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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Student Senate candidate forum goes live April 16


With a student population that reaches more than 23,000, on average fewer than 300 City College students cast their ballot for student elections, according to the City College website. This, in addition to indefinite campus closures, have compelled student leadership to try new methods in order to reach potential voters.

Joshua Robinson, secretary of public relations for City College’s Student Senate, is using his time during the COVID-19 quarantine to raise awareness about the student government on campus, what it does, and why it matters. He hopes to use social media to attain a greater consciousness about campus leadership among the student population and to ultimately boost not only electoral but overall participation.

“It’s just about getting the word out,” Robinson says. “[Student Senate] is not as public, you know what I mean? Even though we do a lot of events on campus, and people will be able to see us if they know what’s going on. I think a lot of students just don’t know.” 

At noon on April 16, a candidates’ forum using the video conferencing software Zoom, will offer voters the opportunity to ask candidates questions. The link to this conference is available on all of the Student Leadership & Development social media pages. 

Voting will take place over eServices April 21–22, from 5 a.m.–11:30 p.m. EServices is also where students can access an online voter guide with information about all the candidates. 

This method of voting may be convenient in light of recent campus closures, but it is not new. “Voting is always done online, but the online campaigns and interviews with candidates is due to current circumstances,” Robinson explains. “Usually you kind of see people on campus posting up flyers, talking to students, trying to get them to vote for them. But since everything is offline and of -campus, we’re kind of having to transition into a digital platform.”

To guide students through the process of online voting, a screen-captured video will be posted on the Student Senate Instagram account, Robinson says.

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The Student Senate is making these efforts to encourage students to have a say in the selection of their elected campus representatives.

“The people who are running for these positions have powers to make decisions and to take on certain issues that they feel are important,” says Robinson. “You want students that are going to be representing you, because they have the power to do this, and the responsibility to do this. If you don’t vote, well, then you may have the wrong people representing you. You may not have your issues represented.” 

Whether it’s allocating funds to campus organizations, coordinating events or listening to the individual concerns of those who represent a broader population, Robinson feels that the Student Senate is the primarily proponent for student needs and student voices. 

“We advocate on behalf of students. We also take our advocacy to the president and higher-up administration in the school to try and address students’ needs,” Robinson says. 

Running for office is just one way that students can get involved in campus leadership, says Robinson, who had previous experience as part of campus associations before he ran for Student Senate. He was recommended to student leadership after being involved in other community affairs, such as his work with the Black Student Union. However, he notes, there is not one type of person who makes a good candidate for student government. 

“The only requirement that I would say that you need is to want to make a change, want to make a difference, have a positive attitude,” Robinson says. “It’s a little bit of work, but I would say that it’s worth it.” 

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