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ASI exec candidates talk plans during forum

Veronica Morley

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Managing Editor

Associated Students, Inc. held a candidate forum in the Stockdale Room at noon on March 19.

As the forum began, the room was mostly vacant, with only six students in the audience. By the end of the forum the audience increased to nine. Other members of the audience included some current members of ASI.

The candidates included Ashley Schmidt for president, Aaron Wan for vice president of campus life, Christopher Smith for vice president of finance, Jose Garcia for vice president of university affairs, and Alejandra Lopez for executive vice president, who joined the conversation via teleconference.

All five executive director positions are running unopposed.

The candidates addressed food insecurity on campus, lack of communication between ASI and the rest of the campus, engagement with students, and their plans and qualifications for their positions on the executive board.

 

 

Ashley Schmidt, President

Ashley Schmidt, ASI presidential candidate, is running unopposed.

“I’m supposed to represent the students, I have to be comfortable going to [administration] and telling them this is what the students want,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt said she plans to represent students, even if it goes against what the faculty or administration want. She encouraged all students to get involved in student leadership and find a way to be involved with ASI.

“ASI really is just the students. If you are a part of the student body, you are a part of ASI,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt has been involved in ASI for the past three years. She works in the Student Union and is member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, multiple honor societies, and the pre-law society here on campus.

“We encourage everyone to apply for these positions. We have a lot of people who want to get involved in the application process but not the running process,” said Schmidt in regards to the lack of opposition for executive positions in this year’s election.

As far as the new members to ASI, Schmidt said that around 63 percent of people running are new to ASI. As far as incentives to run, Schmidt said that along with leadership incentive, the financial incentives include a parking pass, priority registration, and the executive positions have their tuition paid for the duration of their term.

“I think it’s a matter of students. The involvement is there, they’re wanting to get involved, they’re just not want to go through the entire process,” Schmidt said.

 

 

Alejandra Lopez, Executive Vice President

Alejandra Lopez, executive vice presidential candidate, is running unopposed.

“The job of the executive vice president is primarily delegated to focus on all big picture tasks. As EVP, I’m focusing primarily on improving the connection between our organization and the students that we represent,” said Lopez.

Lopez said her biggest goal is ensuring that students are informed of what is happening on campus and improving student life. She wants to create a greater incentive for students who do not live on campus to get involved in activities and events, and improve communication between the schools and departments on campus.

She also addressed the lack of opposition in this year’s ASI election.

“I personally do not know why not as many students are running for leadership positions but this is something that we kinda see on many campuses,” said Lopez.

Lopez wants to address the low voter turnout by following the example of other CSUs and begin the promoting process a month before the deadline to file for election. She said that the application window for this year’s election could have been a barrier for more people to apply.

Another responsibility Lopez addressed was the Food Pantry and the Produce Pantry.

Lopez attended the forum via live stream from Spain where she is currently studying abroad. She said she has stayed up to date on what is happening on campus and will be ready when she returns to CSUB at the end of the spring semester.

 

 

Aaron Wan, Vice President of Campus Life

Aaron Wan, candidate for vice president of campus life, is running unopposed.

“When you say there’s nothing in a specific location that’s the perfect time to do something and start something new. And through a representative position this is how we can reach out to people,” said Wan in regards to improving student life and involvement on campus.
Wan said he wants to create something that is focused on CSUB life and involves everyone at CSUB.

He also wants to continue to increase membership in the L.E.A.D. (Leaders Engaging in Advocacy and Development) program. Wan himself started in this program and said it helped him learn to improve his leadership skills and get involved in ASI.

The L.E.A.D. program creates workshops where students can get involved and directed to different organizations on campus. Wan said he wants to push students to go beyond their potential and become successful.

Wan explained how the executive board would work to help directors grow in their leadership skills, “This is where that grassroot method comes into effect. The more you walk to people the more you understand what they’re looking for and if we can hit those things they’re looking for now it’s going to be an incentive for them to stay on campus,” said Wan.

He also wants to focus on creating a strong team within ASI and branch out to more committees and resources.
Wan is also involved in the Japan and Beyond club, Campus Gamers, is a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, and he works at the Student Recreation Center rock wall.

 

 

Christopher Smith, Vice President of Finance

Christopher Smith, candidate for vice president of finance, is running unopposed.

Smith said that he has been attending meetings for the financial committee in order to better understand money is dispersed at CSUB and prepare for this position.

“I would like to get more of the clubs and organizations more involved on campus. This happens by posting more, not mettings but tablings and events,” said Smith.

He also wants to create greater incentive for students who don’t live on campus to stay on campus and be involved in student life.

Smith works at the SRC, he is a member of the Black Student Union, and the African Student Association.

He also shared information about the voting process for granting student clubs and organizations fund and how ASI grants money.

“Usually when clubs come with requests for funding or for events, it really isn’t too often that those organizations are denied,” said Smith.

 

 

Jose Garcia, Vice President of University Affairs

Jose Garcia, candidate for vice president of university affairs, is running unopposed.

Garcia also said that he wants to represent the students when it comes to the budget and areas of diversity and sustainability.

“We have to look at what kind of trouble their facing, depending on what that is I would try my best to help them with whatever resources I have and whatever resources we have at CSUB,” said Garcia about helping students struggling to transition into college life.

Garcia said that he hopes to help students feel comfortable here on campus and make sure they are informed on what resources are available them.

Garcia addressed food insecurity on campus and the importance of helping at risk students.
“We need to make sure the Food Pantry stays open and not only that but people forget too that we have an Edible Garden in the process as well,” said Garcia.

He said that he will make sure all student voices are heard here on campus.

He wants to set an example for new members coming onto ASI and also make sure that new ideas are heard.

Garcia is a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, the Student Sustainability club, and he works in the grant research and sponsored programs office.

ASI elections begin today and voting will take place on RunnerSync until March 22 at 11:59 p.m.

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ASI exec candidates talk plans during forum