Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    The ASLC: Democracy deferred

    ‘General Elections shall be held annually on the second Tuesday of April and shall include the Wednesday of the same week,” according to the PCCD Student Elections Code.
    Well, at Laney, that didn’t happen this year. According to the posted election timeline, the election itself will take place on Tuesday, May 12, and Wednesday, May 13, on the Quad from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. And it better, since May 16 is the last day of instruction for the Spring semester.
    PCCD’s Student Election Code also states, “Publicity should be widespread, including communication to students by publication in the Laney Tower and other information literature at each college and by communication to faculty and staff at each college.” 
    Here at the Tower, we’ve been trying to pull together information on the upcoming elections for the last two issues (at least one month). 
    To no avail.
    Determining accurate dates and deadlines has been nearly impossible. ASLC representatives have rarely been forthcoming to Tower staff and when they have, the information has been vague.
    A short list of additional offenses:
    The official Election Timeline was posted on the Laney website on April 22, only one day before the deadline to submit applications. 
    These applications require hopefuls to accumulate 50 signatures from eligible Laney students in order to appear on the ballot. It would have been virtually impossible to apply to run without knowing the deadline some other way.
    Contact information on the only election flyer that includes the dates and times of the election directs communication to [email protected]. This is not the correct email address for Louie Martirez, ASLC interim advisor, since his name is spelled without the letter “n.”
    The flyer is not posted in obvious places. If Laney students are expected to vote in this election, they will need to be informed about the dates and the candidates.
    Rumors and secrecy have shrouded these elections.
    What appears to be the only clear fact is that the elections have not, up to this point, been up to Code. Students have not been informed about how to run for office. Applicants are not clear when campaigning is to begin. 
    These shady elections proceedings, reminiscent of those of authoritarian states, do not make good news for the ASLC.
    At least Laney College President Elñora Webb is doing something about it.
    Today (April 29), the day the Tower heads to the press, is the day that Roxanne Rivas, interim director of TRiO, has stepped in to ensure the elections meet the district’s requirements to the extent that is now possible. 
    “The president wouldn’t allow this to slip by,” Rivas said. “She does her due diligence — she cares about the integrity of the elections.”
    Rivas will need to meet with the elections committee (and form one, if needed) to look over the applications and make sure candidates are eligible to run. 
    If there are not enough eligible candidates for all of the positions, Rivas and her committee will have to advertise. 
    While the deadline for applications to run for a seat on the ASLC has passed, students can still submit applications, but they’ll need to campaign a little harder than those who turned theirs in on time — voters will need to write in candidates of their choice.
    Rivas and her team will have to set a date for a candidates’ debate and make sure there are enough people to run the polling on Election Day.
    There is quite a bit of work left to do in a short amount of time.
    “There’s always a lot of work and you just do what you need to do,” Rivas said. “You do what needs to get done, ensuring that there is integrity in the process.”
    Rebecca Pollack is Tower Co-Editor in Chief Email her at rebeccacecile(at)gmail.com.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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