Although many students do not realize this, they can directly impact the decisions made by the California State University (CSU) board of trustees. However, in order to influence these decisions and bring change to our campus, students must understand the process of change, and that is just what Fresno State 101 offered.
Associated Students Inc. (ASI) designed Fresno State 101 as a three-week program, held once a week in order to educate its inaugural class and introduce students to various leadership opportunities within Fresno State. In order to receive a certificate of completion, students enrolled in Fresno State 101 must have attended all three courses.
“The fact of the matter is that knowledge itself is not power; knowledge applied is power so once we have it, we have a responsibility to do something with it and that is the idea,” said ASI president Arthur Montejano. “We are hoping to inspire them.”
ASI built Fresno State 101 as an on-campus program to help students understand the CSU system, the structure and budget of Fresno State, and various other topics regarding Fresno State and the CSU system.
Approximately 20 students gathered in Room 3212 of the Henry Madden Library to listen to prominent members of the community, Fresno State, and CSU Board of Trustees as they addressed an array of issues regarding Fresno State and the CSU system.
ASI was founded in 1921, became a non-profit in 1998 and was incorporated for the second time in 2002. Since then, ASI has provided governance between the university and students.
Tara Powers-Mead, an ASI coordinator, spoke of the positive impact of being involved with ASI.
“You might consider it a laboratory where concepts become transformed into reality,” Powers-Mead said. “ASI offers high impact learning and hands on experiences to develop lifelong skills.
Students involved with ASI go on to become some of Fresno State’s most successful alumni.”
The initial meeting of Fresno State 101 began on Tuesday with CSU trustee Pete Mehas, who discussed the CSU system’s function and its purpose in light of that function. During the second week, Fresno State 101 discussed Fresno State’s structure and budget. Those speaking included Provost William A. Covino, Michael Caldwell, associate vice president of student affairs, and President John D. Welty.
The final week of Fresno State 101, which occurred Tuesday, concluded with keynote speakers Breanne Scogin, coordinator for leadership programs, Gary Nelson, ASI advisor and senior coordinator, and Maeketah Rivera, ASI elections commissioner.
The final meeting of Fresno State 101 explained various opportunities students have to become leaders within Fresno State, whether through student involvement or student government.
Every year, ASI sees many changes as its executive leaders and senators complete their term and new students take their positions. One duty of the current ASI leaders is to help prepare the next group of leaders for success. Fresno State 101 was created to serve this purpose by giving students who were interested in student government and student involvement the tools they need to be successful and accomplish their goals.
“We really do have a voice and we really can make sure that our voice is heard,” said senior Anna Ruelas, a social work and Spanish double major. She is also a Wellness Ambassador with the Student Health Center.
“I think that the more that we do to invest in our next generation of leaders, the better equipped students are going to be to advocate for themselves, and that is really what it is about,” Montejano said.
Elections for the new ASI executives and senators are just around the corner.
“Student government is one of the best opportunities to network, pursue individual passions and bring real change to our campus community,” Powers-Mead said.
Petitions to apply for an ASI position are available until todayand can be picked up in USU 306.