SPECIAL SERIES : ASI ELECTIONS 2004
Candidate shrugs off the slate process and runs solo
April 7, 2004 1:10 PM
Last year running on a platform with 15 other students became an ugly experience for current Sophomore Representative Chris Jackson, so this year he decided to run as an independent for vice president of external affairs of the Associated Students Inc. board of directors.
“I don’t want to be fighting for what I stand for with a group of people who don’t share my beliefs,” Jackson said during the first day of elections Tuesday.
“Since most candidates run with the same ideology and have the backing of their team, candidates aren’t working for the students but for their political group as a whole,” he said.
Jackson, 21, is the only independent running in the election and has found it difficult to get his campaign heard by students. “I have not been able to have a debate with my opponent,” Jackson said.
Josh Castro, who is running against Jackson, was unavailable for comment.
If elected Jackson’s first aim is to expand the term in office into a two-year staggered period in order to actually get policies implemented. “What happens is that the first year we are learning how the system works and then all of a sudden your term is up,” Jackson said. Currently, a student is in office for one year.
Jackson, a speech communication major, got interested in politics during the Bush and Gore 2000 presidential campaign, and said that he would like to create more public forums and debates on campus. The university did not have one debate last month during the referendum to increase fees at SF State, he said.
With the help of his fraternity brother, marketing major Pete Griffin, 20, Jackson campaigned throughout the school on Tuesday to encourage students to vote. “He stands by his word, and his decisiveness really won me over,” Griffin said. He said that although other candidates talk about making a difference, Jackson is actually making progress.
This year Jackson helped organize the Feb. 23 rally to save the Educational Opportunity Program and helped coordinate students to travel to Sacramento to protest student fee hikes for community colleges. He also created the first environmental affairs officer to create a more environmentally friendly campus.
Outside school Jackson is an intern for Chris Daly, San Francisco District 7 supervisor. “I love the democratic process and … debating two sides of every issue,” Jackson said.
Jackson lamented at the fact that there is no ASI newsletter to keep students informed on what the organization does. Starting a newsletter would be on his priority list if he is elected. “We need to better educate the student body here, and we have failed to get students involved in what is going to ultimately influence them.”
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