Mar 23, 2019

ASI candidates debate safety, involvement

As Fresno State Associated Student Inc. (ASI) elections draw closer, there are two main areas of concern that two potential successors to current ASI president Arthur Montejano expressed: campus safety and student participation.

Both claimed they aim to increase both.

Two candidates – Moses Menchaca, a third-year senior studying political science, and Jose Luis Nava, a junior political science student – participated in a debate organized by The Collegian on Monday and discussed their platforms heading into the ASI elections.

Lucas Lundy, a two-year senior majoring in recreation administration who is participating in the Disney College Program in Florida this semester, is also on the ballot.

Both candidates made suggestions on increasing campus safety, with Menchaca proposing an increase in the University Police Department’s presence on campus, “Whether it is students as interns or actual staff power throughout campus to deter crime,” he said.

Nava’s argument for student participation largely centered on expanding the operation hours of the Henry Madden Library – which is open until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and has abridged hours Friday through Sunday.

One of his main goals, he said, was  “to extend it every day of the semester at least until midnight. … Other campuses have their libraries open 24/7.

“I hope that with that, we have more students in there studying. I know students are studying everyday. If you stay there until 11, you’ll see most of the students go to the (University Student Union) to study. … I’m looking for resources that go back to the students. That’s one great resource that could benefit them.”

Nava added: “If ASI doesn’t have money, I’m calling for executive salary cuts to fund the library.”

Menchaca emphasized continuing programs already in place, such as Fresno State 101 and “I Love Fresno State Week” to reach out to the student body.

“I feel that once we do get more students involved, everything will fall in place. We’re currently at 9 percent student turnout. If we can get to 20 percent, then administration would have to take us more seriously, which would increase degree orientation.

“If we get more students involved, then they will have more accessibility and require more jobs, which would be the occupation reform. Lastly, getting more students involved and taking advantage of our programs and internships through UPD would increase.”

Added Menchaca: “For that, I think we need to turn to the Greek community. They’ve perfected the art of recruiting and involvement. I think we can take a lot of their leaders and hold programs and conferences where they’re teaching other organizations how to get out there and tell students the different opportunities that are afforded to them.”

Nava said ASI student involvement efforts need improvement, and that he plans to personally “have discussions with our students and inform them.”

“ASI hasn’t worked hard enough to go out and talk to students. Sure, putting on little events is important, but we need to go talk directly to our students.

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