Candidates for next year’s Associated Students, Inc. Student Government held their first debate at noon on Thursday, April 19, answering some questions from students and what their plans are for the campus community.

ASI candidates answer questions about campus issues, and what plans can be expected to come for the next academic year. All of them want to create a positive experience for students and have an active, unified campus community. (Jacqueline Ayala | The Poly Post)

The event started with each candidate having an opportunity to introduce themselves, what clubs or organizations they participate in, and share their greatest achievement so far on campus.

The candidates belong to different organizations, some of which include Inter-Hall Council, Greek Life, Hermanas Unidas, and Cultural Centers.

The first question to the candidates was, ‘What kind of projects do each of them want to bring to campus?’

Multicultural Council candidate, Malik Hodge, talked about bringing representation to different cultural groups, especially minority groups.

“I want to create a spread of unity with minority groups such as the LGBTQ community, Latinos and African Americans,” Hodge said.

Other suggestions were the food pantry, which is still facing hurdles.

However, ASI will continue to make it happen for students.

Vice presidential candidate Pasindu Senaratne added he would like to expand and utilize the space of the Bronco Student Center which can create a better place for students to study, relax and eat.

Another question brought up semester conversion and asked about what advice can be given to students.

The most important advice candidates gave to students in order to prepare for semester conversion this fall was to talk to their advisors.

It was acknowledged that some departments make it a requirement to meet with their corresponding advisors and candidates believe that making it a requirement for everyone will push students to get help and get questions answered based on their department.

ASI has created events in order to answer as many questions as possible and what students should expect as the transition comes closer.

Events will continue to happen to make conversion easier for students.

College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences senator candidate, Julissa Loza Mendez, suggested to come with a plan when meeting with advisors.

“The best thing to do is to plan, organize and communicate,” Mendez said. “To create a better communication with professors, students should set up an interview and talk one-on-one with them.”

In the last ten minutes of the debate, candidates were asked questions from students in the audience on how the candidates plan to help transfers with their academics and employment opportunities for all students.

“Take your time, not everyone is going to graduate in the four-year period, especially as transfers,” Hodge said.

Having the restaurants on campus open longer on Fridays will not force students to sit in their cars or go home.

The campus is mostly composed of transfers, commuters, undergraduates and graduate students, and many only come to campus a certain number of days each week.

Another suggestion is creating events aimed towards transfers and how to help make their time at campus a positive experience.

For employment opportunities, president candidate Jennifer L. Greenberg suggested having internships for students.

The idea is still in discussion, but Greenberg will continue to make internships happen to help students prepare for the workforce.

“It will offer leadership skills and an academic purpose in an environment students are familiar with,” Greenberg said.

Hodge reminded students to check their CPP emails often because there are many offers for students to work on campus.

The second and final event, Pizza with the Candidates will happen at noon hour on April 26 in University Park.

All candidates will attend to answer questions from students and faculty.

This will be the last time to communicate their message before voting opens.

A link will be available to students through their CPP email and they can vote for their favorite candidate.

Voting will open online at midnight on April 30 and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on May 3.

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