Your vote counts! No, really

By Merari Calderon Ruiz & Debbie Fox

 

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Campaigns have been taking place around campus and they’re not to vote for the President of the United States.

Clackamas Community College is holding elections for next year’s Associated Student Government (ASG) leaders.

On May 2, students can vote for a candidate online by logging onto myClackamas and filling out the ballot.

The ASG elections gives students a chance to vote for their representatives as student body president and vice president.

Current ASG president Brent Finkbeiner said that voting is important because, “both of those people will be going to multiple councils and committees and the board of education, so they will be representing the students where all the big decisions are made.”

According to Finkbeiner, to be able to run as president or vice president, students need to take at least 10 credits per term, have a GPA of 2.75 and have been involved in ASG for at least one term.

A candidate question and answer forum was held on April 19. Three candidates are running: one for president and two for vice president.

Alexa Carrera, vice presidential candidate, is the first one in her family to go to college in the United States. She is majoring in International Business Management with a minor in political science. She spent the past year as a cultural exchange student in France.

Carrera said, “Tuition increase is a very important issue. It will come up again in the coming year.”

She has been on the staff of ASG for the last year and she is involved in campus activities, helping to organize events.

When asked about her goals for next year, Carrera said, “One of my biggest goals will definitely be to get students more involved into the community here at CCC. There’s so many opportunities that the school offers for students, and some students are just unaware of those.”

Kellie O’Grady, vice presidential candidate plans to get her AAOT and move on to Portland State University, majoring in political science.

O’Grady said, “The rising cost of tuition is a major issue that a lot of students are worried about. The vice president sits on the Foundation Committee and they deal with the budget.”

She became a member of ASG in the summer of 2015 and has worked in the grants department. In her spare time she works with kids who have disabilities and special needs.

When asked about leadership, O’Grady said, “Everybody is different… We all see different levels, but I think that everybody needs to try their best. Nobody is perfect, so not everything is going to run smoothly, but like (candidate) Jairo (Rodriguez) said, focus on the main goal and not dwell on the little things that didn’t go right.”

As for the position of president, there is only one candidate running.

Jairo Rodriguez is the only student left at CCC who has enough experience to be able to step into the president position at ASG. He joined ASG in 2015 as the multicultural officer and has been assisting with the development of the Multicultural Center. He is in the process of obtaining an AAS degree in accounting and has a part-time job.

Rodriguez said, “Being the only person running for president was at first really intimidating. It just made me feel like since I am the only candidate running, that a lot of students might see it as, ‘Well what’s the point for voting? What’s the point of saying anything?’ because it doesn’t matter what people are going to do if I’m eventually going to win.”

“I don’t see it like that. I wish that somebody would have run against me, but it didn’t turn out that way, and it’s okay because I believe that people didn’t run against me just because they trust I can manage the position as president as well as they trust my leadership aspects. I, of course, am nervous, but I am capable of the responsibilities and I know that Brent will train me to be the best president I can be,” said Rodriguez.

Although students might not technically have a choice on their ASG president, it’s important to be aware of who is representing the students and what their stance is. The final results will be announced on May 5.