Dec 12, 2019

Thoughts on ASI Q & A

Here are some random thoughts about Monday night’s Associated Students, Inc. presidential debate.

First of all, the crew at The Collegian was awesome. A lot of people worked a lot of hours to put the whole production together, and it was a success. The crew even got the video up online the same night. Students got to see a bit of who the candidates are and now have a fuller understanding about who they think is the best candidate for ASI president.

***Warning: shameless plug up ahead***

Visit The Collegian’s website and go to the “Multimedia” section to watch the debate. It’ll take only a half hour out of your day and will help you decide who you want to vote for.

I thought the candidates, Selena Farnesi, Daniel Harrison and Cesar Sanchez, were extremely well prepared for the debate. Their answers were succinct and precise, and they were ready for any question. This was made all the more impressive considering they did not know the questions beforehand. The candidates seemed very polished and professional.

I was extremely interested in Farnesi’s response to reader Manny’s question asking whether the next ASI president would take a pay cut from their stipend. Harrison responded that he would cut his monthly pay to $500 per month and Sanchez said he would be willing to take no pay. Farnesi, however, said, and it’s worth quoting in full, “I do not intend to take a pay cut. I believe that the work I do is worth being paid [for]: I do a good job, I serve students, I work more than 20 hours a week, more than what is required for ASI. I’m the first one in and the last one out, and if elected I intend to quit my second job so that I can focus completely on what this school and what the student government needs. So I do intend to do a good job and to be conscious of student dollars, but I don’t intend to take a pay cut.” It was a very honest answer; we’ll see if that honesty works in her favor.

I was impressed with the amount of students who attended the debate.

There were about 40 students in the studio, which was nearly at full capacity. The students were all respectful, and all were engaged — three students even asked questions, and more would have asked, but we ran out of time. This bodes well for the voter turnout of this year’s election.

Speaking of which, students should vote in the upcoming ASI elections. The elections will be held Tuesday, March 22, Wednesday, March 23 and Thursday, March 24. This isn’t like a nationwide election, or even a statewide or local election. Here, your vote will make a big difference. Literally, every vote matters. If you care about student government at Fresno State, you need to vote next week.

Seriously, voting is important.

It will be interesting to see how the fallout of current ASI President Pedro Ramirez’s disclosure to The Collegian that he was an undocumented immigrant plays out in the current election. Sanchez, the most identifiable candidate with Ramirez, may win many votes because of support for the embattled president or he may lose votes over the uproar over that news and Ramirez’s car accident.

Keep reading The Collegian for more ASI election coverage.

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