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ASI Election events back in person after 2-year virtual setting

By Connie Lee, Apr. 12, 2022

After two years of a virtual election setting, ASI held multiple in-person events showcasing candidates and encouraging students to vote in the 2022 ASI Elections, which are taking place throughout this week.

During Cal Poly Pomona’s remote instruction, candidates running for elected ASI officers were unable to attend in-person events to advocate for their plans. This semester, however, candidates were able to speak about their plans at the candidate meet and greet, college senator and senator-at-large town hall, and the president and vice president open forum from April 5 to April 7.

Election turnout numbers also suffered during online instruction as students were removed from campaigning and less interested in student government. Less than 25% of the student population at CPP votes in elections every year, according to ASI Elections Chair Victoria Flores.

“We have candidates post their posters around campus. On their posters, they have what they are planning to do for the student community,” said Flores. “In-person (campaigning) definitely helps out way more and we really try to incentivize our students and persuade them to vote so we can have really good numbers.”

Students and candidates gather at the Union Plaza in the return of in-person election events. (Sam Padilla | The Poly Post)

Two duos are running for president and vice president: Aliza Ortega and Daniel Foncello on one ticket, and Raaghav Wadhawan and Samy Ousman on the other.

Ortega, a communication student, and Foncello, an economics student, chose to run for office together after serving in ASI this past year.

“I serve as the CLASS senator and Aliza is our ASI officer of internal affairs, and we became pretty good friends over this past year so we decided that we can make some positive changes in the school together,” said Foncello.

Their goals include representation for students of color, first-generation students, DREAMer students, student parents, transfer students and Greek life funding. Their objective for a sustainable campus involves alternative energy sources, lowering water usage and educating the importance of sustainability. Ortega and Foncello’s civic engagement with the campus include educating on resources that are available and allocating for more resources for students.

“I think that it’s important to have a good balance because that shows your leadership; it would be hard to manage all the different things, and yes, you might want to pull back for your own mental health, but it’d be nice to participate in all the clubs,” said Ortega. “I still plan on trying to be active in the sorority that I’m in and I want to be as active as I am in the ASI events that we have like Voter Registration Day or Transfer Engagement Week.”

Ortega stated that the running mates want to encourage students to participate and vote regardless of who they vote for. Ortega and Foncello want students to be active on campus.

Wadhawan and Ousman’s visions for ASI consists of sustainable programs, financial opportunities and campus involvement. They are dedicated to creating an involved and beneficial campus community with additional programs to focus on sustainability, mental health and finances to create an exciting campus for the CPP community.

“We have been doing a lot of word of mouth, going around campus and talking to people and our friends,” said Wadhawan, a computer engineering student. “Right now, it’s been word of mouth, but we have scheduled meetings to attend different organization meetings such as a couple of fraternities and sororities and clubs as well. So that’s another way that we are trying to get our message across by talking about our goals and programs we want to implement.”

In addition to the race for president and vice president, students will also vote for senators to represent the campus’ colleges and student councils. However, the majority of the senatorial positions have only a single candidate running.

Esperanza Lopez for the College of Agriculture, Guillermo Nila for the College of Engineering, Ilke Suzer for the College of Environmental Design, Alham Garcia for the College of Science, Naman Pandadiya for the College of Business, Natalie Padilla for Greek Council, Ryan Beacham for Multi-Cultural Council and Jacob Reyes for Student-Interest Council are all running unopposed.

Only the CLASS senator position has more than one candidate. Andres Leonardo Mejia, Raneen Vace and Jacob Luna are running to represent the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Information on all the candidates can be found on the 2022 ASI Elections website. Online voting will start on Monday, April 11 at 7 a.m. and end on Thursday, April 14 at 7 a.m. via myBAR.

Feature image by Nicolas Hernandez

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