Student government candidates hold forum, debate

The Associated Students Organization held a candidate forum Thursday April 16, followed by a debate in the ASO office.

The ten candidates made introductory speeches on why they should be elected for a seat in the ASO government. Milo Anderson, one of two Student Trustee candidates, said he would like to work closely with the other LACCD campuses if elected.

“[Pierce would] benefit from the connection we have with the other nine community colleges,” Anderson said. “I want to have all our schools collaborate and solve district-wide problems together.”

Anderson said he also wants to implement a summer retreat program for all ASO members to unite before the fall semester and “get the ball rolling” with campus issues before school starts.

The positions of student trustee, treasurer and vice president each have two students running, while the presidential seat has three candidates. The club council president is the only position that has one student running for office without competition.

Barbara Lombrano, who is running for vice president, said her past has taught her important leadership skills.

“When I first got to Pierce, I noticed some campus-wide issues and I was told that that’s just the way it is here, just get used to it,” Lombrano said. “That is not me. That is not who I am. I decided to get involved.  I am now a member of both honors societies and an active member in the student veterans’ club. I have 13 years in the Navy, which has given me strong leadership skills and experience to be successful at this position.”

Carlos Castaneda, the sole candidate for the club council president position, said student involvement is his primary focus.

“I want to increase awareness and student involvement with clubs, as well as the communication between clubs. It all starts with club rush,” Castaneda said. “I want to make a push to make club rush a more hands-on experience for students, so they can really get an idea of what it is. For example, the video game club could set up actual games to play at their tent so students can get a feel of what it would be like if they joined.”

Castaneda also said he stresses the importance of finances.

“The ASO only gives $50 to each club, which is not enough. I want to increase that amount through funding programs so clubs have more money for their activities” said Castaneda.

ASO elections will take place from April 21 to 23 through the newly implemented electronic ballot form which will be sent via school email. Votes for student trustee will be taken by paper ballot on the Pierce mall.