Triumph and Defeat: The 2016 AS election results

At 9:45 a.m., in what will likely be the final 2016 Election Committee special meeting on Friday, April 8, the winners and losers of this year’s Associated Students (AS) elections were announced.

After discussing a complaint that had been issued against Presidential candidate Steve Maldonado, ICC Chair and leader of the election committee Daniel Kaitel moved the meeting forward so that Interim Associate Dean of Student Life Dr. Nancy Grass could announce the tallied results of the election. Due to the lack of a working computer in the Cayton Center conference room, the meeting was moved to the AS offices where a working computer could be found amidst an excited atmosphere.

"I have to get into ISIS," said Grass, referring to the school's computer system, as the meeting was moved from one room to the other.

The attending crowd of candidates and committee officials then moved to the offices of Grass and Benny Blades, student advisor to AS, in order for Grass to send out the results simultaneously to both rooms. Preparing to send the results out, Grass asked Blades if he was ready to receive them. After hearing an affirmative reply she said, "Alright, click!" and as Grass proclaimed the winners loudly so that nearby members in the AS offices could hear, the results were revealed to the attending crowds of the two rooms.

The 2016 AS Election Results:

AS President

Terrance Ware Jr., Associated Students Presidential Candidate, poses for a photograph at Santa Monica College on Tuesday.

Terrance Ware Jr. (Fresh Start) - 900 Votes for 43.0% of the vote, beating current AS Vice President Steve Maldonado (669 votes), and Daira Bustos (482 votes).

Vice President

Adrian Restrepo, candidate for AS Vice President, poses for a portrait at Santa Monica College.

Adrian M. Restrepo (Independent) - 1128 Votes for 60.3% of the vote, beating Yinghan "Edward" Tang (743 Votes).

Student Trustee

Laura Zwicker, 31, is running for the role of Student Trustee in the 2016 election for the Associated Students of SMC.

Laura Zwicker (Fresh Start) - 1108 Votes for 56.4% of the vote, beating Alfredo Gama (855 Votes).

Director of Budget Management

Orlando Gonzalez Gudino-Guizar, running for the Director of Budget Management seat during the 2016 AS elections, poses for a photo at the Corsair newsroom on Monday, April 4.

Orlando Gonzalez Gudino-Guizar (Fresh Start) - 729 Votes with 36.9% of the vote, beating Vladyslav Verchenko (294 Votes), Dario Gentiletti (508 Votes), and Auguste Gezalyan (445 Votes).

Director of Instructional Support

Stephanie Mendez, candidate for AS Director of Instructional Support at Santa Monica College, speaks to students during the debate on Thursday at SMC in Santa Monica.

Stephanie Mendez (Unity) - 1140 Votes with 63% of the vote, beating Madeleine Turner (670 Votes).

Director of Sustainability

Sharon Nat, candidate for AS Director of Sustainability, addresses the students at the debate held at the SMC clock tower quad area on Thursday.

Sharon Nat (Fresh Start) - 735 Votes with 39.4% of the vote,  beating Abderezak Azib (406 Votes), Anthony Hengsathorn (509 Votes).

Director of Community Relations

Lopez_Jose_NEWS_AS Debate-21

Stephany Triska (Unity) - 729 Votes with 40.4% of the vote, beating Brittany Riley (615 Votes) and Daria Kudryavtseva (460 Votes).

Director of Student Advocacy

Micca Cao, candidate for AS Director of Student Advocacy at Santa Monica College, addresses the students at the debate held at the SMC clock tower quad area on Thursday.

Dan "Micca" Cao (Independent) - 798 Votes with 37.6% of the vote, beating Paris Taylor (718 Votes) and Walther Perez (609 Votes). This was the closest of all the races.


Dane Cruz, candidate for AS Secretary at Santa Monica College, poses for a photo on Wednesday in Santa Monica.

Director of Activities

Jeannie Joo, candidate for AS Director of Activities at Santa Monica College, poses for a photo on Wednesday in Santa Monica.

Hae "Jeannie" Joo (Independent) - Uncontested election.

Director of Publicity

Picture provided by Clara Prado.

Clara Prado (Unity) - Uncontested election.

Director of Student Assistance

Jazzmin Sardin, candidate for AS Director of Student Assistance at Santa Monica College, addresses students on Thursday during the debate at SMC in Santa Monica.

Jazzmin Sardin (Fresh Start) - Uncontested election.

Director of Student Outreach

Lopez_Jose_NEWS_AS Debate-18

Rashisul Haque (New Wave) - Uncontested election.

Alfredo Gama, who lost to Laura Zwicker for Student Trustee and had been campaigning late into the previous night, was present to hear the results read out loud, and upon hearing of his loss said, "That's really good. Congrats everyone. That was a great election, congrats to Laura. That was a great election," before continuing on to say, "I feel like, just, the last candidates were out there pushing it."

Current ICC Vice-Chair and winner for the Director of Budget Management race Orlando Gonzalez was also on hand, saying, "I am so happy right now. As I was looking at the results I felt like I was at the gym, you know, like exercising. I'm just so happy."

The Fresh Start slate was the the clear winner among the slates, with six Fresh Start candidates winning their seats. After that Unity tied with the Independent candidates with three seats filled each, while the New Wave slate only saw one of their candidates, Rashisul Haque, gain a seat.

The total vote count was 2554 votes among the student body. According to Counselor Jeff Gordon, this was the highest voter turnout in his entire career at SMC, which spans back to 1998. Current AS President Jesse Randel wanted to point out his amazement at this turnout saying, "Quick fun statistical note: Last year there were three presidential candidates, this year there were three presidential candidates. Last year I believe I won with around 450 votes. This year Terrance won with 900. Literally twice what I won with. That's just a massive improvement in voter turnout."

Randel also had a message for Terrance Ware, who will take his seat in the 2016-17 fall semester. Randel said about Ware, "A huge congratulations. He got twice my votes, and I couldn't be happier about that. That's amazing. It's a huge accomplishment. All props to him, he did a great job and [ran] a great campaign, and he deserved to win."

To see all of the Corsair's election coverage over this campaign season, click here.