Candidates get message out to students at ASG BBQ

On April 28, 2009, hundreds of Bellevue College (BC) students crowded between buildings A, E, and D in order to kick off BC’s Associated Student Government (ASG) elections.

The event hosted debates and gave candidates a chance to voice their campaigns to the campus.  A barbecue was also organized in conjunction with the event, and a choice of ham or veggie-burgers and a variety of soft drinks were on offer to all involved.

“The food was very good,” said BC student William Jaya. “In order to vote you had to wait in a very long line; and basically when you’re hungry and your blood pressure is increasing, all you want to do is eat. So you need to eat before you vote, it just makes sense.”

Food aside, the BBQ also hosted numerous booths representing some of BC’s many different clubs. One of which, called the Genki Society, had its booth equipped with a television, colorful posters, and an assortment of oriental snacks. Andrew Mayor, in charge of public relations for the Genki society, said, “Basically what we  do is promote Asian culture from a media point of view; whether it’s a movie, music, or even fashion.” He went on to add, “We’re all about networking, we’re all about meeting new people, and we’re not a club that is simply Japanese animation.”

Right next to the Genki Society’s booth, the American Sign Language (ASL) club was also trying to spread the word about their group. Nick Vargas, treasurer for the club, said, “We’re trying to get more people involved.”

Other booths included those for the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), the Political Science Club, The Jibsheet, Campus Crusade for Christ, as well as several colleges from the Pacific Northwest.

The real focus of the BBQ, however, was the commencement of BC’s ASG elections. With microphones and speakers at the ready, candidates voiced their plans for their respective positions as well as their previous work experience. While a total of 41 candidates are involved in the elections, not all of them were present.

However, many candidates who were present, had a lot to say about what they plan to do.

Some candidates were concerned with what resources are available to students, both on and off campus. Joshua Scott, who is running for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Representative, said, “I’m going to bring a bank to campus, and I’m also going to get student discounts for cell services and home Internet services.” He also shared his plans to start a student-to-student microloan ending system.

Fiona Soyan Liu, who is running for VP of Equity and Pluralism, said, “I’m hoping to set up a forum on the website so that every voice can be heard, and students can go directly to the forum if they have any questions or concerns.”

Other candidates were predominantly concerned with acknowledging the thoughts of all BC students and staff. Mohammad Ahmed, who is running for Associate Justice of External Affairs, said, “If you want to start a club or student program, come to me.” Ahmed can also work on appealing tickets for students at BC.

Yuchak Sunny Ho, who is running for Clubs and Programs Representative, said, “I want everyone’s voice to be heard, from the students to the administration at the school.”

A passion for college life and politics was on display throughout the event. Bernard Ellouk, who is running for Chief Justice said, “I’m running for chief justice because I love law.”

Faisal Jaswal, Dean of Student Programs, was able to describe the entire event in one word, “Amazing.” Jaswal added, “This is really community-building and democracy in action.”

Though these ASG elections may seem a small stepping-stone to most, Jaswal said, “[The candidates] are [our] future leaders, and [we] need to give them a platform where they can connect with their constituents.”BC’s ASG elections will continue to run through May 7, 2009.