Anatomy of an election


Student Affiars Coordinator Lori Oldham addresses a crowd gathered in the cafeteria for the 2015 ASG election forum on April 21, where candidates answered students’ questions and concerns. Photo credit: Joe Kendall

Phoenix Webb

Elections for Associated Students Government happen each spring semester at San Diego City College, and the campaign season began March 6.

It was advertised on San Diego City College’s website for interested students who wanted to get involved with ASG to pick up application packets in the Student Affairs’ office March 6-23.

March 23 was a one-week extension from the original end date of March 16 to pick up candidate applications.

Completed packets were scheduled to be returned to Student Affairs for eligibility to be determined and when it was, the students’ names, their respective photo and a short paragraph about them was posted on City College’s website under Associated Students’ Government via Campus Life.

This semester, ASG had 14 open positions, nine of which were for the executive council. The rest of the positions were for the senate. There were only six confirmed candidates by the time they needed to attend the required orientation.

The candidates were Laura Benavidez for president; Tony Givens, Wendy Huerta, Suma Massaley, Claudia Robles, and Zacari Waller each for senator.

The ASG directly represents the student population with one senator for every 1500 students. Part of what the student government handles is a “substantial” budget, according to ASG adviser Bill Ponder.

Two mandatory orientation dates were posted for confirmed candidates as April 14 and 15.

The first date of orientation was attended by only two candidates. The remaining four candidates were a no show for the second date.

Independent of the ASG is the Election Commission, comprised of a commissioner and three members. The commission
oversees the election
process and Election
Commissioner Rubyll 
Banuelos facilitates 

During the first day of orientation, Banuelos explained that sanctions are disciplinary actions for ASG candidates and members who commit infractions of the rules. She was in the awkward position to create new sanctions for the four candidates that did not attend the second day of orientation.

Banuelos shared that she would require no-show candidates to write a minimum of one page explaining why they missed the mandatory orientation and they would be offered one more orientation date to be determined and they would be excluded from participating in the candidate forum the following week.

The new orientation was held in Ponder’s office in Student Affairs on April 20 and three candidates showed that day.

While the remaining candidate did not attend orientation, they did show the next day for the candidate forum.

The forum was held in the cafeteria on April 21 at 11:30 a.m., with only Massaley, Benavidez and Givens participating, then again at 5 p.m., when only Massaley was in attendance.

Both sessions of the forum were facilitated by Inter-Club Council Adviser and Student Affairs Coordinator Lori Oldham.