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ASI candidate applications due March 22

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ASI candidate applications due March 22

Ivette Nolasco 

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The candidate filing period for students who are interested in being part of the next university’s student government board, Associated Students, Inc., is open until March 22. 

ASI Executive Director Ilaria Pesco advised students not to be scared about running for elections. 

“Do it, run… I know it can be scary and I know maybe you feel nervous about it but if you have great ideas, if you want to improve the campus, if you want to be able to advocate for students and you are passionate about student issues, that is what this group is about. All it takes is you being willing to put yourself out there.” Pesco said. 

ASI has been recognized as CSU Bakersfield’s student government board for more than four decades now. The positions for the student government board include a president, four vice presidents, a chief justice, chair of the board, and directors from each school, class level, as well as the dorms.

The five executive positions not only get to represent the whole student body at a community, state and national level but they also get a full scholarship that matches their tuition during the term they are assigned.

Although ASI promotes the elections every year, current Vice President of University Affairs Jose Garcia said, “Last year was the first time ever that all five executive positions ran unopposed.” 

In regard to that, Pesco added that it is not uncommon for candidates to run unopposed even among other CSU campuses. 

“I think that students have a hard time thinking about campaigning and running for elections. I think that students would much rather apply for a position and be interviewed for it and do it that way versus campaigning,” said Pesco.

ASI positions are filled through application if no one runs for it during elections. However, according to Pesco, students are advised to go through the election process.

ASI Executive Vice President Alejandra “Olly” Lopez said, “This year we are doing everything we can through our elections programing to make sure that we have the most inclusive and accessible elections process. 

We have events up until elections so students can get to know what positions are available and find out where they fit in ASI so they can start to narrow it down.”

Everyone who is passionate about helping others is encouraged to get involved. Lopez stated that she is a first generation, low-income, Latina, full of tattoos, and she believes that she does not look like the type of person that would be in a position advocating on behalf of the 12,000 students on campus. This was her second year being part of the ASI board and Lopez stated that she finds it very rewarding to know that every hour she puts in means that she is helping students just like herself.

Similarly, Garcia said that being part of ASI for three years was a life changing experience that is already helping him outside of campus. 

“I currently have an internship in the city of Arvin and a big thing that I’m doing now is helping apply for grants for the city to get more money to fix the roads over there, and I’m doing a lot of public outreach,” he said. 

Garcia added that he couldn’t have done many of the things he is doing now without the experience and what he learned in ASI.

In order to run for an ASI position, students must file an application on or before March 22 at 11 a.m., attend a mandatory meeting March 22, run a campaign from March 25 to April 4 and participate in a candidate debate on April 2. 

The final step of the process for electing the upcoming student board is the students’ votes which will be on April 3 and 4.

The student government board will be hosting several events for students to learn more about the organization in the next several weeks. 

In addition, ASI is providing workshops and assistance for those who are interested in running for the upcoming elections so they can be better prepared for their campaigns. All the information about important dates and events can be found on their website.

Info graphic from ASI

 

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ASI candidate applications due March 22