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Meet the candidates: SGA elections happening now

Simon Isaksson, Executive Editor and Co-News Editor

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See slideshow above for complete candidate biographies and statements.

To see the interviews of each presidential candidate, please go to https://www.theoakleafnews.com/web-exclusive/2017/04/18/sga-associated-student-presidential-candidates/

It is time for the annual student government assembly elections. All currently enrolled Santa Rosa Junior College students are able to cast their votes from Monday, April 17 through Friday, April 21.

“This year we have three students running for president,” said Zack Miranda, coordinator for student government programs and this year’s election. “It’s not normal that we get this many options for the presidency, so I’m excited to see what that means.”

In addition to choosing representatives for the various government positions, students will also vote on whether to impose an extra fee on unit costs in order to make local bus traffic more affordable.

“It’s a question about a potential $1 per unit up to a maximum of $10 per semester per student to generate money to allow us to offer free bus transit from here on out in Sonoma County, Santa Rosa city and possibly Petaluma city as well,” Miranda said. “And with any remaining money, we’re also looking at going into negotiations with the SMART train.”

This year’s elections come after a turbulent 2016 SRJC student government election process. Last year, initial election results were disregarded due to election process violations, and special elections had to be held.

“Miscommunication was one of the biggest [issues] last year… I don’t blame anyone for what happened. It was unfortunate that we had to go through that special election,” Miranda said. “But we were able to fill the seats, and we’ve had a full student government being able to work through the year now, so I think we got to a positive place after all.”

More than 25,000 students are registered at SRJC. Last year, 567 voted in the first student elections and just 146 students voted in the special elections, according to Miranda.

“Last year had less competitive races and the special election had only a couple of contested positions, and those numbers reflect that,” Miranda said. “We absolutely want to see a greater turnout [this year], as it gives more power to those candidates who win and the organization itself.”

Miranda said he believes increased political tensions on the national level will raise the interest in SRJC elections.

“I’ve seen a pretty big outcry of activism on campus,” Miranda said. “I think a lot of people are inspired by the national narrative and everything that went on during the presidential election cycle and I think that will directly affect voter turnout here on campus.”

HOW TO VOTE

1. Log on to your student portal

2. Click on the link on top of your page which takes you to the student ballot

3. Vote on the transportation referendum

4. Vote for your preferred candidate under each category. Candidates and categories will be randomized.

Vote anytime from 12 a.m. Monday April 17 through 11:59 p.m. Friday April 21. Cast your vote from any computer or mobile device. Extra computers will be set up for voting on the SRJC campuses during business hours. Write-in votes are allowed, but at least 50 write- in votes–or ve percent of total votes cast–are necessary for a write-in candidate to be considered.

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The news site of Santa Rosa Junior College.
Meet the candidates: SGA elections happening now