Story by Jonathan Palmer
Ashley Magana Mendez was recently elected Associated Student Government president. Magana Mendez graduated from Wilsonville High School in 2017 before coming to the college in the fall of 2018. After two terms Magana Mendez threw her hat into the ring and ran for student president. Much to her own surprise, she won and will be taking office for the 2019-2020 school year. We sat down with Magana Mendez to find out more about her and to learn about how the new president-elect plans to lead the student government in the future.
The Clackamas Print: What made you decide to run for ASG president?
Ashley Magana Mendez: There were a couple of things I’ve seen around campus outside of ASG and I feel like I want to be able to help people and elevate their experience here at the college. Like I remember when I first started I didn’t know we had a Multicultural Center, I didn’t know we had textbooks for rent and calculators and all these things. I didn’t know all of the resources that we had and I feel like a lot of students don’t. Another thing is that I felt like there is a lot of disconnect. For example, I was talking with a student and he was telling me one of the things he didn’t like about the college. He gave me this example: we have a really good wrestling team here and you wouldn’t know that unless you went into Randall Hall and saw the trophies and stuff. I think that just wanting to bring a bigger sense of community was one of the main things that I wanted and why I wanted to run for president.
TCP: What do you plan to do differently than your predecessor?
Magana Mendez: I feel just trying to get a bigger outreach, we have a lot of great resources here, but not a lot of people know about them. As a community college, we have a diverse group of people. We have people who are returning after having a break from school, we have international students and I really want to celebrate that. For example, the Multicultural center throws really great events like the Asian Pacific Heritage Month that we have right now but not a lot of people know about it. I want to get the student body more engaged, promote things better, take suggestions from students — this would really help with that. Clare [Hansen] was a big advocate for Community colleges in general that is something I want to continue. Going to Salem and talking to our legislature and talking about tuition and things like that. That’s very important and it affects everyone.
TCP: What were the highlights of this election?
Magana Mendez: So when Natalia [Rodriguez], the vice president, was going to tell us who had won I was at work. She had told me that [Michael Duncan Stevens] had won by x amount of votes, and then she texted me shortly after saying that he didn’t want it. I was really excited about that and something I thought was funny about this election from the beginning was I had little cards to hand out thanks to Brandon [Orick,] who helped me put those together. He asked if it was ok if we just put one of my last names on there because people are not going to write it in if it’s too long. So I went into the ASG office and they told me that for the votes to count my full name would need to be on there. I had already handed out so many flyers and I was like, “are you kidding me?” When I texted Brandon about it, he was super awesome and literally made a new flyer. That was something that I thought was super interesting about the election.
TCP: What are your college plans for after CCC?
Magana Mendez: Well I’m a business major, I want to go into something finance related, the stock market or something like that. I’m not 100% sure where I want to go yet, but I know I want to transfer to a university and get my masters in finance. I want to become a financial analyst or something along those lines.
TCP: What has been your favorite part of attending CCC?
Magana Mendez: Definitely the people — getting to know people and having new experiences. That didn’t really get to happen until I joined ASG. At first I was just off on my own and I studied and all that stuff. Once I joined ASG I started meeting a lot more people.
TCP: Is there anything in particular that you would like to say to your constituents?
Magana Mendez: I’m just really excited to start serving the college and really excited to start the work.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.