President chosen for ASLC
M. Cervantes wins out over Jefferson Tejada
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Saturday, March 2, 2013 15:03
The ASLC is leaderless no more.
In a special mid-year election held Feb. 21, the student government voted in former alternate senator Melissa Cervantes as president and Timothy Killings, also a former alternate senator, as vice president. Their opponents were Welcome Center assistant Jefferson Tejada and alternate senator Wai Li, respectively.
Typically, a school-wide election is held each May to decide every student council position for the next year. However, with crucial leadership roles empty due to their former occupants’ removal from the council, and therefore no way to appoint an election committee, the decision on who would fill these suddenly vacant positions required a special election.
Former ASLC President Brian Cervantes guided the council through the process, which required that each candidate first receive a nomination (or two if self-nominated) as both losing parties were. The nominees were each given five minutes to explain why they were a better fit for the position.
The presidential contenders then each gave a one-minute response to three questions from the council and three from the public, with the potential vice presidents answering a different set. Dean Marco Menendez suggested crucial questions to all four of the candidates.
Melissa Cervantes and Tejada both claimed as their main strength their past of working to help students even outside of ASLC. They also acknowledged the frustration students have with financial aid, and promised to work as hard as possible to streamline the process.
The passion and purpose was equal amongst the two, but Melissa Ceravantes’ past experience as vice-president of Southwest College’s student council allowed her to better explain exactly how she planned to accomplish her promises, with Jefferson being more vague.
She advocated for more student representation at Board of Trustee meetings and ways to make scholarship information more available. Her organization and conciseness led her to the president’s chair by a four-vote margin.
Killings and Li were equally contrasting in their qualifications. Killings, as former president of the Laney Black Student Union, touted his experience in student organization. Li spoke primarily of her expertise in the business field, as well as her work with ESL students.
While her ideas and background seemed suitable, Li’s outburst concerning Melissa Cervantes’ leadership abilities during the presidential election cast doubt on her ability to work with the new president. Li’s actions and Killings’ experience saw him win the vice presidency by six votes.
The unfilled positions of secretary, treasurer and publicity commissioner are also missing their usual school-wide vote. President Cervantes, as is her constitutional duty, will appoint these positions at the regular ASLC meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28. The meeting will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Student Center.
A new election commission be formed in the coming weeks and ASLC will be on track for regular elections again this May.