Dominique keeps her seat

Dominique keeps her seat
December 9, 2014 Aaron Walling
School Board Seat G incumbent Wendy Dominique laughs while being interviewed by UAF Journalism students as results come in during the municipal elections at the Fairbanks North Star Borough Mona Lisa Drexler Assembly Chambers Tuesday night, October 7, 2014. Dominique defeated Denis Gardella to retain her seat.

School Board Seat G incumbent Wendy Dominique laughs while being interviewed by UAF Journalism students as results come in during the municipal elections at the Fairbanks North Star Borough Mona Lisa Drexler Assembly Chambers Tuesday night, October 7, 2014. Dominique  defeated Denis Gardella to retain her seat.                               Eric Engman/News-Miner

With the results finalized, one woman walks in with huge confidence, this woman is Wendy Dominique. Dominique was running for Seat G of the School Board looking to continue staying on the assembly against Denis Gardella. Dominique garnered 62 percent of the votes from the Fairbanks North Star Borough en route to retain her seat on the assembly.

In a short interview she said “I felt like like it went well, I didn’t have to spend too much money, and I won!”

The night of the elections was exciting for her as it became quite clear that her victory was coming in close. You could tell that Dominique was happy about how things went down with the poll results, as she was glad to get some interviews done with Channel 13 news and KUAC. The results didn’t come as a surprise as Wendy does come with experience in politics. However, what was surprising was the amount of votes sent to first time candidate Denis Gardella. He seemed to have a strong following as the polls showed. Gardella’s experience being a teacher for 20 years served him well trying to rally people behind his cause. Not surprising was that most of his points had to do with the school system.

It may not be a correlation to Dominique’s campaign, but there is a huge emphasis put on Title IX at UAF that cover areas like sexual assault. On the UAF website it states,

“Title IX is a federal law set to end sex (gender) discrimination in all federally funded institutions. The Office of Civil Rights has provided guidance regarding equity and the eradication of sex discrimination on campuses across the country. Title IX forbids sex discrimination in all student services and academic programs such as admissions, financial aid, career services, housing, classrooms, health & counseling services, athletics, educational programs, etc. The law also forbids discrimination on employment, recruitment and hiring.”

This is similar to Dominique’s policy that deals with reports that students turn in.     Dominique will be able to see her policy through that is for school students. That policy is referring to the horrific events that occurred in the Fairbanks school district where a student was sexually assaulted by a tutor. The policy states that there is an emphasis on the notification system to have reports acted upon within the first 48 hours.

But there are challenges facing Dominique about the funding for school, as she voiced them in an interview with Weston Morrow from the Daily News-Miner.

“I’m just going to speak frank about it. Every year, we’re only going to get a limited amount of money until the Legislature is willing to really give us the funds we need to do the job of the district,” Dominique said to Morrow regarding the budget.

There was also a buzz in the Fairbanks North Star Borough Center where there seemed to be only a handful of politicians in the building but Dominique was the one brimming with excitement, besides Aaron Lojewski who showed in Carhart overalls, in true Alaskan style.

The battle comes to a close between the wily veteran Wendy Dominique and the rookie Denis Gardella for Seat G in the Fairbanks Municipal election for the school board. In what has been a tough decision for voters has brought out the motives of both Dominique and Gardella. Wendy put the emphasis on her experience in these matters, showing confidence that she can see her policy go through. Pitted against her was Denis Gardella who also showed confidence in his ability to win saying, “ Everyone starts somewhere.”

Gardella brought teaching experience from the village of Nikolai, with a set plan in his head at changing things in the school system. Gardella said, “We’re chasing the wind, spending too much money.” Because of this, he is running to explore ways to get out of the cycle of wasting money.

Aaron Walling
Aaron Walling is a senior at the University of Alaska Fairbanks studying Journalism. He is also a freelance writer for the Sun Star, where he covers everything to do with Nanook sports at UAF. He also works as an undergraduate research assistant, assisting Communication's Public Speaking program. Aaron was born and raised in a military family.

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