The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

ASCOCC elections nearly canceled again this year

Last-minute candidate Thomas Wrisley elected to lead students
illustration by Keala Anderson
Illustration of a stage located in the barren desert with a “ASCOCC Student Election” banner, draped across the top.

Central Oregon Community College was en route to miss out on Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College spring elections for a second year in a row until Thomas Wrisley, a political science student, decided to run for ASCOCC president.

During the election process, COCC emailed students a link to vote or write-in another COCC student’s name. The election ran from May 29 to June 5, and Wrisley’s win was announced during finals week.

Wrisley had previously worked on ASCOCC council as legislative affairs coordinator. Wrisley said he would try to connect to more students and increase awareness of what ASCOCC does for the college.

“Nobody stepped up to apply for [ASCOCC] president and I decided it might as well be me …the most important thing that I could accomplish as ASCOCC president is helping build a better relationship with the student body. ASCOCC does a lot to support the school,” said Wrisley.

Lindsay Buccafurni, assistant director of student life and adviser to the ASCOCC council, mentioned that the ASCOCC president is a representative of the COCC student body and has to serve and provide student feedback on college committees.

“They are a representative on campus, so we want to make sure that the president is continually making sure they’re talking to who they represent,” Buccafurni said.

The president is the only elected role in the ASCOCC council. The 11 other council members are appointed through a hiring process where candidates meet with Buccafurni, outgoing ASCOCC president, Ivy Sotelo, and members from the council and other committees.

Buccafurni mentioned three possible reasons for lack of multiple candidates: Students not knowing about ASCOCC, students getting better paying jobs elsewhere and lack of campus engagement since returning from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If students had a better idea, then they might be more excited to apply, because they really do get to make a difference for students, every student that attends here pays $1.50 (pre credit) in student fees, and that money is what supports student government. You want to make sure that it’s being stewarded well and so things that are meaningful to students are on campus,” said Buccafurni.

Previous ASCOCC President Ivy Sotelo was appointed after running unopposed last spring, Sotello offered another possible reason and solution for not having many candidates run this year.

Photo of ASCOCC room in Coats Campus center (Fabian Ruiz)

“My guess would be that there are some students who feel like maybe they don’t think that I’m good enough for this position, and to them I would say you definitely are, we need every single kind of student’s voice for majors, background, education levels, you need everyone’s input,” said Sotelo.

As president, Sotelo had to oversee an ASCOCC budget, communicate and listen to the needs of students and connect students to resources so they could succeed and much more. At the start of every school year the ASCOCC council gets together to set goals for the year and responsibilities for each other.

“The more diverse and experienced our council is, the better we can support students because we can hear more voices,” said Sotelo.

ASCOCC oversees all COCC clubs and funds. Events such as Stress Free Finals offer students free massages, free rock climbing and therapy dogs. During Welcome Week there is free coffee and an activities fair. These events are all put on by the ASCOCC.

Students interested in serving on ASCOCC for the upcoming year should visit for requirements and important dates. Multiple spots on the council are open.

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