hopeful electives, whom it thinks will best suit making a change in the school.

What students aren’t aware of is that every person running to fill those empty senate seats were automatically inducted onto student senate.

Program facilitator for student affairs Amber Dofner, expressed that no student can get into senate without being voted into senate.

She said, “The process has never changed, the guidelines followed are set forth in the ASCC constitution and by-laws, section III (election code).”

According to ASCC President Saul Lopez, historically, senate has always held elections.

“This year we had a very low outreach […] a lot of things happened [and we had to] focus more internally. The budget [had not been] passed, [and I’m] responsible for not going out and outreach[ing] for senate because I was trying to recruit for my cabinet,” he said.

He continued, “We had only 31 seats, and normally we have like 40, and [elections are] more competitive. [Unfortunately] this year it was low output.”

Undecided major Genessey Basquez expressed concern over why the school even has an election if everyone running will get automatically inducted into senate.

Lopez did agree with Dofner and acknowledge that although everyone did get in, no one got elected into senate without at least earning one vote.

He said, “[…] Normally there’s 40 people, and like seven people don’t get in. But even then, it’s never been [extremely competitive]. The only time it’s competitive is when people make it [that way].”

Business administration with a concentration in finance major Ulysses Morales had different views on the election process than Basquez.

He said, “I feel like those who are being elected into senate are going out of their way to try and get votes. […] Even if it’s a small pool of people voting, they still made a vote and cast the vote for a certain person.

“So it could be considered unfair that not everyone votes, but it’s those who are willing to go out there and give the effort, then the fruits of their labor will show.”

Lopez did admit that if paying for clerks to run election booths bothered the student body, then he would be open to different suggestive methods from the student body.

“I’d be [open to new ideas] […] as long as [students] bring me [some] facts to support it. I understand the apprehension. [I think student elections are held as] an outreach for the student body to know that we have a student government.”