Dan Wengert was elected president of the Associated Students of Glendale Community College in the May 1 and 2 election. Wengert garnered 287 votes against opponent Tade Hartoonian, who received 239 votes. Rebeka Hovanessian received 250 votes and was elected vice president of administration, she was opposed by Danielle Foster who received 206 votes.
“I’m excited because it will be a great learning experience,” Wengert said after receiving news of his election. As president, Wengert says he plans to increase student awareness and involvement in student government.
“It’s unfortunate that a lot students don’t know what’s on,” said Wengert. “A lot of the students I talked to while I was campaigning didn’t even know what ASGCC is or that it even exists.”
Out of approximately 15,000 students, only 539 came to the polls – 3 percent of the student population. With the exception of the president and vice president of administration, candidates for all other seats in the student board ran unopposed.
The elected vice presidents are: Leslie Aguilera for finance, Ronny Hovanessian for campus activities, Jean Schindler for campus relations, and Izabella Babayan for campus organizations.
The elected senators are: Linet Alexanian, Hasmik Gaghamyan, and Alaleh Zadmehr for administration; Anna Astachkina, Karine Mkrtchyan, and Sarineh Giragousian for finance; Sonia E. Martinez and Serineh Shahverdian for campus activities; Maryam Ghochani and Sarkis Nazaryan for campus relations; and Arpine Akopyan and Oscar Limon for campus organizations.
There are currently two positions open: senator of campus activities and senator of campus relations.
Wengert plans to involve GCC faculty in promoting student involvement in student government. He said that instructors can raise student awareness by urging them to participate in the elections, or by merely informing them of what student government is about.
“ASGCC sees to it that student concerns are addressed to the administration,” said Wengert. He and GCC are not alone in concerns about the low student participation in campus government. The student affairs activities coordinator at Citrus College, Adrienne Thompson said that only 364 students out of approximately 10,500 voted in their May 1 election.
“It’s always been that way,” Thompson said, “Unfortunately, there’s a lot of complacency (in students) when it comes to student government.
At Pasadena City College, there was only 2 percent student voter turnout, while at Mount San Antonio College, fewer than 1 percent voted.
Wengert is also concerned about campus safety during the evening hours. He said that the only viable waiting area on campus from 9 to 10 p.m. is the lower level of the student food court. Wengert said that students waiting for their friends or spouses to leave their night classes mostly wait outside of the classrooms. The campus does not have enough campus lighting and waiting outside may be especially cold during the winter months, he said.
Wengert will officially take office May 26 at the ASGCC banquet. He will attend a leadership retreat in August along with the other ASGCC officers, and will conduct meetings during the summer months to plan for the upcoming school year.
Wengert said that students interested in the open positions in ASGCC can apply during the summer. Candidates will be interviewed and selected by a panel of ASGCC officers.