Only about 10 to 30 percent of Northern Marianas College students participate in voting for the college’s student leaders, according to Queanna Sablan, program manager for the office of student activities and leadership.
“We’re hoping that [participation will go up]. We’re going to implement some strategies on how to push to students to practice their vote,” Sablan said.
She said they are hoping to have student volunteers point students around the campus to the student center on voting days as opposed to “just waiting for students to come.”
The candidates for the Associated Students of NMC are set to be voted in on Sept. 23 and 24 between 9am to 6am at college’s student center.
Eight candidates are running—some for more than one position—for ASNMC president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and its three senator positions.
Only one candidate, Riya Nathrani, who is also ASNMC’s interim president, has been nominated for president.
In an interview, Nathrani said she believes students “need to be more involved” with activities on campus and she would like, as president, to push for more entertainment and sports events to help student unwind and cope with their stress.
“Many of our students are non-traditional students and have to deal with stresses outside… like full-time jobs and supporting a family,” she said.
Other than sports and entertainment, she plans to have student discussion forums to get personal takes on issues they may be facing at NMC.
She believes ASNMC provides a “channel of communication from staff to students and back again,” bringing up concerns students may have to college administrators.
“I want to make sure students feel a sense of ownership over their education, and that is why I chose to run [for president],” Nathrani said.
Guadalupe Camacho, Jimin Cheon, and Salvi Villanueva are running for vice president. Villanueva and his brother Andrew are also running for treasurer with Roman Tudela.
The Villanuevas are also running for secretary, while Camacho, Cheon, Andrew Villanueva, Adrian Pangelinan, and Keisuke Yoshiday are running for the senator positions.