Image courtesy of ASLC

ASLC election snags record voter turnout, eager new Cabinet

By Gelsey Plaza /// Staff Writer

ON MARCH 21, the 2016-2017 ASLC Cabinet election results were announced.  Adam Fractor ’17 will be President, Nick LeSage ’17 Vice President, Jiayan Sheng ’18 Chief Justice, Marissa Valdez ’18 Treasurer, Miranda Mora ’19 Community Service and Relations Coordinator and Alden Chatfield ’19 Student Organizations Coordinator.

According to current ASLC Director of Elections Adrian Austin-King ’16, this year a total of 35 percent of students voted in the elections.  Although this number may seem small, it beat the record that was set last year for most participation in an ASLC election when 30 percent of students voted.  Out of the voters this year, 37 percent of full time students voted, while 5 percent of visiting/AES students voted.

Austin-King was relatively pleased with how the elections went, but he expressed disappointment that more students had not run for office.

“Out of the six positions that were voted on, there were only two contested positions,” Austin-King said.  “While everyone who ran was quite qualified and I would have been happy to see each person take office, I think that in the name of democracy it would have been far superior to have multiple applicants for every position.  I will however say that I am very pleased with the voter turnout rate.  Additionally it was lovely to have students from every grade engage in this election process from the back end.”

Next school year, future Chief Justice Jiayan Sheng hopes to make student government more accessible for minority students.

“In order to achieve my goal, I am going to work on expelling bureaucratic elements within our current governing documents with the purpose of encouraging minority and all students to take [active] role[s] in the student government,” Sheng said.  “In fact, the FSU [Feminist Student Union] representative and [a] few other Senators have started to work on improving and changing the language of The Rules of Order.  I also am passionate about [making] translated versions of governing documents available for students who are facing language barriers but are eager to be involved in the student government.”

President-elect Adam Fractor has six goals for the next year: improved transportation options, positive relationships with student unions, better integration with the Portland collegiate community, expansion of the Pioneers for Pioneers program, improved ASLC public relations and town hall meetings preceding Board of Trustees Meetings.

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Due to a parking issue on campus, in part since the College does not have sufficient funds at the moment for a parking garage, Fractor says that the short-term solution is to shift student’s commuting patterns.

“By adding a bus shuttle to Sellwood, students living off campus in Southeast will have a great alternative to driving,” he said.  “Also, running a Pioneer Express to Fred Meyer earlier in the weekday will benefit student workers who work afternoon and evening shifts.  Both of these additions would reduce the need for parking spots.”

Fractor plans to attend each student union’s meetings once a month to keep updated and informed.

“Student unions are a valuable part of this campus,” he said. “Their activism and work greatly benefits the LC community.  With the likely addition of more Student Union Representatives in ASLC next year, it is important that we maintain close, positive relationships to ensure that their communities are being well represented on this campus.”

Fractor would also like to work with the University of Portland and Reed’s Student Governments to develop better relationships between our campuses.

“Many students feel that we are isolated from the Portland community,” Fractor said. “Geographically, maybe, but we don’t have to be academically. I am interested in seeing how their student governments serve their community, and seeing how we can better represent our community.”

Future Student Organizations Coordinator Alden Chatfield hopes to establish a closer working relationship between the Student Organization Committee (SOC) and student organizations. Chatfield says that it is critical to foster a trusting relationship between organizations and SOC.

“I hope to work with the Budget Advisory committee and other groups within the LC administration to brainstorm and eventually implement new ideas to further improve the cooperative opportunities between SOC and student organizations,” he said.  “Of course, coming up with new methods with members of organizations themselves is just as important. So one specific thing I hope to accomplish fairly early next year is the creation of a platform for students to submit ideas and feedback to SOC directly.”

The new officers’ plans and program ideas for the upcoming school year will hopefully improve and enhance our school’s intercommunications network and further diversify our student body in ASLC.  Fractor says he’s excited to affect real and lasting change on this campus, and, with the help of the student body, he knows that LC can accomplish this.

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