Candidates fight for student votes

On April 15, candidates for the Associated Student Government participated in the Election Kick Off where voting kiosks, food trucks and music were provided. Candidates each had a chance to share their prepared speeches which were followed by questions regarding important issues and challenges they will likely face during their ASG term next year.
As hundreds of BC students gathered in the courtyard, the candidates spoke near the line for voting, giving students a chance to hear what they had to say. A majority of the candidates focused on the need for student unity, involvement and knowledge of what’s happening on campus.
“Please take the time to get to know your candidates this year,” said Leslie Mayo, current ASG president and former VP of finance and communications, after explaining the accomplishments of the ASG from 2013 to 2014.
Melantha Jenkins, a candidate for ASG president, said: “Over the last week and two days, I’ve had the opportunity to go around to different classrooms, to talk to different individuals, to see what they want this next candidates spoke about ASG to do for the next year. the need for students to And most of the individuals advocate for themselves to a did not even know that degree as well, and most of ASG existed.” ASG is a the potential ASG members part of Bellevue College to plan to make themselves represent the interests and available to students as concerns of all students. catalysts for change. “It’s our responsibility for Stassney Jane ASG officers to come to Obregon, another candidate you, the students, to make for ASG president, said: “I sure that your desires are can relate [to] how difficult being met, to make sure is to choose between being that you know what we’re involved on campus and doing,” Jenkins said. studying for the next class.
Many of the I believe that students shouldn’t have to sacrifice out of the entirety of the experience for learning. their term if they were I believe that Bellevue only able to accomplish College students should one goal, Morris said have the best of both worlds. he wanted to draw from My goal is to eliminate his previous volunteer miscommunication experiences to “to create a among ASG members, more productive [college staff, faculty and students environment].” Jenkins at Bellevue College by focused on bringing back breaking the barriers to the Bulldog community open new doors such as by “putting on events, employment, scholarships getting people excited and and conferences.” being proud about being a
When asked what they Bellevue College student. That’s not going to be done in one quarter; it’s going to take the entire year, but it’s going to be done.”
Joseph Schultz, candidate for ASG president, said, “We have hundreds of events going on throughout the year; we have over a hundred clubs and no one knows about it.” Shultz said that if he is elected, “In the first month of my presidency I’ll be making an event calendar on the Bellevue homepage. … Not only will [students] be able to get involved in those events, but they’ll be able to create their own events to share their cultures, their fashions and their hobbies with each other.”
Morris said: “One thing I do not see here today is a bulldog. How come we don’t see our mascot here? … We have not been taking care of our spirit, and, you know, we need to get that spirit back. I’m going to teach you how to take care of that spirit and let that spirit free.” Morris said that it’s important that there is “a good connection here in the school and a good unity with the programs, with the clubs and with the students.”
Joel Allen, candidate for ASG chief justice, said: “ASG this year plans on being very accessible and visible. You guys create change through us, you guys lobby through us. … All the power lies in the students. If students do not communicate with ASG members, their voices will not be heard.” He added, “My job is to make sure that the Associated Student Government is looking out for your rights, making sure that they’re not taking advantage of you and watching out for what you guys, the students, want to see done on campus.”
Marisol Lopez, running for ASG associate justice of internal affairs, said: “I want every student here to feel welcomed, feel comfortable and to be proud of being part of Bellevue College. We are your voice; we are here to serve you.” Jordan Allen, candidate for ASG associate justice of internal affairs, said: “I am a great follower, as well as a great leader when that role needs to be stepped in. I will handle my responsibilities first, then check in with whoever else needs help.”
The integration of more diverse, inclusive events on campus was a common theme of the debate.
Maria Jimenez, running for the campus life and events representative position: “I want to make sure that you guys have something to do every day after class. … I want to give you space that you can get your ideas out there.”
Chanel Leverett, running for the campus life and events representative position: “People are the foundation of community. … Bellevue College students, your voices are my priority. I don’t want to just be a representative; I want to be your guys’ friend. I want to be able to connect and communicate with you guys.” Lana Mack, candidate for the environmental and social responsibility representative: “I want to address food security at Bellevue and equality among students by implementing a regular farmers’ market and getting a food bank on campus. [It is important that we spread] awareness as we move forward towards creating a more sustainable future.” Heueh-Wei “Clare” Tai, running for the marketing and public relations representative position, said: “I think I will use more and more advertisement and use social networking such as Facebook or Twitter. Maybe we can create a new event to [help] students [better] understand what we are doing and what ASG is.”
Maria Chebanova, candidate for vice president of student affairs and pluralism, said “I want to get people educated about opportunities on campus for all of the student body. Not just the people who are already participating on campus, but also the international students. I want to reach to them and I want to help them.” Adlai Gomez, candidate for vice president of finance and communications, said: “I believe in two things: empowering students and making change. I find my happiness in helping others, so I want to help you guys. … I want to make sure that you guys know that your money is being spent wisely.”
Hevel Fernandez, candidate for vice president of finance and communications, said  “I believe that if we use the money for the budget properly, we can get the maximum potential for clubs and programs.”
Glenn Burnett, who is running for vice president of finance and communications, said, “If you feel that you can get more out of your education here, besides just your classes, … start a club, start a program, get involved, get the value of your dollar here at Bellevue College.” John Kariungi, candidate for ASG emerging technology and entrepreneurial representative, said, “[It is important for the BC community to] build mentorship and inspiration through mentors coming in from various companies within Seattle and around the United States from places like Google, Amazon, Facebook, so that we will be able to build a community right here while being able to experience what the real world is all about.” Gebriel Amare, candidate for ASG emerging technology and entrepreneurial representative position, said, “My goal for next year is to work on connecting Bellevue College students to the resources that are available to them, [including various] student discounts that students don’t know about.” A position that has previously not been a part of the ASG is to be voted on during this election. Students have the opportunity to accept or decline the addition of a vice president of external legislative affairs to the ASG. Teague Crenshaw, who is running for this position, said that this position will help students address the problems “they can’t fix on your own and they can’t fix with the current ASG as it is.
You need a vice president of external legislative affairs to communicate with the legislators from your state government to the federal government.” The candidates for ASG all agreed that there needs to be an improvement in communication between BC students, the ASG, faculty and staff, and each have their own ideas for how to unite BC. Students can vote until April 25 at bellevuecollege. edu/ASGElections_90A1618

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