ASDVC and Student Trustee Elections Reshape Campus Government In 2023-24


Courtesy of Ivan Hernandez

The Associated Students of Diablo Valley College (ASDVC) announced its newly elected executive team on April 10 for the 2023-24 academic year.

Ashley Alvarez, who won the presidency of the student governing body, said she would make centers of diversity a priority.

“I believe that it’s important to advocate and represent those who have been underrepresented and use the opportunities given to me to create new opportunities for others,” said Alvarez in a written statement.

Highlighting diversity was a common theme among the newly elected officials, including Controller David Ono, who mentioned focusing on “diversity initiatives” as one of his goals.

Helena Suarez-Kaminska, who was elected Diversity Affairs Officer in a tight race that ended 208-193-192 in her favor, will be responsible for those initiatives as well.

The online voting process lasted from April 4-6 and recorded 593 votes. Eleven positions were open, and three people ran unopposed.

First-year student Howard Sofjan won the race for Vice President of Legislative Affairs, capturing 67 percent of the vote.

Other elected members include Parliamentarian Iman Khan, Public Relations Officer Jennifer Mendoza Lopez, Environmental Affairs Officer Caitlynn Hibbard, and Inter Club Council Chair Guadalupe Lopez.

Another shared goal among student representatives was to increase the reach and awareness of various campus resources available to students.

“From tutoring and counseling services to the food pantry, one of the largest issues I’ve seen is that most people do not know that these programs exist,” said Harsimar Saini, the newly elected Vice President of Executive Affairs, in her written statement.

Secretary Lim Chee Kin also said he planned to help make more students aware of the food pantry and socializing space.

Some benefits for students that resulted from ASDVC advocacy include the school’s telehealth services, extended library hours, Basic Needs Advisory Group, DREAMers Alliance and SparkPoint financial coaching services.

Many students remain not only unaware of the resources available to them thanks to the efforts of the ASDVC — but  the existence of a student government to begin with. 

“Not everyone is involved in clubs, extracurriculars and learning programs,” said 2022-23 ASDVC president Ivan Hernandez. “So the people that are not already engaged in something probably don’t know what it is.”

The group is responsible for listening to student needs and advocating for them. One way they do so is by holding general meetings that are open to the public every Tuesday from 2:10-4 p.m. in the student union.

This year, they increased both the number of active clubs and the amount of money allocated towards clubs, according to Hernandez.

They also attended more conferences than in past years, at the district, state and national levels. In March, 10 ASDVC students traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the National Student Advocacy Conference. The trip included touring the U.S. Capitol and visiting the offices of California Senator Dianne Feinstein and local congressional representatives Mark Desaulnier and John Garamendi.

With the ASDVC elections wrapped up, Hernandez can look ahead toward the District Student Trustee election, where he will run against fellow DVC student Ryan Lin.

Lin is the Community Service Officer for the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honors society and is on the Rules and Sustainability committee for ASDVC.

“Through his commitment and conviction behind equity, Ryan is able to ensure that all voices remain heard,” Lin’s bio statement says.

Hernandez believes his experience as president of ASDVC would allow for easier problem-solving, and has identified communication between students and faculty as a district-wide issue.

“If we fix the communication, dealing with the other issues can be more straightforward and we can actually improve on other factors,” Hernandez said.

Online voting is open May 2-4.