The Associated Students of Yuba College (ASYC) held its annual election April 30 through May 4. Donna Evans was elected ASYC President and Student Trustee. Michelle Agripa won for Vice President. Rose Herrara won for Business Director. Alice D’Ambrosio, Gurjinder Dhanota, James Hall and Todd Perkins were all elected as Senators.
All ran unopposed.
The only competition was for Activities Director. Vineet Agarwal defeated Stephanie Escovedo by a margin of 17 votes.
Evans, who has attended Yuba College for four years, will be serving her third term as ASYC President. She held the office during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 school years. Evans is replacing the ASYC’s acting president, James Hall. Hall was elected Vice President last year, but became acting president after the resignation of Laura Carranza.
According to Elizabeth Bowman, ASYC Advisor, “Laura moved on with her life. She got a full time job and could not fulfill her duties as president.” James Hall will serve as a Senator in the upcoming year.
Evans has many goals for the ASYC in the upcoming year. Among them, Evans hopes to promote more student involvement, continue working on campus beautification and looks forward to sitting on committees to ensure students are taken care of.
“I want to fight for students needs,” said Evans.
Bowman expanded on Evans’ goals saying, “We hope to continue to attend district meetings to ensure students’ rights are upheld.”
Evans will be serving a second consecutive term as Student Trustee. It is the duty of the Student Trustee to attend Yuba College Board of Trustee meetings. The Student Trustee cannot vote; however, she can make and second motions.”The Student Trustee is an advisor who expresses views and adds input from the students perspective,” explained Board of Trustee Vice President, Alan Flory.
The Student Trustee receives $47 for each regular board meeting as well as compensation for mileage. The Student Trustee also receives the William P. Rich Scholarship in the amount of $300 per year.
Eighty-one students on a campus of 7,191 cast their votes in this year’s election. The numbers were up slightly from the 61 voters in last year’s election.
Both Evans and Bowman hope to boost student involvement in the next year. “Student involvement is not very high at Yuba,” Bowman said. “When they want something, people come to ASYC meetings.”
“I encourage students to find and read Student Bulletins,” she continued. “Students need to pick up the bulletins and find out what’s going on instead of waiting for someone to tell them.”Evans encourages everyone to attend ASYC meetings, which are held on Thursdays at noon in the cafeteria.
“The meetings are open to all students,” Evans said. “Come, check us out, and be part of the action.” Evans also invited students with concerns to bring them to the ASYC, and the ASYC will investigate the issue.
Yuba College student, Kevin Arnoldy admits he does not know much about the ASYC. According to Arnoldy, “They hide out.”
Arnoldy says he did attend an ASYC meeting last semester and volunteered to be Business Advisor, but pulled his application after two months with no response from the ASYC.
“I offered to help because they seemed to need it,” Arnoldy said. “They didn’t take me up on it, so I said the heck with it.”
There have been controversies and negative feelings towards the ASYC in recent years. Questions have arisen regarding spending practices, incentives for officers, such as $250 gift certificates to the College Bookstore, and conference and travel expenses.
Language arts professor and former ASYC advisor, Ramiro Canto-Lugo, feels the problems started when the ASYC Constitution was changed without the whole student body approval in April 2000.
“It’s sad to see the decline of the student government,” Canto-Lugo said. “It is really a tragic situation and makes Yuba College look bad in the community.”
Bowman blames The Prospector for some of the negative publicity.
“I’ve been disappointed by no personal contact from the paper,” Bowman said. “One guy from The Prospector came to the beginning of an ASYC meeting, got the information he needed and left.”
Bowman feels The Prospector makes the ASYC go on the attack.
“There are a lot of personal issues,” Bowman says. “There is a definite lack of communication.”
Debate has also centered on a possible conflict of interests regarding Donna Evan’s positions as ASYC president, as the Student Trustee and as an employee of Yuba College Students Services.
“It compromises the independence of the student government as a representative body of students’ interests and issues,” said Canto-Lugo. He feels one way to solve the ASYC’s problems is to have a student government with no Yuba College employees as officers. Currently officers hold jobs at Yuba College.
Evans does not see her multiple roles as a conflict of interest by any means.
“It is a political world,” Evans said. “I use my position for the benefit of the students.”
“I know what I’m doing,” Evans continued. “I know in my heart I’m doing nothing wrong.”