The Runner endorses Kwon and Sanchez for ASI Pres, EVP

the Editorial Board

When CSU Bakersfield emails its students an online ballot for the Associated Students Incorporated elections on Wednesday and Thursday, students will be able to vote for 28 of their peers across 16 positions within our student government.

When deciding between the president and executive vice president candidates, we believe Mike Kwon and Jennifer Sanchez should be the candidates for whom you should vote.

Let us begin by saying that both presidential candidates are well qualified for the position of ASI president. In the last two years, Perez has been elected as the director of arts and humanities and vice president of external affairs respectively, and Kwon has been appointed as director of housing before becoming this year’s executive vice president. In these roles, both have been able to interact with their constituents to address relevant issues, both bring diverse background and perspectives to their offices, and both in that respect have a deep understanding of the needs of the university.

However, where the candidates differ significantly is in how they will accomplish their platform.

We think Perez’s goals are both ambitious and wide-reaching, and we do not say this negatively. Perez’s motivation to eliminate the clique culture within ASI, bring more educationally-related jobs and a clothing bank for students and eliminate discrimination against minorities and the LGBTQ+ community are all noble and worthy goals – but when we asked Perez how to accomplish these goals, his answers were not particularly clear. In sum, he said he plans to advocate for these goals, but how or where or in what manner he would advocate for students seemed vague.

Meanwhile, while Kwon’s platform is perhaps less far-reaching, he can thoroughly describe how he plans to achieve his targets. When telling our editorial board that he wanted to bring a food bank and University Garden to combat food insecurity among CSUB students, work with clubs and the Greek system to create more events (including a possible fall quarter concert) and improve outreach to students regarding ASI’s accomplishments throughout the year, he clearly explained how these goals would be achieved; he said what committees he would speak with, what the budget of a potential concert would be, what schools he is basing his budget model on, which clubs he would work with and how he would better improve student-outreach.

This clear course of action is Kwon’s key strength over Perez. We admire both candidates’ ideas, and we believe that each should incorporate the other’s ideas into their priorities for the coming year; however, in addition to bold ideals, a candidate must also show a clear course of action. Only Kwon seems convincing in his ability to bring about change.

For this reason, we also support Sanchez for executive vice president.

Laura Castro, one of Sanchez’s three opponents, is knowledgeable about issues facing departments within the school of natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, and her experiences in Ghana and Panama as president of Global Medical Brigades give her a unique perspective on life and how to work with others. She also embodies the characteristics of strong leadership and is passionate about the school. But, like Perez, Castro is running on a platform of advocacy, one she struggled to articulate before the editorial board.

Sanchez, like Kwon, has a clear course of action for accomplishing change. She, like Kwon, is passionate about a University Garden and food bank and wants to improve campus life; she, like Kwon, clearly knows who and how to bring about resolutions – and because she understands how to carry out her plan, she too has our support.