A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Meet the Candidates


As the momentous 2016 presidential elections rapidly approach, Santa Rosa Junior College students can start exercising their constitutional rights to vote in the college’s spring student elections April 18-22.

Billy Oertel, SRJC elections coordinator, said student elections are important because they give the student body a chance to get involved in student government and make changes.

“Student government at SRJC has a long history of making decisions which greatly impact students, including the smoking ban on campus, free public transit for students and working with the bookstore to lower the cost of textbooks,” Oertel said.

The 19 candidates running for office this spring semester have been cleared based on certain qualifications. There is one write-in candidate running for SGA president not on the clearance list due to late submission. 

According to Oertel, these qualifications include concurrent enrollment in at least five units, being a paid member of the Student Benefits Program and having a GPA of 2.0 or higher and 2.5 or higher for the student trustee position. Oertel also said the student body president must have completed at least two semesters and 20 units at SRJC before taking office.

The student elections are scheduled for April 18-22 with polling booths on the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses. Enrolled SRJC students can vote online through their student portals. For more information on the student elections and how to vote, visit the elections webpage at http://studentlife.santarosa.edu/student-elections.

Below are your SGA candidates’ statements:

Student Government Assembly President

Jordan Panana Carbajal

Jordan Panana Carbajal

I’m currently the Executive Vice President of the Petaluma campus. A few of my accomplishments were that I fed over half of the student population at the Petaluma Campus, broke the club record, provided students gift cards for the bookstore, hosted the first annual Welcome Week and more. As president, I know what actions need to be taken in order for students, some who are historically underserved in higher education, to receive awareness and have more resources which would lead them to obtaining a certificate, degree, and/or transfer. Last, I want the implementation of an ethnic studies department at SRJC and resources that will help SRJC increase diversity and create equity. ¡Viva Peru!


Gilbert Stone (Write-in candidate)

Gilbert Stone

I’ve learned college is more than grinding away at textbooks and stressing over finals week. Through student life, college provides an experience that can drastically influence our current generation to become great leaders, inventors, mentors, writers and so much more. I believe, with the right leadership, the student government can move forward and do even greater things to make sure SRJC students have access to resources that will help them achieve greatness. 

I’m confident that if elected, I can be the leader the student body needs in order to continue our pursuit for a united campus, where students can experience every aspect of college life both in and out of classrooms. I’m prepared to face issues that hinder the success of students’ head on with an open mind and an open heart. I stand for Honor, Opportunity, Professionalism and Equality: H.O.P.E.

Vice President of Student Life

Robert Martinez

Robert Martinez

We have a lot of diversity in this community, which is not something to be ashamed of, but a lot of those groups are misrepresented or not represented at all. As someone with disabilities, I’ve felt misrepresented in my life. People didn’t understand me and other people with disabilities because no one represented someone like me. That’s something I’m going to actively prevent from happening at our school for any group of people, no matter their ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation. If elected, my goal would be to help change that in our community. I would make events to help bring awareness to groups that a lot of people don’t know about, or groups that have been misrepresented. In doing so we can help create a stronger sense of community.

Abel Fernando Vallejo Galindo

Abel Fernando Vallejo Galindo

I’m a first generation college student and a Puentista. I’m a sociology major and currently the secretary of the Undocumented Student Union at SRJC. My experience working with underrepresented communities gives me the language to relate to those who share similar experiences. As a result, I’ve chosen to run for vice president of student life in order to better advocate for underrepresented students on a larger scale.

Vice President of Committees

Maria Fernando Salcido Barraza

Maria Salcido

As a student, I believe that involvement in our college campus is important. There’s a great lack of resources available to underrepresented groups on campus and that’s why many people’s academic careers are hindered. This lack of resources is a solvable problem. That’s why I’m committed in working toward creating more resources for those who are often overlooked on campus. It’s our duty as the student body to be a part of our college community and become involved in creating a system that meets our needs and not the other way around.

Como estudiante, yo creo que la participación en el campus de la universidad es importante. Hay una gran falta de recursos disponibles para los grupos menos representados en el campus y es una razón por la que la carrera académica de muchas personas se hacen más dificultosas. Falta de recursos es un problema solucionable. Estoy comprometida en trabajar hacer la creación de más recursos para aquellos que son olvidados por la institución. Es nuestro deber como estudiantes ser parte de nuestra comunidad universitaria y participar en la creación de un sistema que se adapte a nuestras necesidades y no al revés.

Vice President of Student Health

Hannah Cagle


As a student leader, I believe every issue should be approached by asking, “How can I help improve the lives of students?” Whether it’s giving a platform for student voices to be heard, making resources for student health and success more accessible, fighting for increased housing, lowering fees wherever possible or building more community throughout the campus, my primary interests reside in how I can improve life for students, especially those in communities who are often left unsupported, such as people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community and those with disabilities. I would also like to expand health resources for transgender students as well as make all-gender bathrooms more accessible.

Sarai Rebeca Vargas

Sarai Vargas

Life’s a precious gift; in order to enjoy it we must live a healthy life. I’m running for VP of Student Health. My main priority is to establish the fundamental importance of one’s health to all the students at SRJC, as well as bringing awareness to the wonderful resources the college provides. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” Living a healthy lifestyle can be tedious, but one is not alone. I derive my experience from having family members who are medical assistants, pediatric doctors and who are currently enrolled in nursing school. Watching them succeed and be passionate about what they do has given me a deep love for the health field in which I would like to share with the students at SRJC.

Vice President of Sustainability

LaMont Jerome Powell

Lamont Powell

As a student at Santa Rosa Junior College, I’ve seen the school begin to find and implement new ways to help keep our school clean and safe. If elected to student government, I promise to increase efforts in sustainability practices, bring more water and healthy meal options to our students and work to reduce waste and increase sustainable business practices, such as recycling, water waste prevention and working to install more bike repair stations. As part of the Justice League, I would also stand in solidarity with all student clubs and their individual goals.

Michal Steiner

Michal Steiner

My involvement in the SRJC Feminists United club this past year and my experiences with Berkeley Model United Nations have proven to me that no one lives a single-issue life. In running for Vice President of Sustainability, I want to bring to light that sustainability is a pressing issue that affects everyone, no matter their gender, race, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or socioeconomic class, among other social identities. Environmentalism should not be a project isolated to the privileged. My focus, if elected to office, will be to make education about sustainability available to everyone and to inspire our community to take sustainable projects upon themselves that will better individual lives and the SRJC campus as a whole long-term.

Vice President of Advocacy

Hernan Rai Zaragoza Lemus

Hernan Zaragoza

We should remember Santa Rosa Junior College is here to serve the students, not the other way around. We need to understand that! Every student on campus deserves the equal opportunity to achieve the success they strive for. This college needs to represent its students and needs to support its staff in all aspects. If elected as Vice President of Advocacy, I will advocate for change. Together we will demand for institutional reformation to help aid our peoples in their struggle. Like Salvador Allende once said, “To be a student and not a revolutionary is a biological contradiction.” I hold this quote strongly to my heart because together we shall create the environment we need to prosper. If you have any questions, contact me at raizaragozalemus@gmail.com.

Debemos recordar que Santa Rosa Junior College está aquí para servir a los estudiantes, no al revés. Tenemos que entender eso! Cada estudiante en el colegio merece las mismas oportunidades para lograr el éxito académico. Si soy elegido como vicepresidente de la defensa, voy a abogar por el cambio. Esta universidad tiene que representar a sus estudiantes y debe ser compatible con su personal en todos los aspectos. Juntos vamos a exigir para la reforma institucional para ayudar a nuestros pueblos en nuestra lucha. Al igual que Salvador Allende dijo: “Ser estudiante y no un revolucionario es una contradicción hasta biológica.” Yo sostengo esta cita fuertemente a mi corazón porque juntos vamos a crear el ambiente que necesitamos para prosperar. Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, póngase en contacto conmigo a [email protected].

Maleehai Rodriguez

Maleehai Rodriguez

Fight for what’s right. Born and raised in low income housing, living on my own since age 14, becoming a single teenage mom, receiving my GED at age 16 and working two full-time jobs to help support my five younger siblings and my own children allowed me to learn what it is to struggle. I’ve overcome many hardships, been in and out of the system and worked hard. I know what areas are lacking in aid and what’s needed as well as knowing what it takes to get by in the low-income and middle-class sectors. Finally attending college is a dream I would like to see come true for anyone. I’ll fight for hardworking dreams to become a reality for everyone because that is what’s right.

Vice President of Marketing

Eduardo Osorio Juarez

Eduardo Osorio Juarez

As a first generation college student currently in my second semester at Santa Rosa Junior College, I’m beginning to understand that it’s my responsibility to bring forth new ideas into our Student Government. I also strongly believe that it’s our right to demand institutional change, so our multi-cultural student body can have the representation we deserve and need in fields such as teaching and guidance, in order to be truly inspired and succeed in our college careers.

Como estudiante universitario de primera generación, actualmente en mi segundo semestre en Santa Rosa Junior College, estoy empezando a entender que es mi responsabilidad para traer nuevas ideas a nuestro gobierno estudiantil. También creo firmemente que es nuestro derecho a exigir un cambio institucional , para que nuestro cuerpo estudiantil multicultural pueda tener la representación que merecemos y necesitamos en campos de enseñanza y la orientación , con el fin de ser verdaderamente inspirado y tener éxito en nuestras carreras universitarias.

Vice President of Finance

Gavin N. Johnston

Gavin Johnston

I am committed to helping SRJC live up to its amazing reputation. As a native Santa Rosan, it’s a tremendous joy of mine to give back to my local community. I’m a Marine Corps veteran proud to uphold my oath to the United States Constitution to uphold the values of American progress. Putting service above self has always been a priority for me. It’s always been a hope and dream of mine that I could one day return to my hometown and attend this prestigious and spectacular college. With my financial skillset and determination for success, I believe I can be an integral asset as VP of Finance. I’d love to earn your vote, so feel free to stop me on campus or email me anytime at [email protected].

Vice President of Diversity

Hector Jimenez Carreno

Hector Jimenez

It’s my second year at SRJC. With my leadership experience in MEChA, Undocumented Student Union and student government, I plan on advocating for more student resources that should lead to equity on campus. It’s important we continue to add more resources as well as support the ones we currently have. Furthermore, if elected, I’ll use my position to find and support current/new resources to help students be successful. As an individual who came to this country undocumented, I’ve experienced an abundant amount of backlash and understand the concept of oppression and insecurity.

Es mi segundo año en Santa Rosa Junior College. Con mi experiencia de liderazgo en MEChA, y Unión de Estudiantes Indocumentados, y el gobierno del estudiante, planeo en advocar por más recursos para estudiantes que deben conducir a la equidad en el campus. Es importante que continuamos agregando más recursos, así como apoyar a los que tenemos actualmente. Por otra parte, si soy elegido, voy a utilizar mi posición para encontrar y apoyar a nuevos recursos y corriente para ayudar a los estudiantes a llegara sus metas. Como un individuo que llegó a este país sin papeles, ha sido víctima de una cantidad de rechazos y retrasos por la sociedad.

Enrique Yarce Martinez

Enrique Yarce Martinez

There are a lot of bad things going on in society that affect students. I want SRJC to do a better job of assisting students. I want to advocate for students and all marginalized groups. I care about the issues that affect the people.

Inter-Club Council Chair

Joshua “Lightning Strike” Pinaula

Joshua Pinaula

If you really want to learn more about me, visit https://goo.gl/w9T2K2 and check out my list of accomplishments. I’m practical and unopposed.

Student Trustee

Sabrina Rawson

Sabrina Rawson

I’m honored to participate in a committee that governs an institution of excellence here in Sonoma County. I plan to participate in discussion of SRJC’s philosophy on civic engagement. SRJC’s Mission Statement states: “We support economic vitality, social equity and environmental stewardship of our region. We foster critical and reflective civic engagement and thoughtful participation in diverse local and global communities.” As acting liaison for SRJC’s Student Government Assembly, I plan to incorporate a shared passion of diverse learning values documented in SRJC Values Statement: (1) academic excellence that includes: Collaboration in continuous quality improvement of SRJC’s programs and services. (2) Sustainability that includes: Support and promotion of sustainability efforts in our community. (3) Diversity that supports: Multi-ethnic global perspectives and cultural competencies. (4) Compassion that includes: Civic engagement opportunities that contribute to real world problem solving. (5) Innovation that includes: Response to demographic, global and technological changes.

Executive Vice President of Petaluma

Emmanuell Monter

Emmanuell Monter

As an SRJC student, I wish to run for office because I have a vested interest in assuring that student life on the Petaluma campus is maintained at the highest standard possible with the ambition of having Petaluma become a prosperous and an inclusive campus. I’ve attended SRJC for three years, primarily staying at the Petaluma campus. In those three years I’ve observed student life having an exponential increase. As well, the number of clubs in Petaluma, which have a base in being accountable for having a student life, has escalated from eight to 11 clubs, breaking the total number of clubs on campus. The position of Executive Vice President serves as a vital member of the Student Government Assembly of SRJC. The EVP presides as Chair and official spokesperson of the Petaluma Council and oversees the entire Petaluma campus. For fall semester of 2016, I served as the Vice Chair as Director of Clubs for Petaluma.

Ana Belem Sanchez

Ana Belem Sanchez

Over the years, I’ve had an amazing experience working with the food distribution on the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses. Because of that volunteering work, I was able to see the need of food resources in our entire college community. I also became more aware of other needs on our Petaluma campus like childcare not being offered to any parents attending our college, and as a mother myself, that has had a big impact in my college experience. On the other hand, the Petaluma campus has amazing club organizations and many times they have a very low budget and this makes it difficult for them to fulfill the purpose of their club. Should I be elected to be your next Executive Vice President of Petaluma, I aim to push for innovative solutions to some of these complex problems by making various processes less arcane and more openly democratic.

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About the Contributor
Maci Martell
Maci Martell, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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