“AND THE WINNER IS….”: The ASCCC Spring 2015 Elections

Elections Chair

Each year on the Saturday of the Spring Plenary Session, elections are held for positions on the ASCCC Executive Committee.  The four officer positions---president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer--are open for election each year.  Elections for the other ten positions occur on a two-year cycle--Areas A and D along with one each of the North, South, and At-Large Representatives in one year, and Areas B and C along with the other North, South and At-Large Representatives in the next year.

The ASCCC elections have all the trimmings of a national election--nominations, speeches, and voting.  But the Academic Senate also has something that those ordinary national elections cannot compete with:  the “trickle down” system.  Elections are held consecutively rather than all at the same time, and candidates running for a position on the Executive Committee have the option of running for another position should they lose the first election.  Running for more than one position is referred to as trickling down. In order to trickle down, a candidate indicates lower positions that she or he is eligible for and interested in at the time of nomination. For example, if a candidate for president fails to win that office but has indicated a desire to run for treasurer and area representative, that candidate’s name would be placed on the ballot for treasurer when the election for that office occurs. If that candidate is unsuccessful in the election for treasurer, then his or her name would be placed on the ballot for area representative for the election of that position.  The candidate’s name would trickle down through all the positions so indicated until that candidate is either elected to a position or loses the election for the last position indicated.  With this system, one cannot be certain at the beginning of the day who will really be the candidates for most of the elections. What one sees on the nominations board on Thursday is not necessarily what one will see on the ballots on Saturday.

Every spring is a busy time for candidates.  The first step is the nomination process:  a person can nominate oneself for election in the weeks prior to the plenary session or be nominated on the floor on Thursday by someone else, with all the nomination papers to fill out.  In the Thursday nominating session, the elections chair makes the nomination request three times for each position. 

Next come the speeches on Friday morning.  Presidential candidates can speak for up to ten minutes, while all the other candidates have up to five minutes to present us with their thoughts and ideas of why they should be elected to the Executive Committee.  Throughout the years, the ASCCC has had some memorable speeches: Allen Boyer singing part of his speech, Mark Wade Lieu giving us the ABCs of his qualifications, and Debbie Klein literally standing on her head last year.  This year saw a wonderful innovation: David Morse and Julie Bruno, uncontested candidates for president and vice-president respectively, gave their speech in tandem--evidence of the close working relationship that has benefited the ASCCC this last year. 

Finally, the actual elections take place on Saturday. The staff prepare the ballots to be handed out and do a great job of coordinating the entire process.  Another essential element of the election process is the volunteer tellers, plenary session attendees who are not delegates and therefore are not voting in the elections or on the resolutions.  They wear red sashes to identify themselves and hand out and retrieve the ballots, open the ballots, verify the signatures, and count the votes. Eight volunteer tellers helped with the ballots this year:  Roseann Berg (Foothill), Shawn Carney (Solano), Achala Chatterjee (San Bernardino Valley), Lee Gordon (Orange Coast), Diana Hurlbut (Irvine Valley), Katherine Schaefers (Foothill), Catherine Shafer (San Diego City) and Monica Thurston (East Los Angeles). The ASCCC thanks all of these volunteers, as the elections could not be finished in one day without them.

The winners of the elections this year were as follows:  David Morse and Julie Bruno were reelected by acclamation to the offices of president and vice-president.  The offices of secretary and treasurer were contested, but the incumbents, John Stanskas and Wheeler North, were each reelected to serve another year in their offices.  James Todd was reelected by acclamation to the position of Area A Representative.  Craig Rutan was elected to the position of Area D Representative, with Cynthia Rico trickling down to the election for the south representative and being elected to that position.  Four candidates were on the ballot for the position of north representative, with Ginni May winning a runoff ballot for the position. Elections were held for both at-large positions, one for a two-year term and one for a one-year term because the at-large representative elected last year chose not to serve the second year of her term. Thus, the elections culminated with Randy Beach winning the two-year position and Cheryl Aschenbach the one-year position.  Congratulations to all the members of the 2015-16 Executive Committee.

ASCCC Executive Committee, 2015-16

Term Ending Spring


David Morse

Long Beach


Vice President

Julie Bruno




John Stanskas

San Bernardino Valley



Wheeler North

San Diego Miramar


Area A

James Todd



Area B

Dolores Davison



Area C

John Freitas

Los Angeles City


Area D

Craig Rutan

Santiago Canyon



Kale Braden

Cosumnes River



Ginni May

Sacramento City



Michelle Grimes-Hillman

Mt San Antonio



Cynthia Rico

San Diego Mesa


At Large

Cheryl Aschenbach



At Large

Randy Beach



In conclusion, I take “senior status” privilege to end this article with a personal note.  I chose not to run for re-election to the Executive Committee and, therefore, am ending a wonderful 13-year tenure on the Committee.  It has been an honor and privilege to work with the members of the Executive Committee throughout the years and I look forward to continuing my work with the ASCCC.