AS Elections 2016: Meet Presidential candidate Steve Maldonado

Meet Steve Maldonado — a business and communications major, current Vice President of the Associated Students (AS) Board of Directors, and most importantly, one of the three candidates for president in the 2016 AS Election. Maldonado was initially slated as an independent candidate, but that changed this past Monday when he officially announced the creation of the last slate for the 2016 election, “New Wave," where he serves as the leading candidate. Maldonado said that he and his slate can rely on his past experience as Vice President and the plans he has for the future.

He was a memeber of the non-profit called Generation of the Future, "Which had a partnership with John Adams Middle School to do tutoring on Fridays, and many members to participate and volunteer, feed the homeless, and have a bunch of events,” Maldonado said.

Following his involvement with Generation of the Future with founder Trae Smith, Maldonado moved on to start his very own club at SMC: Hierarchy 2015. Maldonado elaborated on this, saying, “[The club] was intended to diminish the culture we have today. In a sense everyone who was interested was welcomed to be a part of the club, so we designed t-shirts on our own, got people involved again, did community service…that whole 'philanthropy is you' [concept]."

Maldonado said that his club leadership led to his current position as Vice President on AS, and his experience, along with his focus on communication, makes him an ideal candidate. He said the experience of running with a slate proved to be “not normal” for him because of professional reservations he had early on.

Maldonado said it was Madeleine Turner who messaged him about the ideas on his platform and that they found a connection when expressing their ideas for the school. “She believes in my goals and objectives for the AS," said Maldonado, specifically the goal of establishing his specific type of communication platform. He said that it was these genuine similarities and her choice of candidates for the Director of Sustainability and Instructional Support that led to the pair forming the New Wave slate.

Communication is central to Maldonado's presidential platform, which focuses on an app called Pin Grab, which is in development by Maldonado and a business partner. He said that experiences in AS led him to developing this app specifically for SMC, with a hope that it could be expanded to community colleges across the state.

“With my experience and knowledge already established in the Associated Student government, I can advance it into the next era [with Pin Grab]. Every college will be communicating their latest clubs, their club list, their events, their e-mails instead of the old fashioned e-mail that doesn’t get read,” said Maldonado about his proposed app.

Maldonado said that he sees his app as “a reform that will make SMC to be the pioneers to use this platform as their go to for events around campus… students will have access at home just like a social media connecting app."

Although Maldonado is eager to implement these new forms of communication, he said he will also attempt to deal with other problems like parking, ill-treatment from administration, and an insufficient amount of full-time faculty employed at SMC.

Maldonado said that he sees parking as the biggest issue SMC students face because it prevents students from being in class on time, even with planning and proper time management. He said that he hopes to find more parking lots and map out alternative places where students can park, even if it means parking further away and taking a bus to campus.

Maldonado wants to improve relations between student government and administration by asking that the administration attend AS meetings so both parties can better understand where the other is coming from.

One of the other issues he sees as key is the disproportionate amount of part-time faculty to full-time faculty.  Maldonado said, “We want students to be devoted so we would want the same from our instructors to be devoted. [Being part-time] does not mean they’re not devoted when they’re here, but if they keep scrambling to work at different schools, they can’t be as devoted to students as easily as having one full-time job.”

To address that problem Maldonado said he wants a more aggressive strategy of hiring full-time professors, something that he and current AS President Jessie Randel have been advocating for.

Maldonado sees leadership and communication as solutions to current problems and he promises, “As president of the AS of SMC, I will implement a new communicative platform to engage students with local businesses and gain student interest.”