Voter turnout for ASCOCC student government elections has been typically around 1% of the student population, according to Andrew Davis, Director of Student Life at Central Oregon Community College. Especially due to the past two years of COVID-19 resulting in distance learning at COCC, one can say that student engagement has been very low in general, and ASCOCC elections are no exception.
Lindsay Buccafurni, Assistant Director of Student Life stated that this is her first time overseeing the election process. During and prior to COVID-19, voting polls were all provided through Blackboard. Before the pandemic, candidates would also have a multitude of opportunities in which to campaign through, such as posting flyers, going to club meetings, connecting with peers, hosting tables in the Campus Center, etc., to get their message out in front of students and others involved in the COCC community.
According to Buccafurni, ASCOCC attempted online campaigning through different websites, with not much luck in getting effective reach or engagement. Although COCC has made the switch from Blackboard to Canvas in the Fall of 2021, voting will be held through Qualtrics, a survey software. A link to the voting survey will be sent to all credit COCC students to their school emails, and elections will be open from Monday, May 16, through Saturday, May 21.
“I’m feeling hopeful, because the first two terms of this academic year were a little bit more on the quiet side as far as student engagement, and what I was seeing on campus with events in the Spring term has picked up and we’ve seen more engagement. I’ve seen students showing up for events and we’ve seen more clubs starting. So I’m hopeful that that’s telling me that students need that and hopefully they’ll also vote and be involved [that way],” Buccafurni stated.
In this election, there are three elected positions, including the President, Director of Legislative Affairs and Director of Student Affairs. The remaining nine positions are all appointed, meaning that students can apply online and will undergo a typical interview process.
While elected positions might bring anxiety to some students, there are many other student government positions available, so students don’t need to feel pressured to run for a voted spot. Appointed positions include the Director of Campus Affairs, Wickiup Hall Liason and more. All student government positions for next year are officially open on the COCC jobs website.
Buccafurni said that she feels that voting will be simpler and easier to access this year compared to previous years. For position application deadlines, candidates for this year’s election and other information, click here.