Dawna Williams elected Laney College student body president

Dawna Williams defeated Harry Jiang in a May 11 run-off election to choose Laney College's next student body president. It was a margin of six votes-Williams received 124 votes to Jiang's 118.

"It was very close," said Williams, who currently serves as an Inter-Club Council (ICC) Representative on ASLC. "I tried to do something a little different this time and let people get to know me."

In the April 20-21 ASLC elections, current ASLC VP Jiang received 333 votes while Williams received 242. Jiang was mistakenly declared the winner by the election committee; it was realized he did not obtain a 51 percent majority of the vote, as required by the Student Elections Code.

After a record ASLC voter turnout, in the first round, the run-off had the lowest voter turnout since 2007. The run-off had few fliers, less publicity and was not confirmed by election committee members until less than a week before the vote.

Some students who showed up to vote were turned away because their names were not on a printed election. Even with valid student ID, those students were told--including this writer and even an ASLC member--were forced to print out their class schedules. Later that evening, the rule was not strictly enforced, and those not listed only had to show ID.

Williams, co-founder and VP of Laney College's Alpha Lambda Co-Ed Sorority/Fraternity, has big plans to reinvigorate student life on campus. She wants to have more student activities and improve communication on campus. Most of all, Williams plans to make ASLC more effective student representatives.

Her "Team 360" swept into office with little to no opposition. "The summer will be used to make the team more cohesive," Williams said. ASLC will "work on team building, parliamentary procedures and redoing the office so it's more conducive to business."

Students likely have encountered Williams on campus. In addition to working in the Counseling Department, she hosts "News You Can Use" in the Student Center cafeteria three times per week. Microphone in hand, Williams discusses campus issues and shares scholarship information.

She has also organized "B.L.A.M." (Berkeley, Laney, Alameda and Merritt), a unity event open to students at the four Peralta campuses will be held on Saturday May 29 at Oasis Restaurant, located at 135 12th Street in Oakland.

"It is important for students to fight budget cuts, but students should have fun too," she said. "We need to have something that doesn't have to do with budget cuts, something social."

She added that the event is a part of starting a district-wide council, a proposal struck down by ASLC this spring.

Williams also wants to have a full council and have ASLC participate in all shared governance meetings. Her website is dawnawilliamsforpresident.org.

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