Roy Castillo is running for ASO President with Team Green.
She said she has been able to see some of the major issues at SWC, having been a part of the ASO for the past two years and serving on multiple commitees.
As a senator at large in San Ysidro, she made it a point to focus on the HEC centers.
At the time, she said, the HEC had no representation whatsoever from the ASO. She said she created events in San Ysidro to make the satellite campus more involved.
“They are students just like you and me and they deserve to have fair representation,” she said.
A big goal is implementing the CalFresh/EBT SNAP program at SWC.
“It is an electronic benefits transfer card that lets you purchase cold foods, like sandwiches and salads, major things we sell at our cafeterias, with just the swipe of a card,” she said. “It is a thing the ASO should be focusing on as a service to our low income students.”
“I’m ready to take on the major issues,” she said. “If I become president-elect, I would love to focus on more of our student needs: transportation, CalFresh/EBT SNAP program, an emergency book fund, as well as hopefully, in the future, opening up our beautiful state of the art gym that our hard-earned tax dollars paid for.”
Kirstyn Smith is the current President for TELA / UMOJA program and is running for ASO President with Team Gold. She said that as a person of color, she believes SWC should encourage more diversity through events so that students
from all backgrounds can feel united on campus.
She said that she wants to continue contributing to the college and create a space for students of all backgrounds to feel comfortable and confident in sharing their ideas.
Rudolph Villegas has been an ASO senator for a year and a student at Southwestern since 2009. He is currently running with Team Green to become ASO Student Trustee. He has many plans and objectives he wants to help push, but said his main
desire is to formalize the thoughts and needs that the students have and communicate them effectively to the governing board.
“I’ve voiced many concerns to the governing board,” Villegas said. “As much as I might voice these concerns, it’s evident to me that if you don’t have the position [of student trustee]they don’t listen.”
Villegas said he has a prominent concern for transparency in government.
“I was here when Chopra was here, so I know the potential for the lack of transparency,” Villegas said. “My concern for transparency is continuous.”
As for his qualifications, Villegas is on the Shared Consultation Counsel and the Education Planning & Enrollment Committee. He said he is really excited to be apart of those communities because they are where all important college management team discussions are held.
“I attend every governing board meeting, of course, to understand what has been passed and finalized,” Villegas said. “I have also been participating in as many college-standing communities as I possibly can. I have a very busy schedule.”
Hanan Ali is running to become Vice President of Outreach with team Gold.
An international student from Kenya, Hanan Ali said one of her main goals, if elected, is working on improving transparency in the ASO.
“I would want, instead of having closed-door meetings, once or twice in the semester, to have a big meeting and invite everybody so the students know the inner workings of the ASO,” she said.
This semester, her first in the United States, Ali has been working to improve the experience of other international students on campus, something she said she wishes to continue doing.
“I want to continue this because I feel that international students are kind of overlooked,” she said.
She said she wants to work with college administration to expand outreach efforts in local high schools and share the benefits of attending community college as a way to get an education while saving money.
Ali said she would want to get more students involved in their campus community by conducting research.
“I would work with the college to send out a mass email with questions to ask the students what they want to see,” she said.
Mariana Silva-Gomez is running for ASO Senator at large with Team Green.
An international student from Colombia, Silva-Gomez said she came to the U.S. four years ago.
“I came to SWC and I liked it, so I decided to stay here,” she said.
Because of her involvement in the telemedia department, she said she became more interested in SWC so this semester, she said she got to know the ASO and became interested in serving.
“One ofthe things that made me want to be a senator is that I have been here for five semsesters and I didn’t know about the ASO, or that SWC had a student government.”
She said she thought this was very interesting because here was a student government that most studetns don’t really know about.
“I want them to know that there is a place in government for them, where we can support them and represent them. Be there for them,” she said.
She said she wants to be an advocate for the community of international students.
“As an international student, I feel like we don’t have a lot of support here at SWC, so as a senator, I’d like to try to help international students and be there for them, to answer their questions on how to study in the U.S., because it is a very different system that makes it hard to be a foreign student,” she said. “Sometimes I feel like you miss your home, so I’d like to make SWC feel more like home.”
If elected, she said she would dedicate herself to her position.
“When I commit to something, I go for it,” she said. “I see that even though SWC is very diverse, groups are very separated, and I’d like the ASO to promote unity, which will help people feel more comfortable and safe here and help to prevent
Jorge Ivan Ortiz serves, and is also running, to become ASO Senator at Large with Team Green.
He said he loves representing students on campus and he said the current lack of state of the art labs is a problem for students interested in science majors.
“I think we are really lacking the labs to dissect animals,” he said. “That really hinders us in advancing our education.”
He said his academic achievements and campus involvement in various clubs and committees make him qualified to serve as a senator.
“Intelligence without ambition is like a bird without wings,” he said. “So what is the point of having amazing abilities without doing something with them?”
Campus environment is also a concern for Ortiz.
He said he wants to use his voice to advocate for students. He also said he stands up against sexual assault.
“I want to do my best to stop it,” he said. “Any sort of harassment. It is very beneficial to know that you are not alone,” he said.
Jose Luis Gutierrez is running for his third term in office as ASO Executive Vice President with Team Gold. He said his goals are to create better services and benefits through more sexual abuse awareness and prevention.
He said he also wants to push for environmentally-aware practices
as well, such as recyclable trash bins, solar panels and umbrellas.
He said he promises to try and bring positive change to the community regardless of the election’s outcome.