ASPC Elections Candidate Statements

The ASPC election will be held from 9 p.m. Monday, April 2 until 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 3. Students can vote online at All students, including current seniors and students abroad, are allowed and encouraged to vote.

ASPC President

Sarah Appelbaum

I’m excited to be running for ASPC President! After a year as Commissioner of Community Relations, I’m ready to take on a bigger role in Senate. In my time at Pomona, I’ve been part of many Pomona traditions— as a sponsor, RA and Senator— while actively looking for ways to improve them. As a QRC staffer and QQAMP mentor, I’ve also been highly involved in the queer community on campus, and am grateful to have been able to engage in various other support/activist groups, such as the extended vigil and the CLSA sponsor program. I want to ensure that the College and administration are accountable for their decisions, that all student voices are heard and that the experiences of marginalized students are not overlooked or forgotten. I believe in the possibilities of this position, and that we as students are capable of creating meaningful change on campus. 

Wes Haas

Hello, my name is Wes Haas and this is my story. I came to Pomona College with a debt to pay. As the 394th student accepted to a class of 394, I felt a responsibility to give back to a community that so generously gave to me. My first contribution to Pomona has come through journalism working as a staff writer for TSL. TSL also brought me into the sphere of student government by giving me the chance to write weekly Senate briefs. Through my third-person observation of politics at Pomona among students and administrators, I have noticed many things that need to change. Briefly put, our student government needs to be more assertive, more efficient and more transparent. Not enough gets done even behind ASPC’s closed doors. I am running to be your ASPC President to change this deficiency and to give back to a school that deserves better.

Rishi Sangani

The job of the ASPC President requires the president to wear several hats, from a leader to an organizer to a forward thinker. Quite frankly, wearing different hats is something I’m good at. My name is Rishi Sangani, and I am running to be your ASPC President. This past year, I have had the privilege to serve as the first-year class president and as an ASPC Senator. As president, I have gotten first-years more involved with the Career Development Office as well as organized on-campus events, such as Pomona Bowl. As a Senator, I am on several committees, such as Student Affairs and Residence Hall Committee. Outside of student government, I am a VP for the Claremont Sports Connection, part of KSPC, and a lunch and overnight host for the admissions office. After wearing all of these different hats, I have the experience it takes to be your ASPC President.

Vice President for Finance

Andrew Cha

Hello, my name is Andrew Cha, and I am running for Vice President for Finance. I am a junior double-majoring in mathematics and economics. I feel that I am qualified for this position for multiple reasons. Having worked at Waddell and Reed, a financial advising firm, I will be able to allocate and manage funds sensibly to various groups. Also, being part of different groups on campus, such as the lacrosse team and Quest Scholars, I understand each group’s needs for funds and will do my very best to listen to and accommodate each group. If elected VP for Finance, I will do my very best to look at each group’s needs and advise Senate in distributing funds fairly.

Faye Wang

Hi, y’all! I’m running because I believe that the student body should have committed student representatives who reflect the wide variety of views on campus. I am devoted to the notion that all views merit equal weight regardless of who or how many may hold those opinions. I have previously worked with a variety of organizations on campus including TSL and AAMP and am currently involved with the Women’s Union, the Writing Center and the Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and am the Student-at-Large member of the Student Affairs Committee. I am also a Gender and Women’s Studies major with a focus in economics. I hope that my wide range of experiences better situates my ability to comprehend the financial necessities of students and organizations on campus. Please vote for me for VP for Money and Things! 

Other Candidate: Gaby Baum

Campus Life and Activities

Joseph Reynolds

I’m Joseph Reynolds from Brooklyn, NY. As one of the PEC South Campus Events reps, and a seasoned partygoer, I’ve become familiar with the event culture here on Pomona’s campus. Being a first-year, I had an unbiased view of the events on campus and what we had is great. My goals as Vice President for Campus Activities are: increase communication between the Pomona student body, the events committee and the events happening at the other colleges; plan more events for Friday nights to combat the lack of Friday night parties; and bring more performances (music, comedy, etc.) to the campus. I created the “Honest Since” Pomona t-shirts and have a lot of events planned for the rest of the semester. My involvement with other areas of ASPC/Pomona College has helped me build strong relationships with a lot of the figures needed to have fun happen. Thank you – vote!

Carter Ruff

Hey guys,

I’m writing this candidate statement a little close to the deadline because I just got done directing a mission for Humans vs. Zombies. Whether or not you like the game, it’s the largest sub-free event on campus – a weeklong zombie outbreak with over 400 players for the past two years, and a full-time job when the game’s on. Asides from planning the apocalypse, I’m an Annual Events Chair on PEC. After joining in the fall, I’ve helped revamp Winter Formal, Spring Formal and Smiley 80’s. More generally, I’m a very open-minded and social person with a knack for knowing what people want. I’m not going to make promises here, but if you elect me for VP for Campus Activities, I would use my experience and enthusiasm to ensure that events next year will be something to remember, even if the world ends.

Commissioner of Academic Affairs

Chris Bergeron

As Commissioner of Academic Affairs, I will do my best to represent the interests of the various campus communities in which I am involved.  I hold leadership positions in Challah for Hunger and the Pomona Student Union, and I am a member of the Sigma Tau Fraternity. I’ve served on the Food and Residence Hall Committees, and I am an Assistant Manager at the Coop Store. Most importantly, though, if elected, I heard I might be doing impressions.

Quinn Lester

Hello, my name is Quinn Lester and I would like to be your Commissioner of Academic Affairs. I am currently a junior with extensive experience in campus affairs. I have worked at the Women’s Union for the last two years, engaging with other groups such as the QRC and the AARC to provide quality programming for students. As a politics/religious studies double major, I have gotten to know several professors and work with them on good terms, attending faculty meetings and observing them at work. As Commissioner I would specifically like to: ensure students’ voices are heard in continuing grade inflation policy discussions, advocate for students’ interdisciplinary majors and projects and survey graduate school advising within departments. I believe that a variety of student voices need to be heard in Senate and promise to represent students’ opinions within debates about the future of academics at Pomona College.

Commissioner of Communications

Jesse Pollack

Ever used the 5C Ride Share app? Or maybe even Like Secret ;)? Well, I’m the face behind both of them! If you you vote for me, I can promise to bring even more technological innovation to campus.  The primary role of the Commissioner of Communications is to work with the media- and technology-related groups on campus to ensure Pomona students have an enjoyable experience across the variety of our technology outlets: TSL, KSPC and ASPC website included. I am confident I can succeed in this role because I have both the technological know-how and organizational leadership experience to manage and understand the issues the college faces. Both the websites I’ve created and the events I’ve organized, like the 5C Hackathon, are a testament to these abilities. Vote Jesse Pollak for Commissioner of Communications!

Tracy Zhao

Hi! I’m thrilled to be running for Commissioner of Communications. As an Advocate, I have helped to compile a zine, led parts of first-year orientation and communicated with deans and administrators. As an AARC intern, I have done a lot of programming, including bringing speakers to campus, facilitating discussions and collaborating with several campus organizations. These experiences have shaped how I envision my service to my peers in this position. I think there is so much potential for this position to support campus media outlets, facilitate Senate communications to the student body and maximize the potential of the Speakers Committee to address pressing campus issues and concerns. In addition, I would like to facilitate communications between the College leadership and students. I believe it’s important to promote the work and voices of diverse students and groups, and that’s what I hope to accomplish!

Commissioner of Clubs and Sports

Courtney Hamilton

How many football games did you attend this year? Tennis matches? (Unless you’re on the team or received a bribe, the answer to the latter is definitely zero). Sports and clubs are important to who we are as individuals and as a collective student body, and they deserve recognition. Easy for me to say from my current study abroad in Spain, but even in our crazy overachiever Pomona lives, we can always find time to support our clubs and sports. School spirit can use a boost every once in a while, and I’m here (or will be there) to make that happen. With experience on the tennis team and several clubs, plus the Clubs and Sports Committee, I have seen both what we want as participants and how best to fulfill that from the committee standpoint and would love to represent our near and dear clubs and sports on Senate. 

Emma Wolfarth

My name is Emma Wolfarth and I am a sophomore. I am currently a member of the Sports Committee as well as the Residence Hall Committee and Food Committee. So I have considerable experience working with the ASPC and understand the inner workings of how things get accomplished at Pomona. I am running to be Commissioner of Clubs and Sports because I care deeply about the sports culture here at Pomona and want an opportunity to make it even better. My time here as a two-year member of the women’s soccer team and as an intramural sports referee have led me to be deeply committed to and involved in athletics at Pomona in all capacities. If elected I will work tirelessly to plan awesome tailgates and other events to make sports, athletics and clubs here at Pomona something easy to celebrate and be proud of.

Commissioner of Community Relations

Darrell Jones III

As Commissioner of Community Relations, I will work diligently to establish a broad coalition of activist and support organizations in the hopes of improving the campus climate. I hope to serve as an effective steward for silenced voices. With your help, we can take steps toward creating a campus climate responsive to the concerns and sensitivities of all members of the college community. 

Julia Austenfeld

Hi all, my name is Julia Austenfeld, I’m from North Carolina and Switzerland, and I’m in my first year. I serve on the Committee on Campus Climate and Diversity, work at the Women’s Union, am an Advocate for Survivors of Sexual Assault and worked on queer issues in campus climate in high school. My personal experience with women’s and queer issues and an international family has led me to care deeply about the interrelated concerns of all marginalized groups, so on Senate I’ll work from an intersectional perspective, taking into account the relevancy of race, class, sexual orientation, immigration status, ability, gender and other experiences on campus. I’ll fully support organizations that work on all aspects of diversity while on ASPC and College committees and serve as an open contact point for future community organizing as the need arises. Feel free to email me fmi at

Eric Martinez

Hi, Pomona College, I’m Eric Martinez! I’ve had the privilege of meeting many of you in my short time here at Pomona, but in the off chance this isn’t the case, allow me: I’m from Dallas, Texas, a first-generation college student and a sophomore always looking for new methods of interacting with and contributing to my community. As co-founder of IDEAS, an active participant in Workers for Justice and a CLSA sponsor, I have had the opportunity of working with the administration, other student organizations and the at-large college community locally at the colleges and also across the greater Inland Empire and L.A. community. As Commissioner of Community Relations, I will strive to maintain and improve upon the relations between our peers and the administration and the greater college community, voicing any and all opinions to ensure an open, stimulating and vibrant campus climate for all.

At-Large Rep on the Trustee-Student Affairs Committee

Emi Young

I’m running for the position of At-Large Representative on the Trustee Student Affairs Committee because I think it would provide an opportunity to help ensure that the Board of Trustees implements the proposals put forth by the Trustee-Student Task Force on Campus Community Communication as they were originally intended. I am dedicated to continuing to push for greater community access to and communication with the Board of Trustees, and as a member of the Trustee-Student Task Force, I have already developed relationships with Trustees who I hope will allow me to effectively represent student voices on this committee. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns and vote in the elections April 2 and 3!

At-Large Rep on the Trustee Academic Affairs Committee

Diane Northern

First, I consider it an honor to serve the student body in any capacity. At present, I’m a member of the Claremont Colleges Circle K, on the Committee for Campus Climate and Diversity and on the Junior Class Committee. This position is particularly important, I believe, because it will facilitate the relationship between students and the Board of Trustees. With everything that happened last semester in mind, there is a divide between the board and those of us on campus. I hope to help build a bridge by sharing student views with the Trustees. My duty will be to represent you, so feel free to speak to me if you have any opinions on academic planning for the college, or are just curious about the Board. 

At-Large Rep on the Trustee Finance Committee

Ian Gallogly

Dear Pomona: My name is Ian Gallogly, Class of 2013, and I’m running for the position of At-Large Representative to the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees. I’m currently studying abroad in Ecuador, so you won’t see me on campus, but here’s why I want you to vote for me: 1) I was ASPC South Campus Representative during my sophomore year, 2) as Editor of The Student Life last semester, I covered the meeting between BOT members and students that led to the creation of the position for which I am running and 3) I love Pomona College, and I would like to represent its students to the people who manage the long-term trajectory of this school. I try to be as objective as possible in my decision-making, but I’m not afraid to voice my opinions. Thank you, and I hope to get your vote!

Jerry Jiang

Students of Pomona College: my name is Jerry Jiang PO ‘15 and I am running to be your At-Large Representative on the Trustee Finance Committee. In light of recent events that have transpired on campus, such as the firing of several dining hall workers, the informational disparity between students and trustees has become apparent. If elected, I will ensure that the needs of the students are brought to the attention of trustees and that students obtain the information they deserve. As a nurse assistant at a cancer clinic in Washington, I am experienced in addressing the needs of others. As the Community Coalitions Coordinator for CALPIRG Energy Service Corps, I am experienced in communicating and working specifically with administrators, making me well suited for this position. With my expertise, I can guarantee that your concerns will be addressed, and it would be an honor to be your representative.

Commissioner of Environmental Affairs

Lena Connor

Hello, Pomona! My name is Lena Connor and I’m a junior running to be the Commissioner of Environmental Affairs. In addition to being an active Environmental Analysis major, I have been a dynamic member of the ASPC Environmental Quality Committee for two years. Through my work with the EQC, I was inspired to spearhead 5C environmental coordination: I founded the 5C Environmental Council to facilitate communication between the activist groups on the campuses and between Claremont students and the 5C EA Department. I have served on the President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability for two years, working with faculty and staff on sustainability projects, and have been the newsletter editor of the Sustainability Integration Office. Recently, I was awarded the Udall Scholarship for environmental leadership. I am passionate about leading the EQC during this critical transition between sustainability coordinators and maintaining the environmental momentum we have worked so hard to build.

Nissa Gustafson

My name is Nissa Gustafson, PO ’15. I am applying for the 2012-2013 ASPC Senate position, Commissioner of Environmental Affairs. As a first-year, I have become involved with many initiatives and issues regarding sustainability and environmental consciousness on campus. I am a student worker on the Farm, managing dining hall compost and student-grown food on a weekly basis. I have participated in plantings with Pomona’s Native Plants Club, seeking to make a landscaping transition from water-intensive, nonnative species to an equally aesthetically pleasing, climate-appropriate grouping of plants. I am a member of various other clubs promoting food justice, environmental awareness, etc. (Slow Food Club, PEAR, Desert Chicken Skillz Club) and plan to continue engagement and involvement in the upcoming year. I would love the chance to serve as Commissioner of Environmental Affairs, become involved in such issues on a higher administrative level, and take new initiative toward a more sustainable and environmentally aware campus community. 

Wesley Quevedo

My name is Wesley Quevedo, and I am a sophomore studying Environmental Analysis. This year, I am part of the President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability and the Environmental Quality Committee. I hope to continue my involvement with Pomona for Environmental Action and Responsibility and become a member of the 5C Environmental Council next year. My involvement with the environment may not be extensive as some of my fellow candidates running for this position, but as a sophomore, I have much to learn and share. As Commissioner of Environmental Affairs, I will bring communication to the campus community that is necessary for students to become aware and engaged to respond to environment-related actions and issues that are happening on campus. My interdisciplinary nature in academia, focus on community involvement and individuality and honesty are some of the qualities that I hope to bring to the table if selected. Thank you.

Senior Class President

Drew DiPalma

Over the past three years, I’ve worked tirelessly to improve Pomona College. I’ve served as Commissioner of Community Relations, a sponsor, a Judiciary Board member and in many other capacities, including currently working as Junior Class President. I’ve worked on projects such as the renovation of the Coop Store, the search for an Ombudsperson and bringing Tony Porter to campus. If elected, I have three major goals for next year. First, after seeing how the senior gift dichotomized the senior class, I will work with students to design a gift we can all support. Second, I will continue incorporating innovative ideas into Junior Senior Socials such as more live music. Finally, I will continue to work with the CDO to bring you more innovative programming relating to senior year. Thank you all for supporting me this year as Junior Class President, and I look forward to your continued support.

Blessing Havana

Hi, everyone, I am Blessing and I’m running for Senior Class President. Hailing from Zimbabwe, I am an international student whose first experience of America was you. You have shown me what it is to be a student with a strong desire for success, loving work and having fun! I am a PPE major, I was a sponsor last year, I have been an OBSA mentor and I am a debater. I’m running for Senate because I want to be your voice. I believe I will be a good fit for President not because of my qualifications or experiences, but because of my heart and passion for Pomona. I earnestly desire your joy, I want your greatest success and I want our senior class to leave Pomona better than we found it, with an imprint of greatness. I am your person and I avail myself to you. Vote Blessing Havana.

Emily Ujifusa

Greetings from London!  Keeping this short and savory, I would love to represent the Class of 2013 as Senior Class President in the upcoming school year. I believe it is a responsibility that could suit me well and I would welcome the opportunity with the warmest of embraces. Drawing from my previous leadership experiences within this community, I would serve Pomona College and our spectacular senior class to the best of my abilities, remaining approachable and attuned to student voices and to the campus dynamic. I cannot wait to return to Claremont in August, and it would be super-awesome to return in this amazing leadership capacity! Cordially and lovingly, Emily.

Other Candidates: Alexis Takahashi

Junior Class President

Tommy Conkling

Juniors, I’ll work hard

Haiku-filled presidency

Running unopposed

Commissioner of Off-Campus Relations

Ryan Dodson

My name is Ryan, and I’m running for Commissioner of Off-Campus Relations! I’ll start with a little about myself: I’m a first-year from Eugene, Oregon, I’m an Eagle Scout and I think I’m going to major in PPA with a chemistry focus. I’m sure you’re all thinking, “I wonder what he’d have to do if I voted for him.” I would be a liaison between the College and the surrounding community, students living off-campus and the Centers for Volunteering and Community Partnerships. I would also chair the College Town Committee. I am one of the five members of the College Town Committee. I’ve worked with the Committee on several projects already, including a tutoring program for the children of Pomona’s workers. If you elect me for this position, it will give these programs continuity and a better chance of survival. I feel I am a logical choice for this position.

Trevor Smith

I’m running for the Commissioner of Off-Campus Relations largely because I feel there’s very little interaction with the community outside of the 5Cs and the Village, when in fact there could be so much more! In addition to making it easier for students to navigate local businesses and get great monthly specials from them, I also want to provide ways to interact with the broader communities of Pomona and Claremont. I’m passionate about interacting with the residents of both cities. By helping, through service, I think that we as students can be a great source of assistance while at the same time growing tremendously as people. In doing so, we’ll be more ready to be responsible, understanding citizens of the world. There isn’t much diversity in the area of Idaho I’m from, and the thought that we have the chance to interact with, learn from and help diverse communities like Pomona excites me.

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