The results of the First-year Class Council (FCC) election were announced Tuesday night Dec. 4. Fionna Tejada was elected President, Arianna Modesti was elected Vice President, Austin Correia was elected Treasurer, and Lauren A. Soto was elected Secretary.
The FCC President acts as a voting member of Senate and ideally, represents the interests of the first-year class, acting as a liaison between Senate, FCC, and the first-year class as a whole. According to the ASWC Constitution, they also schedule, prepare, and preside over all FCC meetings. “[FCC], among other things, manage the budget for FCC and throw events for first-years,” wrote Associate Students of Whittier College (ASWC) Senate President Detrick Manning in an email to the Quaker Campus (QC). They are also charged to, in the Constitution, “create, with the FCC, a program of priorities and objectives that will bring the [FCC] together.”
The ASWC Senate of the next year is formed at the end of the Spring semester, and they usually hold elections for the FCC during Fall semester. “Usually, FCC Elections take place in October,” wrote Manning. “I wanted to make sure that we had a person in this position [as soon as possible], as the first-years need representation on the table.” The FCC is retired at the end of the academic year, in the same manner as the rest of Senate.
Manning sent an email on Nov. 26, letting the student body know that applications for FCC were open and were to be turned in by Wednesday, Nov. 28. Typically the ASWC Secretary runs Senate’s Elections Committee and, by extension, the FCC elections. However, as Sam Johnson stepped down from the position of Secretary last week, and Senate wanted to elect the members of the FCC before Winter break, Manning filled in and led the elections process. At their meeting on Monday, Dec. 3, Senate appointed Destinee Moya as Secretary — meaning she will take over as head of Elections Committee. Prior to her appointment to the Executive Board, she served as Commuter Representative.
One week after sending out the email on Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. before their Monday meeting, Senate held a debate between prospective candidates for FCC President and Vice President. Tejada ran against Dinenson Cortez-Cruz, Anthony Torres, and Emu Devine for FCC President, and Modesti ran against Amanda Farris for FCC Vice President.
Senate posted the final seventeen minutes of the debate to their Periscope account. In the recording, candidates made their closing statements. In her closing remarks Tejada said that she intended to be transparent and available to her first-year peers. “My main goal is to make myself as available as possible to all of the [first-year] class, whatever their concerns may be,” said Tejada.
In Modesti’s closing remarks, the future FCC Vice President spoke about changing and improving the atmosphere on campus for first-years. “I’m working to make this campus a better place that will make everyone feel more comfortable, more homey,” said Modesti. She said that she wanted to work to make Whittier Campus the kind of college students miss being at when they are away on break.
The other candidates pitched themselves as well. Farris sold herself on her experience, citing her service in student government and the six clubs she was part of in high school. Devine described himself as an activist and stated that he would work and fight to improve conditions on campus. Torres offered accessibility, focusing in his closing argument on how he planned to get to know the first-year class and to work to serve all types of students on campus. Cortez-Cruz stated that he had experience and would enact change.
On Dec. 4, students either voted outside the Campus Inn, or through OrgSync, and that night, Whittier’s FCC was chosen by popular vote. “I think the race [went] great,” wrote Tejada in a statement to the QC. “Each candidate that I ran against was qualified for the job, and I am very grateful to have won, but also to have had this experience with the three of them, and I wish each of them the best. I cannot wait to see what I can do for the first-years on campus. I am so thankful they chose me to represent them, and I will not let them down!”