Aug 05, 2020

What is ASI?

While many students are crashing classes and begging instructors to add them to their roll sheets, a few have been checking out classes they don’t plan to add.

That’s because they’re just stopping by to introduce themselves.

They’re students who want to tell the story of what it’s like to be involved in the campus community and inform their peers about what Fresno State has to offer. And they only need a few minutes to tell students what Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) can do for them.

For incoming freshmen, or apathetic students who may not know, ASI, formally Associated Students, is Fresno State’s student government, which includes senators who represent each of the colleges or schools on campus.

“We basically bit the bullet,” ASI President J.P. Moncayo said of this semester’s tedious new method of reaching out to the student body.

Now in his second term, Moncayo said ASI realized it has to be more aggressive about communicating its message to students by outlining what they do for the campus.

Going from classroom to classroom is “the hardest way” to spread the ASI word, yet it’s a “very strong way for us to get the word out on top issues,” Moncayo said.

The visits offer information about ASI funding that’s available to campus clubs and organizations, low-cost health insurance and the phone number for the campus police department.

These start-of-the-semester presentations will continue to hit classrooms, Moncayo said, “until we exhaust it.”

So far, ASI officers have presented themselves to 800 students in this manner. They plan to increase that number to at least 2000 students over the next two weeks.

But ASI doesn’t intend to have the student body at hello. The group plans to use classroom presentations proactively to educate students on hot topics such as a possible increase in parking fees that may eventually require a student vote. From there, ASI will inform students what options they have when it comes time to vote.

“We’re gonna get our hands really dirty,” Moncayo said.

Erica Dement, ASI’s communications director, said some of the new ways they plan to increase student involvement is through Bulldog Squad, a new campus spirit group she anticipates will launch in early October.

While Dement discussed ways students can improve their campus experience by applying for positions in ASI and the Bulldog squad, she said students who aren’t members of any campus organizations can still see ASI’s impact on the campus community through scholarships they fund, the library laptop program and the Pick-a-Prof service, which allows students to rate and review professors.

She also hopes ASI’s office will be a welcoming one for the student body.

According to Moncayo, students can turn to ASI if they come across issues such as problems with professors.

“The office is a great place to start,” Moncayo said, since ASI is “more prone to know who to contact” when complaints about instructors arise.

He also hopes the ASI office will be a “good front desk for the university and student life” so students can drop by whenever they’re looking for answers.

“The problem we have on campus is students not being aware of what’s going on,” said D.J. Clovis, ASI’s director of student involvement.

He said he hopes to alleviate the “I didn’t know what was going on” mentality by creating a calendar of events to give students advance notice of events happening on campus.

Clovis’ goal is simple: he wants everyone “to be excited to be a Fresno State student.”

ASI has a central point they hope to get across to the student body.

“Every student is a member of ASI,” said Mackee Mason, ASI’s senator of athletics.

The belief is one Moncayo hopes will push students who want to see change around campus.

“My hope,” Moncayo said, “is that people who are really angry will join ASI.”

Previous Story

Free music: you get what you pay for

Next Story

New music prof accepts call to rebuild orchestra