These are your 2023-2024 candidates for Associated Student Government: Who will you choose?
It’s that time again, as votes will be cast and new student government officials will be elected on Friday, May 5. All eligible voters should have received a student email from the college, including the link to the voting site.
Voter turnout at the college has been low historically. Last election, there were 5,600 enrolled, eligible voters at CCC. But only 66 people voted for CCC’s current president – that’s 0.0117%. This year there are 4,842 full-time, enrolled students that qualify. Will it be another cycle of abysmally low participation?
“At most colleges, in a contested election the voter turnout is considered really good at around 10%, and in the best years at Clackamas, we’ve seen 200-300 votes, “ said John Ginsburg, Director of Student Life and Title IX Coordinator for CCC.
Low turnout or not, though, there’s voting to be done for whoever wants to participate. Who will you choose as your representative for ASG? How will your chosen candidate impact the college for the next year and how could that impact your future? Here are the candidates:
Bethany Day is a mother and a veteran with a ton of life experience, both in and out of the military, in property management and in wedding planning. She’s already extensively involved with the college. If elected, she’s got plans for day one of her administration.
“I plan on opening up communication between the various departments at CCC, and giving clubs the support they need, so the idea of starting up a new one doesn’t seem so intimidating,” said Day, 32, a candidate for ASG president. “My whole goal is to make the campus a safe place, where people feel comfortable asking for help, whether that be financial, mental or academic … if I can give even a little hope in this scary world, then my job is done.”
If one is trying to spot Day in her natural environment, look at the areas of the campus where there are people helping others. She’s guaranteed to be in the mix, helping secure grants for students, representing students on the curriculum committee and fostering a sense of community and inclusion in the ASG offices. Day literally rocks – if you arrive on campus at the same time as she does, you’re likely to hear her in the car, indulging in her favorite music genre, metal.
Olivia Gordon is one of the younger people on campus at 17, but she’s determined to not let that deter voters. Olivia would support more activities on campus to bring more people back in person.
“Post-Covid the campus feels less like a community, and that needs to change,” said Gordon, who is also running for ASG president.
“I think something that sets me apart from others is my ambition, the drive to do more and be better than average when it comes to my accomplishments.”
She would also like to get more people voting in the ASG elections.
“I think anything we could do to make voting easier and more accessible to students is really important,” she said.
With getting an early start in college, being a Nike intern and a Phi Theta Kappa chapter officer, Gordon is working hard to stand out. Part of this motivation comes from wanting to take care of her family and to serve others. She is studying computers and electrical engineering.
Heather Nagy: As an art major, Nagy has gained insight into the human condition through the lens of art history. It’s helped her realize just how much people crave community, even when it might appear otherwise–and it’s part of why she’s running for ASG vice-president.
Technology might help us in certain aspects, but has stunted us in others. This is a big concern for Nagy, 30.
“I’d like to challenge my peers to be less passive in decision-making, both ASG members and the student body,” she said. “I’d get the faculty engaged in trauma-informed training, whether it’s a contractual requirement or not.
“I’d also challenge everyone to be brave and speak about their authentic experiences and feelings. That way we can create a culture of compassion rather than getting stuck in intellectual liberalism. Growth isn’t about tiptoeing around people’s feelings, rather it’s in our ability as individuals and as a culture to recognise our faults and make amends.”
On her first day, Nagy, like the other candidates, wants to get more students back in person, bring extra attention to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and further rebuild that sense of community at CCC.
Emily Dallas is enthusiastic about the humans, art and music that are part of her life – including her sons, the art she creates in various mediums, ASG and David Bowie. The order of importance with regard to these subjects might be debatable; it’s difficult to say when a person shows this amount of love for so much.
More importantly as it relates to her ASG candidacy – Dallas, 43, is running for vice president – she has an eye for logistics and organization. Being the head of the food pantry, and a student here, she also knows education is the key.
“On day one, I would start with training ASG members,” Dallas said. “Sometimes there is a lot of confusion with the roles in ASG – communication about purchasing, making flyers, etc. I want to make sure that people are comfortable and happy in their roles.”
Making sure diversity, equity and inclusion has a key role in cabinet meetings, and making sure that the sometimes-spirited debates stay personable are also critical to Dallas if elected.
As for the importance of an involved student body, Ginsburg, the Director of Student life, has his own thoughts.
“The students at CCC are fortunate that the college values student representation in all its machinations,” he said. “They are represented on the various boards, the President’s Council, and in many other communities and college groups. Students should not miss the opportunity to select their leaders.”