SGA is ready for upcoming elections

Bertin Rodriguez

Elizabeth Fernandez, Reporter

Bakersfield College Student Government Association voted and approved to push the spring 2014 elections to March 24-27 in order to increase student involvement and awareness.
Interim Director of Student Life Elizabeth Peisner said the elections were not only pushed in order to allow more students to apply for candidacy, but also to give the student body an opportunity to review the new constitution, which was approved by administration on Feb. 7.
“There is no dissent from candidates. In fact, this has given them more time to be more visible and meet with everyone else,” said Peisner. “It is all a part of the participatory governance process.”
Two of the three executive presidential candidates, Emmanuel Ramos and Alex Dominguez agreed. Ramos called it “a great thing,” and Dominguez added, “It gives you more time to campaign.”
The submission deadline was pushed back by a week, during which there was a 650-percent increase in candidacy applications, according to Peisner.
Despite the increase, not all applicants were approved to run due to application requirements. However, there were 16 candidates prior to the extension, which nearly doubled to a final count of 30 candidates total.
Ramos explained that the increase in candidacy is actually beneficial to the entire student body as it gives them an opportunity to see a variety of runners and choose the candidate they feel would be best for them.
A challenge that both candidates are facing during campaigning is that the student body seems to still be affected by last semester’s SGA turmoil.
“They didn’t just affect us here on campus, they affected BC’s image in the community,” said Dominguez, who also added that improving that image would be one of his goals.
Questions about the past sanctions against the SGA also arose during a meeting with the Veteran’s Club, according to Ramos, who said, “I want students to understand that I [would] represent something bigger.”
Although he does feel that the current SGA is doing a good job, he said that he thinks change comes through actions, which could take a significant amount of time.
Students can view the new constitution, which became available on March 17 on InsideBC.
SGA plans to have laptops available at booths during election days for students to be able to cast their vote on the executive board, senate, and the revised constitution while still on campus.