Get to Know the Other A.S. Candidates

April means big changes for the Associated Students. The old guard steps aside as new officers fill the vital roles that keep the SMC student government running. Every semester the AS allocates $600,000 to student clubs and associations, so your vote matters! To select the most apt candidate for each available position go to In addition to fulfilling your civic duty in the democratic process, you could win an iPod.

Meet the candidates:

Vice-President, Rochelle Watkins (ASSIST Slate):

"As this year's Primary Commissioner to the Director of Activities, I collaborated in the production of an array of diverse and environmentally-friendly club events and student activities such as the Persian New Year celebration, the Feast and Homecoming festivities. As Vice President, I would like to continue this tradition while also enabling students to gain experience in their major and career-related fields through volunteer opportunities in the community. Because I believe it is important for students to voice their opinions and ideas about campus life, I will work to ensure that they are given a time and a place to be heard."

Director of Activities, Andrew Lu (ASSIST Slate):

"I've always felt the need to make a difference. As Walt Disney once said, "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." As a former Commissioner of the current Director of Activities and current Inter-Club Council Vice-Chair, I understand the importance of student clubs at SMC. I found that student participation is crucial to making activities successful. As incoming Director of Activities, I will address the needs of the students and increase student participation and collaboration. I'm also single, twenty years old, and like long walks on the beach, wait, this isn't a dating website?"

Director of Activities, Muhammet Emre Akkas (EAKWO Slate):

"I served as the president of the Student Council of my high school and the president of the City School Council in Turkey. We organized many activities and projects. Therefore I am experienced enough to take this responsibility. I am currently the commissioner of A.S. president, and the president of Model UN Club. I want to help our students to benefit from the multicultural community of Santa Monica College by enhancing cultural club events. I am planning to organize sport tournaments as sport festivals, concerts and to bring more speakers than we used to have. I want to increase the student involvement in college activities transforming our college to an active college. If I am elected I will put all my effort to help students enjoy campus life with various activities that everyone can benefit from."

Director of Activities, Daniel Miguez

Director of Budget Management, Ojas Desai (EAKWO Slate):

"As a Business Economics and Film major and, I understand what budget cuts can do to our finances. Last semester, as a Commissioner of A.S. Financial Reports to the Director of Budget Management, I saw how bad our finances were. We worked together to decide what was important to spend our limited money on. I am the only candidate who has dealt with the same responsibilities the Director of Budget Management had and that are why I believe that I am the most qualified. As a Director of Budget Management I will continue to save SMC money and appropriate it responsibly. The previous director thought I would make the perfect candidate and to ruin his wishes would be a tragedy. Elect real leadership and change. Wu-Tang Clan is Forever!"

Director of Budget Management, Michael Song (ASSIST Slate):

"As a Business Administration major and current Director of Financial Support, I have a solid understanding of the Associated Students finances. A current Board Member of the A.S., I am aware of our student finances and the structure of our government. Working alongside our current Director of Budget Management, I am able to differentiate myself from other candidates by knowing exactly what my position entails and what I will be dealing with. As a service provider to the SMC community, I hold an open mind to the opinion of the students and believe in an interactive approach to their concerns. I hope to continue with excellence the projects and relationships our board has formed and hit the ground running."

Director of Publicity, Lior Braude (No Slate):

"The word publicity is often associated with money, corporations, marketing, and promotion. I believe that for us students, publicity serves a higher role. In essence, publicity is another tool for us to gain knowledge, and more importantly for us to build awareness. Since the events that are taking place in our college might have a great impact on our lives and future, it is important that they will receive the proper attention. As a Director of Publicity I will see to it that every event will get the best coverage, so that everyone could benefit from such events."

Director of Publicity, Kara Kedirck (ASSIST Slate):

"I, Kara Kedrick, am running for the Director of Publicity to improve communication at Santa Monica College. I currently work under Director of Publicity as the Commissioner of Publicity which has enabled me to grasp what the director's job entitles. Communication is very important on this campus, and if I am elected I plan on working to bring about a better sense of unity throughout the student body. This school provides so many beneficial programs for the students and I have a strong desire to make sure their messages are heard. If elected I plan to: Advertise material in an artistic eye catching manner; install an information booth; spotlight club activities; update the AS website; bridge the communication gap between students and the programs at SMC."

Director of Publicity, Wilmer Bernal

These candidates are running unopposed:

Chantelle Eastman, A.S. Secretary (ASSIST Slate):

"I want to become more involved in SMC and I feel that being A.S. Secretary will help me in doing so. I am currently in PTK the International Honors Society for community colleges, have taken Sustainabe Works and I am in the Scholars Program here at SMC. I am a hard worker and love to inform fellow students about SMC."

Diana Wattanapongsakorn, Director of Student Instructional Support (ASSIST Slate):

"I am currently the Commissioner of Community Relations for Vice President Jafet Santiago. My goal is to increase student awareness of the ongoing facilities here on campus so that we may prevent ourselves from falling into the monorhythmic student life that many of us find ourselves prey to."

Student Trustee, Seth Smith (ASSIST Slate):

"I've been a student at SMC since the summer of 2008. Before this, I served 6 years in the U.S. Navy where the experiences I had gave me an understanding of the importance of public service. Since becoming a student at SMC, I have continued to apply the values I learned in the military as a member of the SMC Scholars Program, as well as an employee of the SMC Veteran's Affairs office."

Director of Student Services, Michael Jacobo (ASSIST Slate):

"I have worked with the Associated Students as a Commissioner for the Director of Activities and then as a Commissioner for the Secretary. Currently, I am the A.S. Secretary."

Director of Student Outreach, Nadar Atassi (ASSIST Slate):

"This semester I became Commissioner of Multiculturalism for the Director of Activities in the Associated Students. I have volunteered in various projects, including helping with the garden project petitions as well as spreading AS election awareness around the school. I moved to California from Beirut, Lebanon in August 2008. In Beirut I was also involved in volunteer work, including helping to get food and water to families that were affected by the 2006 war in Lebanon."

Director of Sustainability, Natasha Gorodnitski (ASSIST Slate):

"As an Environmental Studies major and an active student on campus, I am running for Director of Sustainability because I want to dedicate my life to solving environmental issues. I currently serve as a student representative on the ACUPCC Task Force with which I am collaborating upon a greenhouse gas inventory for SMC; I am a member of the Eco-Action Club and the Earth Week planning committee and I am working with the current Director of Sustainability as a commissioner."

Director of Academic Support, Aye Thu (EAKWO Slate):

"I am running for the Director of Academic Support because I think thatthis position relates to me most. I was a class president for almost every academic year from junior high to high school in Myanmar."

Director of Finanical Support: Kyle Szesnat