Elections for Associated Students Inc. (ASI) are over and re-elected vice president of external affairs Sean Kiernan and vice president of finance Rebecca Rosengarten say they are both honored and ready to take on the new terms.
ASI Vice president of external affairs Sean Kiernan says he will work to lower tuition cost.
Photo Courtesy of ASI
ASI Vice president of finance Rebecca Rosengarten is working to allow student exposure to the ASI budget and expense accounts.
Photo Courtesy of ASI
Kiernan said he is honored to be re-elected and thankful to his slate members, friends, clubs and organizations that supported him.
He said his main goal is to keep tuition from going up.
Currently, Kiernan is helping organize the California Higher Education Summit (CHESS).
“CHESS is a lobbying training conference help by the California State Student Association,” he said. “It is a workshop that teaches students how to lobby, and I’m running one of them.”
His main focus for CHESS is passing resolutions to the ASI Senate in support of bills and state legislation to benefit the student body. He also coordinated and will be lobbying for these causes in Sacramento.
Kiernan also plans to be involved in making sure Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal for higher education is adopted.
“I say that because Governor Brown’s budget allocates an extra $125 million to CSU,” he said.
With Moses Menchaca elected as the new ASI president, Kiernan looks forward to working with him to achieve the goals of the external affairs department.
“Most specifically, I look forward to representing Fresno State at the California State Student Association with him [Menchaca] because the people representing Fresno are the president [of ASI] and vice president of external affairs,” he said.
President John D. Welty will be leaving Fresno State and a new president will be elected soon. Kiernan said it was an honor to be able to work together with Welty in advocating for the student body.
“I think it’s sad to see Dr. Welty go,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that he’s the president here longer than I have been alive, and it’s been an honor and a privilege to work alongside him, particularly this last year throughout the election cycle and advocating for students and what’s best for our campus. I’m sad to see him go, but I’m optimistic and excited to see the board of trustees hire the new president.”
The main characteristic Kiernan hopes to see in the new president is a good and sound understanding of the legislative and political process in higher education.
“The next president should not only be somebody who sits in the four walls of the library while they fundraise their heart out,” Kiernan said. “Although that is important, I would like to see a president who is an advocate for the CSU and the students and is in Sacramento alongside us advocating for these bills, advocating for students as I can say Dr. Welty has.”
Re-elected as Vice President of Finance, Rosengarten also said she is committed to continue her dedication toward ASI and the student body.
“I’m very honored to serve another term and my last year of Fresno state as the vice president of finance again,” she said. “I plan to continue working hard for the student body.”
For now, Rosengarten is working on ASI’s draft budget for the 2013-2014 academic year that was passed on to her by the previous vice president. Once the Senate approves the budget, it needs to be approved by President Welty.
Her main goal, however, is to boost transparency between ASI’s budget and the student body by using a software that helps students understand where ASI’s budget is spent.
“Students are able to look at each expense and see exactly where it’s is going,” Rosengarten said. “They’ll be able to see exactly how much is going to salaries and expenses without looking at a normal budget. A normal budget might look confusing to people who are not used to seeing them.”
To help create this transparency, different types of graphs are shown to represent the changes of budget and expenses of ASI throughout the years since 2009.
“We’re here to serve students, and by serving students we need programs and services for them to use,” she said. “We also need to be transparent so that the students know that we are here, and they know the services and programs we’re offering to them so that they can take advantage of it.”
Rosengarten wants students to know that ASI is here for the student body.
“In my position, I can support [financially] our executive vice president and other senators when they create programs.”
Rosengarten is confident that Menchaca will be a good president and has shown great leadership capabilities.
“I love working with him, and he’s helped a lot with the budget that I’m creating for next year,” she said.
Rosengarten also is sad to see Welty retire from Fresno State after 21 years.
Although she does not work directly with the university’s president, he still plays a vital role in passing the budget.
“Well, just having support from the president of the university will always help ASI financially and non-financially,” she said. “That’s really the biggest thing.”
Rosengarten hopes the new university president will recognize the importance of ASI for the student body and work together with the organization.