Christopher Rodriguez, a senior, was recently sworn in as Associated Students, Inc. senator for parking and safety.
Once an unsuccessful candidate for senator-at-large in the spring elections, Rodriguez has finally achieved earning a spot at the table of Fresno State’s student government. His determination, he said, was strong.
“When I put my head to something, I will get it done,” Rodriguez said. “I put my heart and my soul into everything I do.”
When Rodriguez was appointed unanimously, he immediately took his seat at the table during the Sept. 5 ASI meeting.
As he settles into his position as a senator, Rodriguez still has other duties. One of those obligations, as one of two co-operators for Camp Kesem at Fresno State, is one close to his heart.
Camp Kesem sends students whose parents have been affected by cancer to a free weeklong summer camp. Rodriguez lost his father to stomach cancer during his spring semester as a freshman in 2013, and since has had a personal connection to the nonprofit organization.
“Even for me as a 22-year-old, it is the funnest summer camp I’ve ever been to,” Rodriguez said.
And, the music vocal performance major added, attending the camp was empowering.
Camp Kesem is seeking a new home. It was previously located in Camp Pacifica in Ahwahnee, approximately 30 minutes south of Yosemite National Park.
Rodriguez has also been a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity since the spring of 2016. He has been a part of the executive board within the organization and is currently the ritualist. For Rodriguez, belonging to different groups on campus is something Rodriguez plans to use to his advantage in his new role as student senator of parking and safety.
“Chris came in with a lot of fantastic ideas. He was really, really motivated,” according to Demi Wack, president of ASI.
Wack said Rodriguez had concrete ideas for improving parking and safety on campus, making him an ideal candidate for the job.
“It wasn’t just that ‘I want to improve parking, I want to improve safety,’” Wack said. Rodriguez brought idas that could be implemented, Wack believes.
Rodriguez said he believes parking this semester is “at its worst.” To combat that, he has suggested adding an additional bus to the Bulldog Express to cut down the waiting time from 15 minutes to around seven or eight minutes. He also suggests adding more shuttle stops in and around campus, such as the Joyal Building roundabout, and near the Science II Building.
Wack said there are plans to renovate the parking area near the dorms. However, right now the focus is “trying to make it [Bulldog Express] a sustainable resource” so that it is accessible and efficient to students.
But Rodriguez also faces the task of ensuring the campus is safe for students, and that he understands student concerns. He said that getting lights in darker areas and increasing the use of the emergency blue buttons are on his priority list.