Palomar College’s Associated Student Government ran the annual election for the two executive positions in the ASG from April 30 to May 3. Each of the candidates ran uncontested and the final number of student votes was unavailable by press time.
According to Sen. Rocky Brady, election committee chair and financial liaison for the ASG, the election was promoted the way it has always been. However, there were only four packets picked up and three actually turned in.
One of the packets turned in was by former ASG Senator Armando Telles, who intended to run for president. According to Article V, Section Two of the ASG bylaws, any officer who resigns or is disqualified, recalled, or impeached twice within any period is ineligible for election or appointment. Telles was disqualified twice and as a result he is prohibited from running in the election.
Telles said he was unfairly disqualified.
“I feel Rocky Brady and Evelyn Lucero orchestrated in ways to voice their opinion about my character and my productivity as senator during my ratification hearing (Feb. 29),” Telles said. “By them two having done that, it proves to me that there was some discrimination (non-racial). They indeed had an agenda that they did not disclose and executed successfully.”
Last year the ASG election rallied up a whopping 1 percent of the popular vote for the election, Palomar’s highest turnout ever.
At the commencement of the campaign, presidential candidate Jonathan Farmer seemed disappointed to be running uncontested.
“I was eager to run against someone and debate about the issues that matter to the students. It’s a shame that no one ran up against me,” Farmer said.
The two candidates participated in a public forum April 26.
Farmer’s platform has been to bridge gaps between the student body and the ASG. Farmer mentioned the Coalition for Democratic Control, which is fighting to free ASG from its administrative advisers. He said he hopes that the members of the Coalition and the members of the ASG can discuss issues that drive both apart. According to Farmer, there is no proof of the claims made by the Coalition about the Office of Student Affairs.
During the question-and-answer portion of the forum, Coalition member and student activist Nestor Venegas question the candidates about the lawsuit filed against the ASG earlier this year and what the personal opinion was about the movement’s goals to separate the ASG from the OSA.
“I believe the relationship between the OSA and the ASG works,” Farmer said. “I think the advisers are beyond reproach, however I believe that there should be a third adviser with a stronger political science background that would sit in at the meetings.”
When vice presidential candidate Angel Jimenez answered the same question, she asked why Venegas and other members of the Coalition had not tried to join the ASG to achieve their goals from within rather than from an outsider position.
According to Venegas, Jimenez didn’t answer the question while Sen. Farmer gave an interesting response that he had not voiced before in earlier ASG meetings.
According to Jimenez, the executive positions in the ASG are hard positions to be filled, and she thought it would have been disappointing only if there had been no one willing to run.
“When you think about (the) huge number (of enrolled students) versus the people who are actually taking a step forward, that’s a huge milestone right there,” Jimenez said. “Out of a campus of 30,000 students there are two that are willing to take that extra step and represent.”
Venegas had his own opinion of the election process.
“The whole election process has been a joke; there are only two candidates: one for each position,” Venegas said. “(The forum) was poorly executed and it did not serve the purpose for students. It was poorly advertised. Students who were eating (in the SU Quad) had no idea what was going on.”