SGA elections going on all week
Joel R. Paramo
April 23, 2008
Filed under News
Student government elections are under way.
Amid the debates for Bakersfield College’s new school president, students are deliberating quietly in their minds in front of computers as they type in their choices for student officers.
Polling stations will still be set up April 23 and April 24 in the Campus Center foyer next to the Fireside Room. In total there are 20 students running for election.
“If we can continue getting the amount of people that showed up to vote today we could very well surpass our goal of 650 people,” said General Counsel Matthew Jenkins.
“Though, we were hoping to see more.”
As an incentive to get students to vote, a proposal was approved April 18 by the SGA to raffle off 10 iPods and 40 different gifts cards. A little over $2,000 has been spent toward these student incentives.
“Last year there were three iPods and a laptop given away,” said Jenkins. “People respond to incentives. We wanted to excite students. It’s like when someone asks for a favor, you always wonder to yourself, ‘What am I going to get out of it?’ There are 50 different gifts and 50 different students will benefit.”
Though student motivation has been provided, the polls laid desolate Monday afternoon while presidential candidates did what they could to campaign.
“I’m nervous,” said freshman presidential candidate Lyne Mugema. “”I’m not sure how many people have voted. We’re hoping and expecting that more people will be voting on Tuesday and Wednesday. It seems like we’re having a good turnout. It looks promising.”
On the weeklong campaign, presidential candidates Mugema, Matthew Cuellar and James Hancock are devising ways to get votes. Mugema feels she’s ready while Cuellar expressed that his political background makes him a good candidate.
“It’s been part of my life forever,” said Cuellar. “I got involved with it in the fourth grade, and in high school picked up national politics. Some people have sports, band, or choir, but I have politics.”
Members of the SGA agree that nearly 25 percent of people voting have a vague idea of whom they’re going to vote for.
“We have to continue going out and meeting new people,” said Cuellar. “I’ve been talking with classes and have appointments set up with professors to speak with even more students. Not only do I want to make people aware but as current senator it’s my job to get people to come out and vote.”
Candidates for student president are ready for the task and they all have a plan to improve on the foundation that the 2007-2008 SGA will leave behind. Like most politicians Hancock hopes to step up to the next level.
“My main goal is to finish all projects started,” said Hancock. “And to have an even better student government for the 2008-2009 year.”
Ruth Ann Russ
Adriana G. Vega