Run-off Election Takes Place at CSUB for Student Government

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Graciela Aguilar, Staff Writer

This year, the Associated Students Incorporated held a run-off election for the position of Vice President of Finance between sophomore, Julissa Chavana and senior, Erick Plata Torres. ASI elections took place two weeks ago at California State University, Bakersfield. The position of Vice President of Finance was set to take place this week Wednesday April  20-21 between the two candidates scoring the highest percentage in the three-candidate race, since neither one candidates scored the winning 50% of votes.  

Erick Plata Torres scored a 48.9% of votes, Julissa Chavana scoring 27.3% and Daniel Albiar scoring 23.8%. Torres and Chavana’s run-off election ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. according to ASI Executive Director, Llaria Pesco.  

A run-off election is necessary when an election has more than two candidates running for the position and no candidates score a 50% of votes. The two candidates with the highest percentages of votes competes in a separate run-off election.  

Torres nearly missed the winning percentage with less than two percentage points off from taking the race. “I was a little sad to see that I was so close to winning, but barely missed the winning percentage,” Torres said.  

Erick Plata Torres is a senior at CSUB working towards earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with a concentration in Human Services. Torres currently holds the position of Director of Transfer Students for ASI and spends a lot of time working with Natasha Harris in the transfer center to help transfer students accommodate themselves at CSUB. 

One of his goals as Vice President of Finance would be to work diligently and effectively to increase the amount of student engagement on campus. Being an enthusiastic person, Torres wishes more students would see the importance of getting involved and getting out of their shell to experience college culture and creating worthwhile connections with at CSUB.  

Torres is also currently interning at JJ’s Legacy, a non-profit organization that works to gain organ, eye, and tissue donations in Kern County. Torres oversees items being donated, entering donations data into software systems, updating daily spreadsheets of donors, and taking and transferring calls as they come in.  

“I really enjoy what I am currently doing at JJ’s Legacy, with growing my professional network with donors in the Community and introducing who I am and what I do. Even if it does come to an end at the end of the semester the professional networking experience will always be there,” said Torres.  

Apart from school, Torres interests are surrounded with his extroversion, family, and fashion sketching. Torres enjoys being involved with multiple outlets at CSUB and seeks to set a good example for his nephews, while also having time for himself and his personal hobbies such as fashion sketching, a hobby that almost turned into his desired major.  

“Regardless of who you want to vote for, whether it’s for me, or the other wonderful candidate Julissa, go out and vote, it’s important for students to voice their opinions and thoughts. Student engagement is very important for the campus and the fact that we are willing to represent them has a lot of significant meaning,” said Torres encouraging students to go out and vote.  

Julissa Chavana, a sophomore at CSUB, is a running candidate for the position of Vice President of Finance. Majoring in biochemistry with a minor in mathematics, Chavana currently holds Director of Community Outreach for ASI at CSUB.  

Chavana is pursuing her desired major as she believes that biochemistry is “her desired form of science,” pursuing biochemistry to generalize more in the medical field and is currently working on gathering research for a project that she hopes to contribute to the student research scholars, funded by Cal State Bakersfield Foundation.  

Chavana is researching on the degradation of pharmaceuticals on the environment and how we dispose of them. As well as, how we will eventually have an abundant of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water. 

“It is studying how fast or how slow certain pharmaceuticals break down or if certain pharmaceuticals will even end up in the environment in the long run, to ensure that it won’t affect our health in the near future,” said Chavana. “My end goal would be to have a scientific paper written, with the work I plan to research.”  

Apart from school, Chavana has her own photography business that she started at the age of 14. She began pursuing photography before she entered high school and fell into the photography pathway that was being offered at her school.  

“I do a lot of the graduates here at CSUB especially right now it’s busy because of the spring graduates. As well as a lot of family portraits during Christmas time and I also like doing creative portraits on my own, although it’s a business, I started as a hobby, so I still make sure to like keep true to myself and do creative stuff on the side,” said Chavana.  

This was the first time Chavana sought out to run for a major position for ASI and was proud of the efforts she had made even if she didn’t get the highest percentage of voters. She also encourages people to participate in voting and making sure student voices are heard. 

“As much as we worry about the future, we have to worry about the now also.” Chavana said.  

Voting for the run-off election ends tonight, April 21 at 11:59 p.m., an email was sent to all students with the election ballot by Llaria Pesco, ASI Executive Director and the winners are set to be announced Friday April 22 by Jason Watkins ASI Elections Coordinator.