By Nick Stern, Copy Editor | Photos By Nick Stern
The Executive Council of Students has begun its annual election process this July and its current members who are now running for office have proven to be a capable group of folks promising that, no matter the outcome, the voice of the student body will be represented properly and efficiently, said President of ECOS and Criminal Justice major Carrie Ratkevich.
Ratkevich said four nominees have been chosen for the election which is scheduled for July 11, and that she is satisfied with the candidates because she knows that they are each qualified and driven to do what is best for the student body of CNM.
“I am really happy to see that the members we have do care about things that are going on and they do understand the amount of effort that will have to be put in. Regardless who wins, I will be satisfied knowing that,” she said.
The four nominees each have different plans and ideas for what they would like to see happen during their time in office, yet Ratkevich is also confident that each of them understands the main purpose and goal of ECOS and are driven to pursue that goal, which is a promising prospect, she said.
“I think they are all serious and they have different viewpoints so it is really going to push them further into doing things that are the most good for the most students and as long as they have the students in mind, I think everything is going to be perfect,” she said.
The election process, Ratkevich said involves nominating members at least a week before the actual election and only official ECOS members are allowed to be elected and vote.
The people who are nominated are required to have a mission statement and answer any questions that the members feel are important, she said.
Ratkevich said that the election process is taken very seriously because ECOS holds a lot of responsibility as the representation of the students’ voice, and that means electing officers who are fit for the job.
“It should be an important thing on campus for us to be able to invoke positive changes for the student body with the administration, so it is important that we take this job seriously, thus elections are important. There is a lot of work you have to do so it is important that you have a good solid officer too,” she said.
The people who get elected will not take office until the beginning of the fall semester, so the time between the election and then will ensure that new officers learn everything that is needed to get a running start in the fall, she said.
Any student can become a member of ECOS by having a GPA of at least 2.5, two letters of recommendation from staff or faculty, and by filling out an application from the ECOS office located at Main Campus, Ratkevich said.
Ratkevich said she looks forward to seeing who wins the elections and knows that ECOS and the student body will be in good hands no matter what the outcome will be in the fall.
“We do not serve anybody but the students. That is our purpose here and I think all of them know that and take that job seriously,” she said.
Welding major, Thomas Saunders is running for Administrative Officer and Communications Officer, he said.
Saunders would like to become an officer of ECOS who represents the voice of the other trades students such as himself, he said.
“What I bring to the table is I am obviously a trade student, so I am more of a blue collar voice of the group. I would like to represent all the trade students—all the welders, the machiners, the carpenter, and be their voice,” Saunders said.
Saunders said when he becomes the Administrative Officer he will be willing to do everything and anything that ECOS needs him to do and is confident that he will serve to the best of his ability, he said.
Saunders has been a member for less than a month and said he is greatly qualified for the position as administrative officer because he is experienced and skilled with administrative work such as making purchase orders and event requests.
He is also running for communications officer because he said that student issues and communication with the school are a priority to ECOS, just as he is passionate about opening a dialogue where students can feel free and comfortable to address their concerns.
Saunders understands that ECOS is the “echoed voice of the students” and he originally joined the organization because he wanted to make sure that his fellow trades students’ voices were being heard and put into consideration, Saunders said.
He sees becoming communications officer as a great chance to seek the thoughts of the students at CNM, he said.
“Ask them (the students) ‘hey what do you think about the school, what do you think could be better, and what do you think about your teachers?’ Start hearing their voices because I know a lot of students, particularly in the welding program complain left and right about this and that, and sometimes their voices are not heard, so that is kind of what I want to be for them,” Saunders said.
Saunders’ currently has one main desire for bettering the school and that is for communication to become something that is improved upon, he said.
Saunders said he sees a lot of communication issues, especially in the trades departments where teachers and students do not communicate well, or where students are afraid to confront certain issues involving instructors or safety violations.
“I want to see more communications open up and see more friendly ground in the trades department because it is everybody versus everybody, and it should not be like that. We should all work together one way or another,” Saunders said.
Psychology major, Ana Martinez said she is running for President and Vice President of ECOS.
She has been a member of ECOS for more than 2 years and said she believes that her lengthy involvement has given her the experience needed to become a leader for the organization.
“I would want to be president because I think that with ECOS we can do a lot of things. So, what I want to do is push a little more and be able to accomplish every idea,” she said.
Martinez has also had experience with the responsibilities as Vice President and Treasurer and has helped with many presidential responsibilities, she said.
“Vice president is something that I have been doing for this last term, so I know how to do it, I know what to do, and I know the responsibilities of the position,” she said.
One idea that Martinez is very passionate about is to create a spring fling during the spring semester so that students can take a break after their midterms, she said.
Martinez envisions the spring fling as a carnival-like setup that could also allow the possibility for different student organizations to have a chance to have their own fundraisers during the event, she said.
“I would like to see the spring fling so students could get some relief after the midterms. Right now we are talking about the idea and thinking about it but next term I am really going to push it and talk about details,” Martinez said.
Martinez said that her experience with ECOS has showed her all of the ins and outs of being an officer in the organization and she believes she has learned how to handle the many responsibilities of being a leader with the organization, she said.
“I have seen three presidents with all the responsibilities they are doing and all the stress that they have and I think I can handle it now better than the previous terms,” Martinez said.
Criminal Psychology major, Phillip Cox is also running for President and Vice President and said he sees being elected as an opportunity to better the circumstances of the CNM’s student body, which has always been something he cares about as a student.
“I definitely care about the livelihood of the students at CNM. It has always been something that, as a student, I have always had an interest in and I really want to make sure that the interests of the students are being represented at the higher levels of our particular college,” he said.
Cox said that if he made office, his first goal would be to get more attention focused on student government so that more students can take advantage of the great things ECOS can do for them.
“The first thing I plan to do in office is to bring more awareness to student government.
ECOS has a lot of power before authority and I want students to become a part of it,” he said.
Cox is currently serving as the Administrative Officer of ECOS, which involves getting correspondents’ contributions for events and fundraisers, and keeping tabs on officers by making sure that they keep up with attendance and essential paperwork, he said.
Cox said that though he has had a lot of experience in politics as far as student government is involved, what he believes is more important is his desire to make sure that the voice of students is loud enough to be heard by the right people, he said.
“I think that people voting for me will definitely provide them with a much louder voice in school. I definitely want them to feel as though, if they have issues, talking to me as their president, they know it will get addressed in some way, shape or form,” Cox said.
Cox believes that the most important responsibility as a leader in ECOS is to be a representative to the students and to make use of every option available to reach out to them, he said.
“It is finding out exactly how the students feel about policies, their situations or whatever is going on in campus and making sure it is represented to the leadership of the school. That is my primary responsibility,” Cox said.