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Six candidates running for student government

Extending the deadline for candidacy has flushed out six prospective student government members for 2014-15

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When the first deadline for student government applicants arrived, no one applied, but extending the deadline a week has yielded six.

These candidates for the Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College 2014-15 are Shanelle Allen, Susana Hernandez, Nick Wright, Justin Warren and Amber Ruedi.

Gordon Price, director of Student Life, said the only reason there’s more applicants is because word has gotten out.

“More people have gotten on the ground and talked to more people,” Price said. “Word-of-mouth has opened up more people to the possibility.”

The applicants
“Word-of-mouth” was why Justin Warren got the idea to run for office. Friends and faculty encouraged him to run.

“I want to show what I am capable of,” Warren said. “I wish to fill a need.”

Warren is running on a ticket with Nick Wright. The ticket means that the two will promote and campaign together, but it doesn’t affect who gets elected. According to Price: Whoever gets the most votes for each position will get the position.

But it’s important to Warren for the student body to see his and Wright’s names together on posters.

“The more in sync we are, I think the better it will run,” Warren said.

Allen and Ruedi are the only two running for ASCOCC who are currently on the council. They are both running for the position of Vice President of ASCOCC affairs.

“I have learned so much this past year about our college community and our student needs and concerns,” Ruedi said to The Broadside in an email. “I would like to continue to help students of COCC reach their goals and dreams.”

Allen was originally urged by peers to rerun. For her, the main challenge was deciding what to apply for.

“I was originally going to apply for treasurer, since that is the role I am in now,” Allen said in an email to The Broadside. “However, I thought I would be able to do more in the capacity of VP of Affairs than as treasurer.”

Another candidate for presidency, Karl Dinkel, decided to run because he “saw a need for change.”

“I saw a bit of disorganization at times and certain people taking advantage of their situation,” said Dinkel.

Who’s not coming back

Three of the current ASCOCC officers are moving onto other colleges next year, according to Kurt Killinger, the current director of Legislative Affairs for ASCOCC. Killinger said he will be one of them.

“I am moving on to graduate work at a different college, so will not be here next year with the exception of one class,” Killinger said.

The director of Student Organizations also decided not to apply, but for a different reason. According to Stephanie Pedro, the reason she won’t be reapplying is because “the position I am interested in is not an elected one.” Whether Pedro will be coming back as an appointed officer is unknown, as she currently plans to seek outside employment.

Hailey Jorgensen, the current director of public relations, and Kayla Miller, the director of events and activities, have not disclosed whether they will be seeking appointment from ASCOCC.

What’s next

Now that six candidates have applied, the election process is set to continue – with one disadvantage. As no one has applied for vice president of legislative affairs, that position will be moved to appointment process along with the other three positions in that category, according to Price.

With the exception of the campaign timeline being shortened, the rest of the election should proceed according to schedule.

“Campaign is usually a couple of weeks,” Price said. “Now it’s starting up today, and it will be end of elections next week.”

The college will be hosting the first-ever candidate forum for the applicants on Thursday, May 15, from 12:00-1:30 at Wille Hall. Elections will run on Blackboard from April 19-21 to determine who will be next year’s president and vice president of ASCOCC Affairs. From there, applications for appointed officers are due May 20. Official results from the appointment committee will be released June 6, and on June 9 President Jim Middleton will confirm the new council.

Now that the process is back on track, Price has mixed feelings.

“I think it’s great,” Price said. “I am curious as to why it took an extension to [get candidates].”

Scott Greenstone | The Broadside
(Contact: sgreenstone@cocc.edu)
Junnelle Hogen | The Broadside
(Contact: jhogen@cocc.edu)

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