Introducing your ASI 2019 candidates

By Taylor A. Boomsma and Elizabeth Hernandez

ASI elections for the 2019-2020 academic year are coming up. 

Elected positions include ASI president, vice president, senators for the eight colleges and for four at-large councils. In previous years, voter turnout has been abysmal. Last year, 3% of the student body participated in the election. 

Tuesday, April 9, during U-hour the candidates will be in the University Quad for a meet-and-greet and on Thursday, April 11, during U-hour the candidates will participate in a debate at the University Quad. Students will be sent a link to their student emails to vote via MyBar on Monday, April 15, at 7 a.m. Voting closes on Thursday, April 18 at 7 a.m., and results will be announced in the University Park during U-hour on April 18.

Joshua Hernandez & Fernando Andrade

(Courtesy of Facundo Holzmeister)

Joshua Hernandez, third-year technology and operations management major, said he was born to be a Bronco. His school pride is contagious and is at the core of his campaign, along with empowering students’ voices and supporting student clubs and organizations. Hernandez’s leadership experience grew while working with ASI Campus Recreation and when he served as the Interfraternity Council president. He said he wants to be ASI President because he wants to make a difference. 

“Running for this position is a culmination of all my experiences with ASI coming together for the perfect opportunity to use them,” Hernandez said. 

He wants to create a new campus experience where students want to stay at school for collaborative events among clubs and athletics.

Fernando Andrade, second-year political science major, said  that as vice president he wants to change the dynamic within ASI to build more of team mentality by making our vision relevant and broad enough to reach all students. 

“The root of the campaign is the value of serving Cal Poly students with compassion and heart,” Andrade said. “I want to give back to my campus community.”

Itzia Salinas & Brianahi De Leon 

Courtesy of (Andres Martinez)

Itzia Salinas, fourth-year architecture student, has two years of ASI student government experience after serving as the environmental design senator. She also is a member of the American Disability Association Committee, the Sustainability Committee and the Facility and Operations Committee. She is also a member of  Hermanas Unidas’ e-board. Salinas said she hopes to become ASI president to continue her advocacy efforts on campus. 

“One of our goals is providing equitable opportunities for students on campus,” Salinas said. 

Brianahi De Leon, a fifth-year urban and regional planning student, served in student government for two years at CSU Bakersfield before transferring to Cal Poly Pomona. De Leon is running for vice president. Their platform is based on the CSU Basic Needs Initiative, which covers housing and food insecurity, health and well-being, as well as financial aid. Together they also plan on providing support for undocumented students by allocating money through grants and donations. Salinas and Brianahi said they are different from the other candidates because they come from an environmental design background, so they want to focus mainly on strategic planning and designing.

Pasindu Senaratne & Rachel Hunter 

(Courtesy of Terry D. Monday)

Boasting two years of ASI experience each are Pasindu Senaratne, a third-year finance, real estate and law major, who is running for president, and Rachel Hunter, a third-year political science major, who is running as his vice president. They said they have an action plan to challenge the university, educate students on the reasons change is needed and to better connect students to ASI and to the university. 

Senaratne and Hunter said they want to make ASI more accessible to students by shifting the focus from expecting the student body to come to ASI, to ASI reaching out to the student body. 

“We should be going directly to the students and offer our resources,” Hunter said. 

They plan on increasing campus presence and student involvement by encouraging student organizations and increasing club funding. They also plan on addressing basic needs, parking and student civic engagement. Advocacy is another pillar that their action plan is built on. Taking initiative on the local level by building relationships with local legislators and amplifying underrepresented voices are additional important values Senaratne and Hunter said they stand for. The whole point of their action plan is to utilize the skills and interests of everyone on the team to accomplish their goals. 

“Our action plan is very comprehensive and the only way we can accomplish this is for everyone to work on this together,” Senaratne said. 

Diego Montoya & Richard Barcelo 

(Courtesy of Eric Mendoza)

Third-year political science student Richard Barcelo said he is interested in the inner workings of government and that as vice-president, he wants to utilize that to encourage student participation. Diego Montoya, a third-year business major, wants to use his previous experience from his time in ASI working in the finance and marketing departments to inform his term as president. Student engagement is the core emphasis of their campaign. They want to improve ASI and student body interaction by enhancing that relationship and encouraging more campus participation from the student body. The campaign revolves around the idea of making ASI more accessible to students. 

“There’s almost this disconnect between ASI and the student body,” Barcelo said. “I think there’s something that we can do to change that, to make it better.”

They want to open more networking opportunities for students to open doors for jobs. Student mental health and well-being are also topics they want to work on, especially with the stress that semester conversion has caused some students. Safety and student-led clubs are the other pillars that Montoya and Barcelo have built their campaign on.

4/9/2019 1:32 p.m.: A previous version of this article said Brianahi De Leon is an architecture student. De Leon is studying urban and regional planning.

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