The Roundup recently sat down with Associated Students Organization, Vice President Mariella Valdez to talk about what she plans to accomplish during her term.
RoundUp: How long have you been on the ASO?
Mariella Valdez: I have been a part of ASO since spring 2012
RU: Why did you chose to run for vice president?
MV: I chose to be vice president because I liked how Kevin Sparks, our former vice president, would lead the meetings and how he was so involved and how he would manage everything that was going on and at the time we needed somebody that would fill the position so I stepped up and said I could do it.
RU: What responsibilities fall to the vice president?
MV: The responsibilities that I have right now is to manage the Senate meetings on Tuesdays, and basically appoint who speaks and basically keep order in the meetings. I make sure the four committees are running smoothly and that the committee chairs are doing what they are supposed to do.
RU: What made you want to run for ASO office?
MV: Basically the position was available and Kevin said that I would make a good vice president so he helped me do my campaign and supported me.
RU: So you knew Kevin prior to entering politics here at Pierce?
MV: I met him first through ASO.
RU: Did you always want to run for ASO?
MV: I never thought that I would want to run to be a board member, but I did run a couple of times to be the Social/ Cultural Committee Chair, so but then Kevin said that I could be a good vice president.
RU: How has being the vice president been for you so far?
MV: Its…stressful. Being VP is so stressful. I have to run and get things ordered before the meeting and I have to make sure that I know everything like all the parliamentary procedures and I’m still getting the hang of it. Right now I’m not the best but I’m definitely working hard to improve my ways.
RU: A little bit about yourself, what’s your major?
MV: My major is accounting.
RU: What would we most likely be seeing you do in your spare time?
MV: That would be dancing. I practice 24/7. I do folkloric dancing. I’m from Bolivia so I also do Bolivian dancing. So I’m either at school studying or at work or I’m at dance practice. I’m a busy, busy person.
RU: So how long has dancing been a thing for you?
MV: I started dancing when I was 8, but then I stopped and since 2011 I picked it up again.
RU: Why did you stop?
MV: I stopped because of school and you know, as a teenager I really didn’t feel like dancing anymore. But when I started college I went back and have been doing it ever since.
RU: Where did you go to high school?
MV: I went to Granada Hills Charter High School.
RU: Did you run for any student politics in your time there?
MV: I was never interested in politics. I began to be interested in the ASO because I was the Latin American Cultural president and for one of the meetings I had to come to a Senate meeting to inform myself to thing other things going on, and that’s when I met Kevin and everybody else from the ASO and that’s how I became interested in student politics.
RU: How did you come into position of Latin Cultural president?
MV: Basically when I first got into college, somebody approached me and said that I would be a good candidate to be part of their club, especially since I love culture. So I joined the club, and a couple of times after that they decided that I would be a good president.
RU: Do you have any hidden talents?
MV: I would have to say the dancing. That’s about it really.
RU: Do you have any talents that you wish you had?
MV: I wish I could sing (laughs).
RU: So after Pierce what are your goals?
MV: After Pierce I would like to transfer and find a good job, and then after that, I have always wanted to build my own organization. Something that I could use to help poor kids from other countries. So basically work until I have enough money to make that possible.
RU: A lot of people see Pierce as a stepping stone to get to another university, so where would that be for you?
MV: I definitely would want to go to UCLA or CSUN because they are close by and I could just stay at home.
RU: What would you dream job be?
MV: To be the director of a foundation so that I could help other people. I guess I have always just pictured myself doing that.
RU:. What would you say to someone who is considering to run for ASO?
MV: If you are considering to run for ASO, I would suggest that you become a senator first so that you know how everything works, and then for the next year to run for one of the offices. That way you can have support from the ASO and know what you are getting yourself into.
RU: Why should someone run for ASO?
MV: You help out the students from Pierce, and I know a lot of people don’t really care to have a community or to be integrated into something because they just see Pierce as a community college. We just want to build something better than just going to classes and then going home.