By An Pham
The Associated Student Council at City College of San Francisco held their annual student elections for Fall’s 2020 semester. Student representatives held an online election for the first time on April 28, because of the Covid-19 shelter in place.
However, the college’s spring semester came with multiple surprises such as class cuts and unclear spending. Students protested left and right in efforts to save classes and to top that, former Chancellor Mark Rocha resigned after being paid for sick leave.
Students have a right to vote but more importantly their voices need to be heard, which is why the student elections need to be held in making sure that they can also be part of the college’s system.
City College has been closed since the shelter-in-place order had taken place in March. The college’s closure has brought out many difficulties for students, staff, and faculty. One of the most unprecedented difficulties is the annual ASC election for the 2020 fall semester.
The election was usually held at Ocean Campus, but since the shelter in place order students could vote in person, so the election “went” to the student.
ASC had sent out links for the election through students emails on April 28, hoping that it could capture enough attention from the students.
Unexpectedly, ASC has challenges further into their election. According to their Instagram post, they stated how some emails were blank due to technical issues.
However, the online election went through and turned out to be a success. The ASC had found positions for student trustee, student vice chancellor, and student government representatives.
The elected student trustee outed seven applicants with Vick Van Chung being the victor. They won 109 votes and made a fair distance from the runner up with 75 votes going to Angelica Campos.
Chung has worked as a community organizer for City College and they are an advocate for college funding. They are experienced in community work and co-hosted rallies that supported the Emergency Bridge funding with their co-founded group, CCSF Collective. As student trustee, Chung promised to expand student representations while staying grounded to their community organizing values, and to do everything they can to, “truly ensure students are not spoken for, but rather speaking to.”
Chung said, regarding their grateful win, “I felt a great deal of gratitude and excitement. I was incredibly grateful for all the community organizers that vocally supported me and advocate on my behalf.”
Big difference from a student trustee, student vice chancellor has only one applicant. Tarquin Gaines was the only applicant and had won 245 votes. Gaines, a native San Franciscan, is currently a student and a senator for City College’s 2019 to 2020 academic year. With the outstanding personal and academic growth at City College, he felt compelled to run for vice chancellor.
Gaines has developed his years at City College experiencing educational resources that made him have a sense of belongings. He also values the importance of students’ representation, and hoping that he could establish what he said “An affinity between low-income students and students of color to the school community and work closely with our administrators to extend the support provided to students.”
Gaines experienced working for schools’ communities and had work in the Executive Council at Ocean campus himself. He said his goal for the next semester as vice chancellor would be “Enhancing the student life at CCSF whether that’s introducing students to clubs and resources to foster the sense of belonging or engagement that promotes students’ voices where everyone is valued, everyone is heard.”
The most applied position is the Ocean campus’ student senator, with nine applicants from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, and who all won. It is no surprise that students need more student representatives, and these students with different motivations chose to be that voice for the students at City College.
Congratulations to Francia Jimenez winning 141 votes, Luxi Li winning at 123 votes, Juan Pablo Wilson with 106 votes, Cristian Ruiz with 100 votes, Jonathan Nguyen with 80 votes, Brenton Lai with 66 votes, Jesse Solorzano and Maral Zagarzusem both with 63 votes each, and Maral Zagarzusem with 59 votes.
This group of senators have a variety of backgrounds from Luxi Li, who was born in China and came to the U.S at the age of four, to Maral Zagarzusem, who is from Mongolia and is studying in the first year at City College. They all share one common goal, and that is to speak their voice and the voice of the students.
These student senators are willing to bring in all their skills and hard work, some with their excitement to learn new responsibilities and others with their prior experience in City College Executive Council. They promised to not just give back to the communities at the college, but also to improve the life of many students on campus.