Posted on: April 2, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Aidan McGuire

By Aidan McGuire, News Editor

For the first time since 2020, two candidates have their name on the ballot for the yearly student trustee election. This week, Moraine Valley students will vote for either Francisco Gomez or Demetri Sianis to represent their interests.

The position is elected by students yearly and the student trustee serves as a representation of the student body’s voice to the Board of Trustees, the publicly elected governing body that makes various decisions for the college. 

The student trustee “represents the student voice when the board of trustees are discussing important topics and agenda items,” MV dean of students and compliance officer Kent Marshall said. “It’s important for the board to hear what the students are doing so they can feel that connection with our students as well.”

On Thursday, a debate between Gomez and Sianis was held in the Social/Cultural Lounge in the U building. Crowds of students buzzed around the cafeteria, with 16 students gathering to witness the debate. 

Marshall facilitated the discussion and asked the two candidates several questions regarding their goals for the position. The candidates were then allotted a set amount of time to reply. 

We call it a debate but it’s not really a debate; it’s just a time for students to get to know the candidates and hear what is important to them.”

MV dean of students and compliance officer Kent Marshall

A prime topic of discussion was diversity, equity and inclusion. The candidates discussed how they would implement the values. Gomez stressed that being a first-generation American and college student would benefit him in terms of implementing DEI. Sianis countered by saying he is the first person from his family to go to college, which would allow him to have a further understanding of the student body on various levels. 

After Marshall asked the prepared questions, he opened the debate up to the audience. Several students raised their hands and asked the candidates questions. 

“I think it went great. It’s a great opportunity for students,” Marshall said. “We call it a debate, but it’s not really a debate; it’s just a time for students to get to know the candidates and hear what is important to them.”

Many students stuck around afterward to mingle with the candidates, talk with Marshall, and even grab a complimentary cookie. 

“I thought it went very well,” vice president of student development Normah Salleh-Barone said. “I’m very pleased that we had a group of students that came to listen to the candidates.

“I’m so excited that students are back on campus,” she continued. “This is what campus life is all about, and I really want to see students using every single space we have available.”

Digital elections will take place April 3-6 and can be accessed through student email.

Meet the Candidates

Demetri Sianis

Demetri Sianis is a freshman at Moraine Valley Community College. 

After serving as president of Amos Alonzo Stagg High School’s culinary club, he is aiming for another leadership position at Moraine. 

Sianis wants to make this “a safe school for everyone and make sure students know that there are people here at Moraine they can talk to.”

He is the first person from his family to attend college. During the debate, he brought up his desire to spread awareness of scholarship opportunities to the student body. 

“I’ve been trying to listen to what students have to say and take their ideas into consideration,” he said. “I want to make an impact at my school.”

Francisco Gomez

Francisco Gomez is a freshman majoring in finance.

During Thursday’s debate, Gomez pushed for an increase in social media presence at Moraine. He wishes to unify the social media work done by various clubs to boost student engagement. 

“The use of social media, let’s be honest, we don’t always check our email, but we can always check TikTok or Instagram,” Gomez said. “So I believe if we use that more we can increase student involvement.”

Gomez was the vice president of his 7th-grade student council and ran for class president in 8th grade. Gomez is transferring his love for learning and student involvement into his student trustee campaign effort.

“I love being involved in school, so I think that’s what led me to this,” Gomez said.