Ryan Tubongbanua / The Collegian
Graham Wahlberg filled the void of ASI president, but says regaining the trust of students will be a difficult task
He is a Fresno native, who graduated from Bullard High School Magna Cum Laude.
He sees no future in a political career, despite the fact that during high school he ran for office every year â€” and lost every year.
Graham Wahlberg filled the vacancy of Mackee M. Mason, who resigned as Associated Students Inc. (ASI) president following violations of the Code of Conduct policy, as did former executive vice president, Sandra Flores.
The executive vice president position was filled by Senator Beatriz Campuzano.
â€œThey [Mason and Flores] put a lot more work in and they are given credit for,â€ Wahlberg said.
He claims he wants to meet with Mason whose experience he feels is â€œinvaluable,â€ but has not yet had the time to do so.
â€œIâ€™m willing to meet with him and take up some of the things he was working on that I agree with,â€ he said. â€œI have been advised to do so to have him teach me the ropes.â€
Wahlberg, a construction management major, was a senator for the College of Engineering, before becoming Fresno Stateâ€™s new ASI executive president. He said he is aware of the challenge he has undertaken.
But this is not Wahlbergâ€™s first attempt to win a spot in a political office. He ran last year, but dropped out.
â€œI did not want to get caught up in the backstabbing,â€ he said. â€œI didnâ€™t like the way the campaign was heading and the things you would have to say just to defend yourself.â€
He also said he knows that due to the controversy surrounding ASI, things will be more difficult for him.
â€œWe need to work on restoring ASIâ€™s credibility and morality,â€ he said.
â€œASI is not very popular with the students,â€ Wahlberg said. â€œSome of the senators refused to wear their shirts with the ASI logo â€” not me,â€ he added as he pointed to the ASI letters on his shirt.
Wahlberg has a couple of things in mind to help restore Fresno Stateâ€™s studentsâ€™ trust in ASI, such as good decision-making, being open and not giving anyone the opportunity to say anything bad.
â€œWhy are we not winning football games and why is parking such a problem?â€ Wahlberg said. â€œIâ€™m sure students want answers.â€
But some students do not look to ASI for answers.
â€œI donâ€™t care about what is going on,â€ said a pre-nursing student who refused to disclose her name.
â€œI didnâ€™t know we had a president before the controversyâ€¦ but I canâ€™t trust them,â€ said Andrew Sanchez, electrical engineering freshman.
Former ASI President Mackee M. Mason and former Executive Vice President Sandra Flores resigned after stating in letters to students that the substance-free pledge was broken while attending an ASI retreat.