Voting booth 101

Roundup Staff, Compiled by Anibal Ortiz

Elections for the 2009-2010 Associated Students Organization continue along the Campus Mall today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m giving students one last chance to vote for their new student body.

Tina R. Posner, an 18-year-old ASO vice president candidate, stressed why students should get involved.

“ASO has such a huge say (about) campus life,” said Posner. “It’s really important to vote.”

Students like Patrick Mapile, 18, are voting with a lot of enthusiasm.

“I vote because it is important to get involved in the political process,” said Mapile, who is majoring in political science.

Leonard Hall, 27, was eager to vote and has had his candidates “in mind for weeks.”

“I haven’t been following the debates that closely, but from what I have heard, Shanni Simms, Gabriel Figueroa and Cindy Gerges are the most enthusiastic about the election and their future roles if elected,” said Hall.

Fill-in candidate Jonathan Yoni, wishes the candidates “the best of luck,” as he dropped out of the race.

“I went (to the election forum) knowing that I would be a fill-in applicant,” said the 19-year-old biology major. “Due to timing and other circumstances I decided that I wasn’t going to continue.”

David Koehnlein, administrative assistant for the academic affairs department, believes that the student body is an important addition to the campus.

“I think it’s important for them to have experience with the political process,” said 45-year-old Koehnlein. “To understand democracy and have a better sense of how it works.”

Along the Campus Mall, candidates and voters stressed important issues.

“Voters are very concerned to see what we can offer and what we can bring to the table,” said 18-year-old Cindy Gerges, a club council candidate majoring in English.

Parking and the return amount on the textbook buy-back are among the top issues students are concerned about.

“I’m really glad they built that new parking lot,” said 20-year-old sociology major Maria Martinez, adding that she would like to see more parking.

Not all students, however, are as enthusiastic or knowledgeable about the candidates and the election.

“I’m not into voting because I am in a rush,” said Erika Soto, a 20-year-old nursing major. “I don’t know anything about ASO or who is running, so I wouldn’t vote anyway.”

Working at the Freudian Sip, 25-year-old marketing major Anthony Perera has not heard any election excitement.

“I’ve seen all the signs and posters but I haven’t heard talk among the students.”

Sunita Gaudam, a 42-year-old nursing student, felt she didn’t have enough information to vote for any of the candidates.

“I don’t know anything about anyone, that’s why I’m not voting.”

Students such as Mathew Gold did not care much for the election.

“I keep it simple and don’t vote because I don’t care,” said Gold, an 18-year-old student, undecided. “I’m not into that kind of thing.”

Other students only voted for friends or single candidates.

Roger Smith, a 47-year-old environmental engineering major, sat on a bench just outside the campus library, watching the campaigning and voting.

“I only voted for one guy,” Smith said. “I know him from class, and he’s a good student so I voted for that one office only. I don’t know any of the other people.”

When voting at the event students not only looked for facts and issues but also popularity.

“I think a lot of people are voting race-wise and looks,” said 24-year-old paid volunteer Sara De Los Rios. “They like the pretty girls.”

One student confirmed De Los Rios’ opinion.

“I voted because the girl basically told me, ‘Hey vote for me,’ ” said 19-year-old engineering major James Chan.

As the end of the first day of elections neared Yoni, the fill-in candidate who dropped out of the race, expressed his feeling about the remaining candidates.

“I think we have some great candidates running and I expect the next year’s ASO committee to be very strong,” said Yoni.

Terrena Sellers votes in the ASO elections on the Pierce College Mall in Woodland Hills,Calif.,Tuesday April 14, 2009. (Arash Ahktari / Roundup)

The incentives that were handed out by Shani Simms. (Arash Ahktari Rad / Roundup)