If there is a single asset that can hand Demi Wack the election as Associated Students Inc. president on March 20-22, it may be her political experience as a young student.
Despite being only a sophomore and having spent just one year in ASI, Wack has acquired an impressive resume.
She was tapped by current ASI President Blake Zante last year to be his vice president of external affairs despite having never been in student government at Fresno State. She is the sole voice for Fresno State in the California State Student Association, a body that meets to address needs of individual campuses at the state level.
And more recently, she founded the California State Student Assembly – a group that connects student politicians from the California State University, University of California and community college systems and which advocates to the state on behalf of Central Valley students.
Wack sat down recently with editors of The Collegian to discuss her run for Fresno State’s highest student political office. Her commitment to run for ASI president came after several of her close friends promised to support her. She would not have done it otherwise.
“I wouldn’t want to be representing people if they didn’t want me to,” Wack said. “At the end of the day, I’m doing it because I really want to help students, and I think I can do a good job at it.”
Wack formed her campaign around the needs of students – the name of her slate is called All4Students. She picked running mates who share her views on student issues. They can get the job done, she said, adding in a bipartisan note that at least one member of her slate was an opponent in last year’s elections.
Wack said her biggest pledge as an ASI presidential candidate is to improve campus affordability, awareness of services on campus and the availability of ASI representatives for students.
Until voting ends on March 22, she will park her campaign outside The Bucket to engage students and seek their support. This mirrors one of her goals as ASI president, which is to attract more students to the ASI meetings and get them familiar with the ASI offices. She said she wants ASI to operate much like a “resource hub.”
This year’s senate has been more efficient than previous groups, Wack said. She has observed that the senators are overworked and is planning ways to spearhead a restructuring of the senate to better meet the needs of students.
That will likely include establishing a senator for graduate affairs, much like the senator for undergraduate affairs. There certainly are more groups that may benefit from having a voice in ASI, Wack said.
She said her support of the student press went without saying. She assured in her meeting with the editors of this publication that transparency within student government is above all.
Questioned about her support of the New USU, Wack did not disclose a firm stance on the project, saying that she will support the project if it is seen as favorable to her supporters. She did state that there has been more education around the New USU than there was with the failed Bold New U project.
Wack said her position in the current executive team has positioned her to be a proud voice for women on campus. Her recent work to bring feminine products for women to campus bathrooms is an indication of her priorities.
Wack’s presidency will ride – as she stated – on her commitment to improve the experience of the Fresno State student as someone who is from out of the Central San Joaquin Valley region.