Election Week - Day One
Opposing parties struggle for the students' vote
March 14, 2006 10:56 AM
Candidates for the Associated Student elections gathered in Malcolm X Plaza yesterday for a debate to convince students to vote for them before elections end on March 15th. All executive positions, which include AS President, AS Vice President, AS Vice President of Finance, AS Vice President of External Affairs and AS Vice President of Internal Affairs, were required to participate in yesterday’s debate. Campaigns began on March 1st and will conclude with the last day of voting on Wednesday. Students can vote at any of the three locations found at the Business building, Caesar Chavez Center and Centennial Drive. The voting tents will be open as early as 9 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Make sure to bring your student ID and your student number. But don’t worry, if you are unsure of your new student number computers will be set up at each of the tents so you can look up the new number.
Candidates and Party Affiliation:
Maire Fowler is currently is the Vice President of Internal Affairs. During her time as Vice President, AS started Project Connect, a program that focused on recruitment and retention.
Fowler was unavailable for comment, but made the following comment in her opening statement during the debate: “We are going to start taking action against the governor for the fee increases because it’s about time. Fees have gone up by 77 percent for undergraduates since 2002, 106 percent for graduate students since 2002. Please participate in the student elections, you pay $82 a year for Associated Students.”
Michael Silberg currently is the current Vice President for the Student Health Advisory Committee and over the past two years his goal with this committee is to reach out to students and to understand what their needs are. Silberg believes that there has been a lack of transparency in the ASI as it stands now.
Candidates for Vice President of Internal Affairs
Isidro Javier Armenta
Armenta is heavily involved with Associated Students, serving as Representative at Large and Vice-Chair of Internal Affairs Committee. Armenta also serves on the Student Center Governing Board, as AS appointee.
“To be concise, [my goal] is to increase their involvement and to increase their return on their investment of $84 a year. People should vote for me because I have the experience. I not only sit on the Student center governing board and Associated Students. But I’ve also been to conferences. I’ve been to the national conference on Student Leadership in Florida. I’ve actually just arrived from the Leadership Institute in Chicago. I have that background. In addition, to that. I have lived on campus. I’ve worked at the resident hall. I was a resident assistant.”
Nkeiruka Oruche (write-in)
Oruche said she belives health is the most important part of a student’s life, no matter what major they are. She wants to make sure that more money will go into the student health center.
“It’s not about what issues I believe, you know, it’s not about what I think is important to the community,” she said. “It’s about what students say and I’m just to do the hard work of it. I’m just here to do what needs to be done.”
When asked why students should vote for her, Oruche replied, “Because not only will I do what needs to be done, I will do it smiling and with a sense of humor and I have cool hair. Can you beat that? That’s so San Franciscan. We’re on San Francisco State campus. Are you serious?”
Candidates for Vice President of External Affairs
Currently in his second semester at SF State, Halperin’s slate is based on the idea of “interdisciplinary coordination.” Halperin previously started a club called Engineers Without Borders.
Hector Jimenez has been involved with ASI since his freshman year at SF State. Last year, Jimenez wrote a resolution in regards to the special elections that took place this past November. His resolution was to urge ASI to take a stance against Proposition 76. With his years of involvement with ASI, Jimenez feels he has a lot to offer as Vice President of External Affairs.
“I would like to see within these next couple of years is more outreach to students in what AS does. I think that this position is the perfect position to be able to do that kind of work, because this is a job that if focused into what the internal positions are doing.”
Jimenez said with this position it gives one the opportunity to not only make an impact on this campus, but also reach out to other campuses and see what they are successfully doing in their student governments.
Candidates for Vice President of Finance:
Aziz was the vice president of finance for the Student Health and Advisory Committee for the past three years. As vice president of finance, Aziz wants to target the whole student body, rather than those just enrolled in health majors.
“Our focus is to integrate all of the different organizations. There are over 200 organizations at school. We want them to interact … that way we could have as many students benefit from the AS programs as possible; not just these segregated groups of people.”
Aziz also said she wants to bring affordable health insurance to students.
Prior to arriving at SF State, Bergman owned and operated a private business for seven years. Bergman currently serves on the Instructionally Related Activities Committee and is the Treasure for the Nursing Students Associations. Bergman is the only candidate running independently.
“One of the reasons I decided to run for the election is because finance needs to be reformed. With everything during last year there were several issues about graduation funds and also about clubs and organizations and how they’re funded. What I saw was there was a mad rush for funds right away. And with the coalitions center there, their organizations they used to represent are usually the ones who mostly get the funds. We generate, the students, themselves over $3 million dollars and yet a small percentage of the organizations are getting those funds”
“Me, personally, one thing I take to heart really is our fee increase. Being a BECA student, our fees increase all the time. Since 2002 our fees have increased 77 percent. That’s ridiculous. When I came it was $956 a semester. Now it’s almost $1700. We’re bringing in all this money and fees, yet there’s less class sections, programs are getting dropped and there’s no resources for the students. That’s a big deal. That’s like taxation without representations.”
Representative At Large (two positions)
Castillo is currently junior representative of AS this year. As representative at large, Castillo wants to increase more communication with the student body. She also wants to bridge stronger communication between faculty and the AS.
“I feel that it’s a lot easier to know what to do when you already have a game plan,” she said. “We know how the bureaucracy works. We want to accomplish a lot of the goals that we started this year.”
Cortes wants to create more clubs geared around an active lifestyle. He has already helped to create the SFSU Cycle team which will be competing this spring. He supports the publishing of a discourse magazine to help educate students on different issues that affect them.
Mercado has held several leadership positions withn her sorority, Beta Phi, as well as in the Fraturnity Sorority Council. She has experience in planning events and holding fundraisers. She sees clear communication as an important part of AS.
“My main goal is communication. Always to keep an open flow of communications between people and I’d really want to push for more marketing so students know what going on campus,” she said. “I think there’s a real disconnection between assoc students and the students on campus. A lot of people don’t know about the services they can have assess to.”
As senior class representative, Donovan Blood said she wants to publicize the resources offered on campus to start a newsletter to tell students about events and programs offered through AS, as well as what is going on with their money.
(Behavior and Social Sciences)
(Health and Humanities)
(Science and Engineering)
Aaron Morrison is currently the Humanities representative on ASI and is using his prior experience to become the Business representative at SF State. As both a journalism major and business major, Morrison has experienced the expensive costs of textbooks, resulting in his desire to help decrease those costs, among other things.
Kevin Mikami (write-in)
Oropeza is interested in making sure that campus facilities like the McKenna Theatre are available to students for important events such as graduation.
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