Villanueva takes presidency, Vera takes vice-presidency in student government election for 2018-19

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Villanueva takes presidency, Vera takes vice-presidency in student government election for 2018-19

Sydney Antil, Channels Staff

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Following a four-day online voting period, and with a voter turnout of 1232 votes cast, the results of the Student Senate election were announced Friday during its regular meeting.

Joshua Villanueva

James Von Essen
Joshua Villanueva

Computer Engineering major and Paso Robles native Joshua Villanueva was re-elected as President with 44.6 percent of 392 votes cast toward the Presidential candidates.

Villanueva’s platform was based around advocating for the homeless students and minority students on campus, collaborating with student advocate programs to address sexual assault awareness on campus, and promoting the sustainability effort on campus.

“Next year I’m looking at standing on the forefront for our students and fixing the systemic barriers that stop them from being successful at Santa Barbara City College,” Villanueva said to The Channels after the meeting.

Krystle Farmer, sociology and african american studies double major as well as current Student Advocate on the student senate, ran unopposed for Student Trustee and received 329 votes, more than each of the other two unopposed positions.

Farmer said she’s excited to be on the Board of Trustees so she can advocate for the students.

Krystle Farmer

James Von Essen
Krystle Farmer

“I think it’s about time for women of color, especially a black woman, to sit on the Board of Trustees,” Farmer said in a video interview with The Channels prior to the election. “I plan to advocate for women first and foremost, then marginalized students. And, I think it’s time to bring a new voice. I think it’s time we’re progressive here at SBCC and move forward to create a better campus climate for all students.”

Kenny Igbechi and Christopher Lee both ran unopposed for Vice President of Operations and Finance and Student Advocate, respectively. Igbechi received 320 votes while Lee received 325.

The closest race of the election was for Vice President of External Affairs, which ended in favor of Vanessa Vera with 51.8 percent of the 343 votes cast for the position.

Vera’s platform centered mainly around transparency for students as tenants, and said that one of the first things she wants to do is start a “what page” so students know what their rights are and don’t get taken advantage of.

“I’m very ecstatic, I can’t wait to work with ASG and to work with the student body,” said Vera. “I am nervous but overall I’m very excited about it.”

Students were also able to vote on three referendums, two of which passed. Of the two that passed, the results were 91 percent of voting students agreeing to keep the MTD bus contract as part of the student fee, and 63 percent of students voting to allow ASG to apply for and receive stipends so long as they qualify for the Board of Governors fee waiver.

While the 1232 votes cast did not match the 1405 votes cast last election, Dr. Christopher Johnson, ASG advisor, said that he was proud of how good voter turnout was.

“I’m very proud of the winners of course,” Johnson said, “but the amount of people that came out to vote, too. Our numbers have been dismal in the past, so I’m proud of that.”

The new officers are scheduled to have their orientation Sunday, while the current officers will be serving until the senate’s last meeting Friday, April May 4.

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