Election winners for presidential candidates, student trustee

Jenny Gonzalez

Waking up at 5 a.m., speaking in night and 6:30 a.m. classes, and running back and forth with blistered feet is what Raul Avalos went through during election week.

Separate elections for the presidential candidates and student trustee positions were held on Wednesday and Thursday.

Avalos won 268 of the 537 votes given to the trustees, while Joseph Escandon came in second with 162 votes.

“By Thursday afternoon, my legs were so tired that I wanted to collapse on the floor, but I decided to push through,” Avalos said.

This is the first time he ran for a position in student government, stating, “I want to thank my team because we did it together and I want to thank the students that actually took the time and voted, because they believe, not only on the other candidates, but also in me.”

He was faced with lack of student engagement when pitching his campaign.

“Not every student was interested in listening to what I had to say about our campus election.”

He expressed that he had to seek advice from former campaigners to implement the same strategies they used.

He had help from 15 campaign members that worked up to the cut-off time at 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Student Trustee Karen Patron also went through many obstacles during election week.

She was the head of the committee of Education Without Borders, planning a week-long conference and running a campaign at the same time.

“I was on my phone constantly texting people, [using] Snapchat, Instagram, […] to promote [the events] but at the same time I was trying to promote myself so that people can vote for me.”

She said it was difficult because even though it seemed as if she and Vice President-elect David Ramirez did not have competitors, she had to remind students that write-in candidates are the competitors and they still had to vote.

Patron mentioned the weight of promoting three events at once, two of which were week-long events.

“I had a conference from Monday through Friday, and I also had a campaign to run Monday through Thursday.

“Not only did I have to go out and promote myself, I had to promote the conference but Pizza & Politics as well. I am still Student Trustee, I still have to do my job,” she said.

Ramirez also mentioned the difficult task of trying to manage his classes and the campaign.

“I had a calculus exam [Thursday], [and] I had a physics exam the week before, so I was spending all of my time trying to study and […] get the senators and people to come out and participate,” he said.

ASCC Commissioner of Sustainability Phil Herrera and Vice-President Enrique Rodriguez faced issues with signatures to petition to be on the voting ballot.

“Honestly, upon hearing the election rules, specifically the rules for write-in candidates, I felt that we had little to no chance,” Herrera expressed.

He said the 500 signatures he and Rodriguez collected surpassed the 500 minimum at first, but due to some repeated signatures and unclear names or student numbers, the total number fell below the minimum mark.

The promotional options they had were limited to social media, blank pieces of paper to write their names down and word of mouth.

He mentioned the writ of mandamus dilemma against Rodriguez in March hindered their ability to collect the signatures.

He said that next semester he will consider being a senator instead because in comparison to the presidential campaign, he would only need to collect 75 signatures.

Commissioner of Student Outreach Melanie Walters, who was also running for Student Trustee, received 46 votes.

She said she does not feel bad about the election results because she feels as though the position is “one less thing” she has to worry about.

“It is just […] stress off my shoulders, but at the same time whatever I said throughout the entire campaign is going to stay true to me in here, and outside of student government,” she said.