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Spring 2021 ASU election results: Sandra Sanchez voted in as new president

Updated: May 11, 2021

The new ASU has been decided by a minority of the Valley College student body.

By Angela Thompson & Soren Blomquist Eggerling, Staff Writers

Sandra Sanchez is a first-year student attending Valley College who launched a successful campaign for president of the Associated Student Union (ASU), a student-led organization within Valley that oversees clubs and campus activities while striving to represent the interests of the college’s students. To comply with COVID-19 restrictions, candidates running for various positions within the ASU focused their campaign efforts almost exclusively online, often using Zoom to do so. Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (Photo by Jeremy Ruiz /The Valley Star)

Sandra Sanchez was elected the new ASU president in one of the lowest election turnouts in Valley College history, and with no vice president, she will have double the duties to handle next fall.

Only 1.68 percent of the Valley student body — 248 out of 15,244 — cast their ballots in the spring 2021 election, voting for political science and film double major Sanchez as the new president. She is the daughter of immigrant parents, which she said makes her even more driven to succeed and create a better future. Sanchez said she wants to “create workshops that help students get a job after college.” One of her main focuses is to help the financial aid distribution system, as she knows how difficult it is for students who work and go to school at the same time.

“I think if students who care about the same issues work together, we can accomplish anything,” Sanchez added.

There were no candidates for vice president this year. According to ASU Advisor Monica Flores, “The president will take on the responsibilities and then eventually we will have appointments for vice president.”

The position of secretary was not up for election because the ASU by-laws state that it “is a paid student worker and not elected or appointed officer.”

Eliran Shalom was elected the commissioner of health and wellness affairs in the spring 2021 ASU election. (Photo by Solomon O. Smith/The Valley Star)

Other winners of the election include: Giovanni Divaia as the new treasurer; Eliran Shalom, whose candidacy was unchallenged, as the commissioner of health and wellness affairs; and Joseph Cassell, who won an unopposed race to be the next commissioner of campus environment affairs. Divaia, Shalom and Cassell did not show up to the candidates forum to address the student body and they did not respond to the Valley Star when they were reached out to.

Lauren Lucas beat out incumbent Eyal Shalom to become the next commissioner of ethnic and cultural affairs. Lucas also did not show up for the candidates forum to let the student body get to know them and did not respond to the Valley Star’s request for comment.

Tyler McDaid ran unopposed and was elected commissioner of political affairs. As a political science major and hopeful future lawyer, McDaid hopes to serve the student body by continuing to engage with students in person and online, utilizing any tools he can to help.

“I believe teamwork is the most important factor to achieving success,” said McDaid. “I am looking forward to working with everyone to discuss tactics for student engagement as we near the hopeful end of fully virtual school.”

The new commissioner of political affairs is looking forward to improving connections at Valley. “I would be working on their behalf,” McDaid promised. “I am ready to adjust to their wants and needs and ensure they feel heard and supported.”

A friend described McDaid as an eager and determined student who is compassionate, outspoken and loves Taylor Swift, his dogs and coffee.

Emily Gutierrez kept her position as the commissioner of publicity and social media in the spring 2021 ASU election. (Photo by Solomon O. Smith/ The Valley Star)

Emily Gutierrez, current commissioner of publicity and social media, has been re-elected to her post. She claimed to have had an increase of 114 percent in followers for the Valley accounts since June 2020, trying to make her posts on social media more relatable and posting more often. She believes her experience sets herself apart and hopes to have a successful second term. Gutierrez was asked to comment by the Valley Star but did not respond.

Ethan Shalom, a second year business finance major, has been elected commissioner of student life. He believes himself to be a strong leader and wants to move forward as a team, working together to improve campus life for students. Ethan wants to create workshops focused on mental health, organize fun events and help with books and other supplies. His candidacy had no opposition.

The posts of vice president and commissioner of fine arts have yet to be filled, and the position of parliamentarian has not been appointed. The current commissioner of political affairs has not returned calls for comments. The newly elected officials hope to meet sometime this week. If any students are interested in joining the ASU, they can go to the ASU page on the Valley website or visit the ASU office hours at the Cranium Cafe under student life.