“We’ve had such low voting numbers in the past”
With record low voter participation in previous council elections, student government are working to increase student participation. Last year, there were under 400 student voters and the previous years had relatively similar numbers.
“We’ve had such low voting numbers in the past. It is important that students vote,” said council member Stephanie Pedro. “We are here to advocate for students, so we need to hear the student voice in voting.”
Due to the Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College’s recent restructure, the positions on next years’ council will be different; however, the main voting process will remain the same, according to Gordon Price, director of student life at COCC.
“Even with the changing structure, the overall process of the elections will largely be the same,” Price said.
Because of the restructure, candidates will now have to select one position they are running for. The three elected positions will be president, Vice President for Legislative Affairs, and Vice President for ASCOCC Affairs, according to Price. The remainder of the council will be selected by an appointment committee, and there will be three or possibly more positions in that area.
“In the past the council has been at six [members],” Price said. “They are currently looking at having more than six positions on the council.”
This could help to add flexibility with position descriptions, according to Price.
The changes made to this year’s process are largely to increase student participation in voting, according to Price. This year, for the first time, elected candidates will participate in an open forum facilitated by The Broadside. Candidates will also have access to materials such as the button and t-shirt machines in the ASCOCC office.
Price encourages those considering running for council to “read the job description closely and be sure that’s what you’re intent on.”
“It’s a great resume builder,” Price said. “It’s a tough job with great growth opportunities to learn time management, parliamentary procedure, how to run a meeting. It is high risk, high reward.”
Pedro believes positions on council are resume builders.
“It is a great opportunity to learn community outreach and involvement as well as a great way to develop leadership skills and take a stance when you need to,” Pedro said.
The elected council packets are due May 2 and voting will take place on Blackboard from May 19-21.
“I’d love to see thousands of students come and vote and have a say in how their fees are spent,” Price said.
Molly Svendsen | The Broadside