DASB Senate endorses forum with Santa Clara County Sheriff candidates

Andrew Shinjo, News Editor

The DASB Senate at its March 21 meeting unanimously approved endorsing a forum of candidates running for Santa Clara County Sheriff to take place on April 26.

“This is [an] event that is going to be hosted with four out of five of the candidates for Santa Clara County sheriff,” said Vice President Ahmad Ali-Ahmad, 19, political science major, one of the organizers of the event. School safety, gun violence, immigration and general public safety will be topics discussed.

Along with the four candidates will be a representative from Newtown Action, an organization dedicated to gun reform, and a student representative from VIDA on the panel, Ali-Ahmad said. The motion to endorse the event was approved 18-0.

A discussion was held to review the recent DASB Senate election and possible areas of improvement.

Ali-Ahmad confirmed that the Elections Committee certified this year’s election results. Khaled Haq, 18, business administration major is the new DASB Senate President and Hayman Wong, history and political science major is the new student trustee. The committee reviewed complaints and nobody was disqualified, he said.

Ali-Ahmad and College Life Office Coordinator Dennis Shannakian proposed a requirement that the DASB Senate help organize election debates. Both this year and last year’s presidential debate were organized by De Anza’s Political Revolution Club. Ali-Ahmad said there was no guarantee clubs will always host debates in the future, so the senate should take up the responsibility.

Senator Raphael Villagracia, 20, political science major, proposed that the senate should create an election voter guide with each candidate’s platform.

De Anza’s Political Revolution Club, of which Villagracia is a member of, put together a voter guide this year’s election.

“It made it a lot clearer as to what the candidates are running on,” said Villagracia. “And it help voters determine which candidate they would like to support more.”  

Senator Brandi Sue Madison said student trustee candidates who lose, but have a lot of votes should have the option to become senators.

“[A] person running for Board of Trustees was just so close and got so many votes and clearly, the student body does want this person to be on some position,” said Madison. With the current rules, every non-senator candidate that lose, but has more than 15 percent of all votes has the option to be sworn in as senator, except for the student trustee position.

Other proposals included allowing candidates to get endorsements earlier in the campaign process and requiring a minimum of five senators in the Election Committee.

The DASB Senate took a second vote on the Finance Code Travel Additions, which would require senators to make a presentation to the DASB Senate about what they learned if they attend a conference using DASB Senate funds. It would also limit spending for a single conference up to $5,000 and $500 per individual. The travel code additions passed 19-0.