Amber Malhi and Cody Sedaño are the newest senators at Associated Students, Inc. and they are filling the student government’s two newest positions.
They have plans to get their constituents active, involved and ready to share their voices.
As a veteran, father and student, senior Sedaño said he will fight for the success of others in his new position.
After his service in the Marines, Sedaño attended Fresno City College where his service continued for individuals who he said are now family, other veterans.
“I got involved in student government there and worked in the Veterans Resource Center,” Sedaño said. “I was on the board of trustees at the city college level. Then I represented the Central Valley up in the student senate in Sacramento where I founded the veterans caucus.”
When he arrived at Fresno State, he said he continued his push for veterans’ voting rights. After being on former ASI president Tim Ryan’s cabinet, he said he was able to assist in getting the position on the ballot.
“Now I hold the position I fought for, and I am an active and vocal voice for my constituents in the veterans community on campus,” Sedaño said.
One of Sedaño’s goals during his term is to a establish an interim Veterans Resource Center on campus. He said Fresno State is one of the last CSU campuses to have one.
“I want it to be in the middle of campus,” Sedaño said. “It’s like a safe space for veterans.”
He said the center can be a place where veterans can study, interact and relax all while getting acclimated to the campus.
Sedaño said it’s difficult for veterans to feel connected with the campus when they first arrive.
“They feel like people don’t understand them, people don’t understand what they’re going through or how they see the world,” Sedaño said.
Sedaño hopes veterans want to serve the community after getting to know each other.
Along with the center, Sedaño said he hopes that he can form a veterans’ student council.
He said the veteran community is diverse, and he hopes diversity in opinions can help guide the new senate position to help them.
“Veterans, they mean the world to me. They are my brothers and sisters,” Sedaño said.
“Anything I can do for them I’m going to. I’m going to exhaust every possible resource I have.”
And Amber Malhi, ASI’s new senator for diversity, equity and inclusion, wants every student to have pride in who they are.
Growing up, Malhi said, she felt being “different” was a bad thing. Until she realized her differences are what made her special.
“When I was growing up, people made me feel ashamed for being Indian. As I grew older I [realized] that this is something I should be proud of,” Malhi said.
One of the things Malhi admires about Fresno State is the diversity that is showcases across campus. As a senator she hopes to increase that awareness by encouraging students to embrace their differences.
“Expressing diversity is expressing who you are,” Malhi said. “It’s really important to feel happy with who you are. You shouldn’t feel ashamed with your culture.”
Malhi said she plans to meet with different cultural groups on campus as well as being in communication with the Cross Cultural and Gender Center.
One project she hopes to take on is a campus wide cultural show.
“Fresno State is so diverse and no one is really aware of the things that are involved in other cultures and religions,” Malhi said. “The student body can come and watch all the different dances, stories – from the different cultures that we have here on campus.”
She plans on working closely with international students so that they can also experience the diversity that is on campus.
“A personal goal I have is to make everyone feel welcomed here at Fresno State,” Malhi said.
As the year goes on she hopes to get student input as she builds the foundation for the newly formed position. She wants each person to have a chance to use his or her voice.
Malhi said, “This position is brand new. It has no set form of layout. I’m always open to new ideas.”