Newly elected Associated Student Inc. (ASI) President Pasindu Senaratne, fourth-year business student, and ASI Vice President Rachel Hunter, fourth-year political science student, are currently working on new ways to serve the students of CPP and have big plans for the new school year.
Senaratne served as the former vice president to the previous ASI President, alumna Jennifer Greenberg during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Hunter is an experienced member of ASI and is currently focused on creating a stronger student connection with ASI for the new academic year.
How do you plan on being different from previous ASI presidents?
Senaratne: I think the system that we have established this year makes us really different. I’m not the only ASI president, [Hunter] is a president in her own right. I don’t think I have the attachment to this position to say “I’m the boss.” We run on a two-president system where she is handling all the stuff for student government and I’m handling things for ASI.
What events does ASI have planned this semester?
Hunter: We have so much planned for this semester. We have Bronco Spirit [a week-long event filled with CPP pride, activities and food for all students] coming up. We are doing a kickoff party, block parade and glow party. We are trying to do a lot of things to enhance student engagement.
The student government’s goal for this year is to have legislatures come to campus, however, nothing is officially in place.
Do you have an objective while you hold these positions?
Senaratne: I want to get someone in here who will be better than me. I want to make sure a new president is prepared and has more resources starting off than I had.
Hunter: My whole goal is to get clubs and organizations more funding and resources. I believe they are the peak of student interests. Whatever they want to do, I want to be able to empower them.
Are you planning to make any changes to ASI or CPP?
Senaratne: We also want to change up orientation. In my time here, there has been a different person in charge of orientation each year. We want to discuss what we are giving students at orientation and see how we can improve it.
Hunter: We are really excited about partnering with the university to figure out how we can integrate more public transportation into Cal Poly. We are looking into something similar to Mt. San Antonio College’s “class pass” for our campus. The more local students who ride the bus means one more parking spot for those who travel to get to class.
According to the Mt. Sac website, a class pass gives students who have paid their student fees per semester access to buses from Foothill Transit.
What student concerns have you become aware of? How will you address them?
Senaratne: I think the experience for commuting students has always been a concern we receive. It is always coupled with low engagement, but there is a big difference between low engagement and commuter culture. If commuting students aren’t engaging on campus, it’s because we aren’t giving them a reason to stay on campus. We need to give them a reason.
Hunter: One of our many goals this year is to make ASI feel more available to students. Part of our job is to talk to students and make sure we respond to each complaint.
Is there anything you want students to know about ASI?
Senaratne: I want students to know that ASI was founded by students. We slowly transitioned into what we are and it was all for the sake of making sure the student voice was heard.
Hunter: One thing I would like students to know is that we are listening but we don’t have control over everything. ASI doesn’t have that much power but we have relationships within the university and that’s how we get things done.
For additional information about ASI future events, visit https://asi.cpp.edu/ or contact Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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