The ULV College Democrats held its first fundraising gala Saturday in the Campus Center Ballroom to honor distinguished members of the club and welcome honored guests California Assembly Majority Whip Chris Holden and Marisol Morales, community engagement director at ULV.
The awards presented at the gala were Officer of the Year, given to Edgar Ortiz, a junior political science major and vice president of the club.
The awards for the most community service hours went to freshmen Nicole Cuadras and Deonah Cendejas, both public relations majors.
Sophomore business administration major Jacqueline Perez received the Democrat of the Year award.
The Bonita Democratic Council received the award of Partner of the Year, and the Award of Excellence was given to the Department of History and Political Science.
Holden was also recognized by the club with a Student Champion Honoree award, and Morales was presented the Student Empowerment Honoree.
Junior political science major Anthony Reyes, president of the club and an advocate for the Democratic party, encourages students to be informed about politics.
“I believe the opportunities we offer to the students of La Verne should be taken advantage of by students of all disciplines,” Reyes said.
“Politics isn’t just for political science students. Politics happens in every field out there and knowing the fundamentals of our government would benefit any and everyone who attends.”
Club members who work with him closely in the club have also gained insight on the importance of politics, which was the purpose of the Gala.
“I would definitely want to see more students come out to the club’s events,” Cendejas said.
“Politics is a really awkward field for a lot of people. They aren’t as informed, and therefore don’t make the effort to become involved. It’s not just a problem at ULV, but in the entire nation.”
Holden said he is hopeful that more students will become involved.
“I think the Democrats here are very fortunate because you have great leadership already,” Holden said.
“Participating, building and focusing on the important initiatives of the Democratic party. I think this is where it all starts.”
The club earned approximately $600 and are still receiving pledges for more donations.
The funds will go toward the efforts of the club to challenge political apathy on campus and to engage students in the democratic process, the club said on Facebook.
Kristine Delgadillo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.