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Campus Column: ASI Elections 2015

The Collegian reached out to students running for Fresno State’s student government, Associated Students, Inc. The following are submissions sent by candidates on issues important to them and their campaign.

Elections take place Tuesday, March 24 at 9 a.m. through Thursday, March 26 at noon.

 

By Levi Landon
Running for VP of External Affairs
Philosophy & Political Science Major

With the recent passage of the Student Involvement Representation Fund (SIRF) and myriad bills impacting higher education, including SB 15, it’s paramount that students get involved in the political process by lobbying.

As vice president of external affairs, advocacy is limited outside of the arena of the CSU, and my hope is to develop lobbying efforts by expanding the roles and responsibilities of the Fresno State Lobby Corps.  With this body, it won’t be just my views but the views of a collective organization on campus, with a platform streamlined enough to penetrate the political system and make an impact for our students.

While it might not be feasible to tackle the statewide issue of impaction, efforts directed at particular legislation and subject areas will most assuredly make a measurable impact.

 

By Kaitlyn Sims
Running for VP of External Affairs
Economics Major

As a candidate for vice president of external affairs (VPEX), I’m extremely concerned about student success and what the Chancellor’s office, state legislature, and local government can do to help students graduate not only in a timely fashion but also in an affordable and effective way.

I am running for office because I truly believe in what Fresno State stands for, but funding barriers are preventing us from helping students succeed. Over the two years I’ve worked as an ASI senator, I’ve done a lot to improve services that directly affect student success such as helping to reinstate the Craig Honors Program, working to improve website accessibility and working with the Student Success Leadership team.

The opportunity to serve as VPEX would allow me to use what I’ve learned in my time in ASI, both in terms of what students need as well as how to best reach out to students and take this knowledge to the next level.

There has been a lot of talk about increasing student fees recently, but not a lot of open discussion about how increasing those fees will actually improve student success outcomes. The ultimate goal of any new changes should always be increased affordability, accessibility and making sure our graduates are prepared for their post-graduation plans.

Before I support any new administrative plans, I want to ensure that there is a concrete understanding of how these fees will benefit students.

This is why I’ve chosen to run as a part of For Students Now, a slate that’s dedicated to improving student affordability, safety and community revitalization and student involvement on campus.

I hope that with your vote, we can make Fresno State a better place for all students.

By Kelli Kennedy
Running for Senator at Large
Political Science/Woman’s Studies Major

As a student, I feel that the main premise of our university system is to provide quality educational instruction along with the resources and academic tools to achieve intellectual success.

The library is one of the main facets in which our university provides information, assistance, and resources, which I would argue should be available to our student body for longer durations of time.

In this day and age, more and more students are working jobs, volunteering, interning and raising families throughout the day and evening hours.

In consideration of this, I believe it would be wise to provide our school’s resources for a longer duration of time to accommodate the busy lives of students so they could be able to access the information and tools the library provides.

In light of that many other institutions in California that offer 24-hour library access, I believe that our university could place a more substantial effort toward the academic success of our students by making these resources more accommodating to the schedules of students by extending them to being both earlier and later than the current schedule.

By Francisco Escamilla Jr.
Running for Senator at Large
Political Science Major

An issue on Fresno State’s campus that I feel needs addressing is to bridge the gap between the student body and Associated Students, Inc.

ASI has a lot to offer, while many opportunities are overlooked because students are unaware.

When I began my campaign for senator-at-large, I was shocked by the number of students who had little to no knowledge of ASI and what it has to offer. I would like to reach out to students to find the best form of communication, to relay what is happening on our campus.

Some ways students can get involved and informed about issues on campus are serving on committees such as the USU Productions, board and the Vintage Days board, as well as taking part within different department clubs and organizations.

Many students do not understand that part of their tuition goes toward covering the costs of events, which ultimately means that they are missing out.

That being said, I would like to be able to bridge the gap between students and ASI, as well as show students where their money is going and how it is affecting them.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on the various issues that I want to address, if I were elected as senator-at-large. Let’s jump into action together and make the change!

By Timothy Ryan
Running for Senator of Social Science
Political Science Major

So far in my experience as a student at Fresno State, I have had the opportunity to get involved in a number of campus organizations and positions and am currently working as the research assistant for Associated Students, Inc.

Despite being well-informed on these opportunities offered around campus, it seems that many students are not as connected as they should be.

One aspect of this university that I believe is an integral part of the learning experience is the availability of programs and organizations around campus that help students achieve academic and career-oriented success.

It appears to me that there is currently a lack of awareness and accessibility in regards to current academic clubs and organizations for the variety of disciplines within social sciences.

It would be my primary goal to implement easier access to these resources and make proposals for additional specialty courses and programs with the hope that I will be able to further the success of my fellow students.

I would also work to facilitate better communication between faculty and administrators of social sciences and the students in order to address any further issues that might inhibit educational success.