Photo by Alejandro Soto

Why Carter Pope is running for ASI president

Associated Students Inc. presidential candidate Carter Pope II is no stranger to politics. As a 19-year-old community college student in 2016, Pope ran for Fresno City Council.

Although he lost to Garry Bredefeld for the city council seat by a wide margin, Pope hopes his experience with local government and his unfailing optimism will set him apart in the 2018 ASI elections.

Pope is a political science and criminology major who plans to tackle a challenging list of issues.

These include implementing what he calls “student family death support.” The program would attempt to provide meals and support students who may experience a loved one’s death. The university recently has seen two of its students die.

Pope said losing a loved one could lead to students dropping out. Although he did not provide statistics, he said the idea is based on logic.

Pope also hopes to develop a program that can train students to spot the signs of an overdose to prevent drug and alcohol related deaths on campus. A plan to place emergency call boxes near Greek houses and dorms would also be a main focus for him as ASI president, he said.

Along those lines, Pope discussed the need to promote student mental health and suicide prevention on campus. He plans to require all students to complete a mental health survey which would help identify students at risk of suicide by placing a hold on registration.

Pope also expressed a desire to work with local and campus police departments to prevent crime in “high crime areas” surrounding campus.

He stated that these areas have not yet been identified. However according to Pope, in 2014 there were six vehicle thefts on campus and by 2016 that number had increased to 28.

And if elected, Pope told editors of The Collegian, he will work to make it easier for students and teachers to report classroom issues such as broken chairs or damaged whiteboards.

Being a transfer student, Pope wants to advertise campus resources with a poster campaign for students who may not be aware of the different services available to them.

Although a recent program offering free feminine products to students has already been implemented by one of his opponents for president, Pope is promising to add an emergency supply to keep baskets stocked.

Pope is the only presidential candidate without previous experience with ASI, he said. His understanding of student government comes from attending meetings and talking with current ASI members.  

He stated that working with the senate would be as simple as talking to people one-on-one. When asked about whether the senate is efficient, Pope did not provide an answer.

Pope also stated that he would support adding more senate positions to ASI, but was unable to name any particular groups that could benefit from better representation.

And as far as the New USU referendum goes, Pope said he has not yet developed an opinion about the proposed project. He said he wants to be “fully knowledgeable about it” before taking a stance.