After a summer of listening to the concerns and needs of the student body, Associated Students, Inc. President Moses Menchaca said he plans to enhance every student’s college experience.
“I say, ‘listen as much as you can, question as much as you can, and then do as much as you can,’” Menchaca said.
Entering his first semester as president, Menchaca said he’s not exactly sure what this year will look like, but it’s about being flexible in these first few months.
“I think President [Joseph] Castro said it best today [at the fall assembly on Aug. 19]; a lot of time presidents come in and want to change things without ever listening to the foundation that was laid before, and that’s kind of where we’re at right now,” Menchaca said. “We do have our programs in place, and I do have a theme in mind with collaboration. But as far as trying to get program A, B, C, D in the works, it may be better just to listen and kind of see what are the important needs, and how can I help out just being a voice for students?”
Menchaca said he also hopes to get organizations like the Fresno State Alumni Association and the University Student Union Board of Directors involved in working together on events that encourage school pride and motivate more students to get involved. He said ASI is already collaborating with a few organizations on plans for a bigger and better homecoming week.
“At our last meeting we had the president of Panhellenic [Association] there, we had the director of the USU Board and the USU Productions. We also had faculty and administration; the Alumni Association has been pivotal,” Menchaca said. “Really just bringing everybody to the table and saying we’re all here for the same goal, to improve and enhance student experience at Fresno State, and how we can all play into that goal.”
Planning to take his theme of collaboration to the greater Central Valley, Menchaca said Fresno State hopes to host representatives from California State University, Bakersfield and California State University, Stanislaus to listen and exchange ideas.
Menchaca said he hopes this collaboration will help student leaders better understand the issues facing the Central Valley.
“Every president might have their own goals, but it’s important to listen to the goals of the senators and the rest of the executives and figure out what areas can we make the biggest impact, and how can we work as a team in order to get that objective done,” Menchaca said.
This summer Menchaca served as a member of the transition committee selected to help Castro learn more about Fresno State’s student needs.
As part of the team, Menchaca said he was able to talk to Castro about some of the issues student representatives have shared with him.
“I get to go to one meeting and talk about graduation rates, go to another meeting and talk about advising and student success, and then go to another meeting and talk about athletics,” Menchaca said. “Just making sure that there’s representation and the voice of students is being heard and student concerns are at the table is what I’m passionate about for this [school] year, not just this semester.”
Menchaca said Castro shares this interest in communication and collaboration, and the president already linked arms with ASI in hopes of making student success a priority, which is something Menchaca said is exciting.
“His first day on the job we had lunch, and he came up to the ASI office, something that we haven’t seen in over the past five years,” Menchaca said. “Him acknowledging ASI and student leadership at his staff assembly, he has shown that he is ready to help out and engage with students, and it is something that as a student leader is definitely inspiring.”
Menchaca said Castro already inspired him to make one important decision.
“The only thing is, he has a Twitter and I don’t yet,” Menchaca said. “So I’m going to have to get updated on that.”