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ASG candidates aim to grow Palomar’s community

Safiya Swearingen, candidate for ASG President, gives a speech as candidates listen. At the table, from left to right: Derek Blevins (VP of Internal Affairs candidate), Sina Laei (VP of Events candidate), and Regan Barnum (Student Trustee candidate). Photo credit: Cynthia Cunningham

SAN MARCOS — Community took focus at the Associate Student Government (ASG) elections forum, where each candidate had an idea on how to get students involved.

The ASG election forum was held on April 28 in the Student Union, two days before the voting period began. Students can vote on the ASG Elections page. Voting will open at noon on May 1 and continue until noon on May 7. The positions up for election are ASG President, ASG Vice President, VP of Internal Affairs, VP of Events, VP of Finance, ASG Senator, and ASG Student Trustee.

A small crowd of students were inside watching. Each candidate responded to questions about building community at Palomar, how they would serve students’ best interests, and how they would connect with students. ASG Comet Hours, events hosted in the Student Union of the San Marcos campus, were the main focus to build a connection between ASG and students.

Safiya Swearingen, the sole candidate for ASG President, talked about wanting to go beyond events to connect with students.

“I just want to interact with people, as a normal student on a day-to-day basis… Bring up ASG, ask if they have any concerns… Also, collaborate with other entities like the DRC and talk to their students… And all the different clubs as well,” Swearingen said.

ASG candidates listen as Grant Wass gives his speech. Sitting at the table, from left to right: Derek Blevis (VP of Internal Affairs candidate), Sina Laie (VP of Events candidate), Safiya Swearingen (ASG President candidate), and Regan Barnum (Student Trustee candidate). Photo credit: Cynthia Cunningham

However, each candidate commented on an experience they had with a student who was unfamiliar with the student government or its purpose. Student involvement on campus and with the ASG was a primary focus for all candidates. Derek Blevins, the VP of Internal Affairs, offered ideas to help raise student awareness of the ASG.

“One of the things I would like to do is hang a banner and let people know that their student government is right here and invite them to come up and talk to us,” Blevins said, referring to the second-story walkway inside the Student Union.

Blevins also discussed offering more incentives for students to attend activities like Comet Hour, which includes sandwiches and other snacks. More activities to increase student involvement was a tactic all the candidates discussed.

Grant Wass, the current Student Trustee running for reelection, ended the forum by speaking on the impact that ASG could have.

“We are 20,000 students strong. We have very many people here who can benefit from decisions that should be efficient and fast… And I think it’s very important that all departments… are represented and have their voice heard at the higher level,” Wass said.

For more information on the candidates, students can view the ASG Election Candidates page.

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ASG candidates aim to grow Palomar’s community