Meet your ASI presidential candidate: Mike Kwon

Questions by Esteban Ramirez/Editor-in-Chief

Tell us who you are. Include age, major, year in school and any other clubs or organizations you are on at CSUB.

Hello, my name is Mike Kwon. I am a senior and double majoring in philosophy and political science with a concentration in pre-law. I currently serve as an officer in multiple student organizations on campus. Such organizations include, Pre-Law Society, Child, Adolescent, Family and Education Studies, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and the Fashion Club.


Why are you running for this position?

I am re-running for ASI president because it was an honor and privilege that I got to experience serving the student body and am looking into serving again as I conclude my final year here at CSU Bakersfield. CSUB has a diverse and extraordinary student body population that I have gotten to know and appreciate. I starte

Mike Kwon Photo by AJ Alvarado
Mike Kwon
Photo by AJ Alvarado

d as the director of housing representing the voice of housing students and then went on to become executive vice president for the 2014-2015 year. Serving along the ASI president for the year, I was able to help and undertake major projects such as the Hydration Stations on campus to the Runner Ride Share program. Because I have attended CSUB for two years as well as served in student government for the same time, I am confident in my abilities to serve the students on our campus and will continue to represent students when elected president.


What is the platform you are running on and your vision for the position?

The platform that I am running on is “moving forward.” As ASI President, I have initiated projects related to diversity and inclusivity with programs such as the “It’s On Us” campaign and ASI Diversity Week. If re-elected, I plan on continuing with making our campus inclusive and celebrate diversity among each student. I also want ASI to be moving forward in a productive and positive manner by making sure that they are contributing to the growth of our beautiful campus. Student input should be at every decision-making table, and I will ensure that the priorities of the students shall be heard and implemented. With the success of expanding library hours to 1 a.m., I want to make sure that the university is accessible to all students for their studying needs.

By implementing an open campus for students, students will have the opportunity to study at their convenience and will only need their student IDs. Another vision is to make sure that student government is always at the forefront of the minds of students when it comes to their issues and concerns. The ASI president, with the direction of the ASI board, should be standing for every student and be mindful of the impact that each student makes on campus. This will be accomplished by bi-monthly forums so that students can meet and greet their ASI representatives as well as voice any concerns or issues that they might have.


There are various vacancies in director positions. What do you plan to do to recruit students for those positions? 

Student representation at each school is key to ASI. During the summer, I would start actively reaching out to students that we have vacancies in representation and motivate them to apply to student government. I would also consult department chairs or faculty members to recommend a suitable student for ASI. In general, the most important consideration is to make sure that students are attending the bi-monthly forums, and from there, the students interested in joining ASI may do so.


This year the MyWritingLab and the technology fees were increased without consulting the student body. How comfortable are you with arguing with administrators on behalf of students?

Having experience advocating for students as the current ASI president, I am very comfortable in having conversations with administrators on behalf of students. In every meeting, my conversation directly has reflected the ASI board, which ultimately represents all students on campus. Clear communication and negotiation skills are required for those tough conversations and I believe that by having the students voicing issues, the ASI president should be able to clearly communicate those same issues to the administrators.


 How important is it to you to be transparent with all the students? 

For all two years that I have served in student government, the presidents have stressed transparency because it leads to respect amongst the student body. Having been trained by two previous presidents, I have made sure to learn how to stay transparent by reaching out to students about possible decisions that the university is making and ensuring that the groups understand the implications of such decisions. By being president, I have stressed communication to the student body on all initiatives and will continue to do so as president.


What do you want to do when you graduate?

After serving in student government for the past two years, I have grown to appreciate the connection and dedication that each administrator, faculty and staff have toward the students on campus. By seeing that special connection, I want to continue in providing and heightening the student experience by working on a university or college campus and impact future students.


What television show do you enjoy watching and why?

When it was on Cartoon Network, I enjoyed watching Samurai Jack and Courage the Cowardly Dog. Those shows really shaped my childhood, and since my friends watched it as well, we would sit and talk about each episode and ponder what the next episode would bring.


Why should we vote for you?

I have had the opportunity to connect and build friendships and relationships with a majority of students on this campus. I have had the pleasure of meeting a diverse group of students and have enjoyed every minute of student government. I personally have devoted 15 hours a day in office to make sure that the student experience on this campus is being heightened. I want to reassure students that since I have served them for the past year, I can bring any issue to the proper individuals on campus and make sure that it gets resolved in a timely manner. I also want to reassure students again that, if re-elected, I plan on devoting time to only my classes and the students in which I serve. I plan on seeking other external opportunities on campus so that I may continue to serve the students in which elected me into the position.