DASB Senate general election: Vote in MyPortal Feb. 22-26
February 22, 2016
The DASB Senate general election will be held a quarter early this year, from Monday, Feb. 22 to Friday, Feb. 26. Voting is held online through MyPortal. Senators elected next week will begin their term in the spring quarter.
Sienna Laster is also running for student trustee on the Foothill-De Anza board, but she did not respond to an interview request.
Foothill-De Anza board student trustee candidates
Omar Din, 18
After nearly two quarters serving as a DASB Senate intern and a senator, Omar Din is proud of his accomplishments.
Din negotiated the contract that gave De Anza College students access to extended study hours at San José State University’s King Library while De Anza’s library was closed for renovations. He also helped organize a vigil on campus memorializing victims of the Paris attacks, which was featured on local news outlets NBC Bay Area and KRON 4.
Din said he wants to bring student safety to the forefront and help campus organizations fund projects that would improve students’ experience.
“My focus as trustee would be to improve campus safety, financial responsibility and student inclusivity,” Din said. “I want to see what projects are going on around campus, see what clubs are working on and see how they can help me and I can help them.”
Elias Kamal, 18
While only in his first year at De Anza College, Elias Kamal is running for Foothill-De Anza board student trustee as someone who has addressed the board in the past.
Kamal started a Change.org petition with more than 560 signatures calling for the college and district administrations to take action against preachers harassing students.
Kamal presented his petition to the FHDA board Jan. 11. He said that was the day he realized he wanted to run for student trustee.
Kamal said he would be a resilient leader.
“When I see something is not right, I will do everything I can to fix it.”
If elected student trustee, Kamal said he wants to work closely with Foothill’s student trustee.
“If we put the power of these two sister colleges together, we’d get a lot done,” he said.
DASB president candidates
Kevin Hoang, 19
Kevin Hoang, a DASB senator on the marketing committee, is running for president so he can help underprivileged students, he said.
If elected, he plans on starting a job fair on campus to accomplish his goal.
Hoang’s passion for helping underprivileged students stems from his upbringing in low-income housing, he said. Seeing the struggles his family went through taught him the value of an education.
Hoang said he wants to work to keep the library open 24/7 during dead week so students have a good study environment.
Hoang said that after gaining experience in senate, he realized how much of a difference he could make.
“I’m not here to campaign for your vote,” Hoang said. “I’m doing this because I genuinely think I can make a difference.”
Matthew Zarate, 18
Matthew Zarate is currently an intern for DASB Senate’s student rights and services committee.
He said he hopes to engage more students in on-campus politics and reconnect the DASB Senate with the student body.
“It is an issue when only 1,000 students vote for their senators,” Zarate said. “Students really don’t know how powerful they can be, and it’s their money senate’s spending.”
Zarate said he is planning on developing an app that will engage and inform students by allowing the DASB Senate’s agendas to be transcribed, simplified, and uploaded.
Zarate, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, said he believes he can channel his perseverance as a lifelong athlete into effective politics.
“I know the bureaucratic system at De Anza can be daunting,” Zarate said. “I’m not the type of person who settles for what’s easy.”
DASB executive vice president candidates
Keerthana Muthukrishnan is eager to tackle the issues and needs concerning De Anza College students.
She began interning for the DASB Senate in summer 2015 and now holds positions on the marketing and finance committees.
Muthukrishnan said she wants De Anza to be more sustainable.
“I’m advocating for separate transportation lanes for buses as an intern with TRANSITion De Anza,” she said.
Muthukrishnan said she also hopes to make international students feel more comfortable on campus.
“There’s a noticeable division among students,” she said. “I want international students to feel comfortable on campus and not feel like the have to keep to themselves.”
If elected DASB vice president, Muthukrishnan said she will seek to bring tech companies to De Anza job fairs where students have the opportunity to network and see job possibilities.
Stephanie Rigsby, 24
Stephanie Rigsby is very involved in campus clubs and organizations. As a volunteer in the Jean Miller Resource Room, Rigsby assisted in starting a group that raises awareness of personal, social and political issues that students face.
“My eventual goal with the group is to create a safe space that challenges oppression, sexism and sexist exploitation upon all groups to promote healing and change,” Rigsby said.
Rigsby said she hopes to get students talking and caring about the goings-on with the DASB Senate.
“A lot of students don’t know about what their money is being used for which is why it’s so important to open a conversation and raise awareness,” she said.
If elected, Rigsby said her priority will be creating a collective community at De Anza.
“I want to form connections and make DASB a safe space for everyone,” she said. “Too many students are disconnected.”