At age 42, Robert Martinez isn’t your average student. When the College of Business Administration Associated Students Inc. Senator isn’t overseeing the business end of his family’s hair salon or playing catch with his two sons, he’s hard at work making sure the needs of CBA students are being met. Martinez will be the first in his family to graduate college in the spring, with a degree in marketing. The Daily 49er sat down with Martinez in a snug, local cafe, packed with people and pets enjoying the sunny morning to talk about the importance of student representation and the plans he wants to implement in the future at LBSU. What inspired you to run for a senator position with ASI? There’s a lot of things I didn’t have on my radar, and this whole experience for me, obviously I’m a lot older than the other senators and other students, so a lot of it for me was ... kind of figuring out who I am still, like maybe career-wise, work-wise I know who I am, but kind of expanding who I am. Things that I felt like were there that I wanted to do, which a lot of it
The ASI Beach Pantry is heavily reliant on sustained food donations to keep shelves in stock; however, seasonal donations are not enough.
Shelves were filled to the edge with canned goods and snacks after the holiday break, but the Associated Students Inc. Beach Pantry isn’t always so bountiful. Although the ASI Beach Pantry has received an influx of donations during the holiday season, it has had trouble in the past keeping the pantry full. “There’s been days where I’ve been here, I’ve been working, and there’s only Ramen and a few cans of tomato sauce. There’s barely any snacks,” ASI Beach Pantry employee Tiana Barajas said. “Students will come in and sometimes they won’t even get anything because it does not suffice.” The ASI Beach Pantry supplies zero-cost food to Long Beach State students as long as they bring a student I.D. The pantry, which opened in 2016, has steadily increased its number of unique and total visitors, according to ASI Communications Director James Ahumada. The space relies on sustained connections with local organizations to supply food donations, Ahumada said. He added that these donations are not always consistent. During a visit to the pantry after the holiday break, senior English education major Azucena Montenegro said she had never seen the pantry so full. “It does ebb and flow, and I think
Over 250 volunteers of all ages gathered at St. Anthony High School in Long Beach Saturday morning to assemble prepackaged meals for hungry children. In under two hours, volunteers packed 500 boxes containing 25,000 meals to feed 2,500 children in Long Beach for 10 weekends, according to Ron Klabunde, CEO and Founder of Generosity Feeds. Around 24 tables were set up to contain 12 to 15 people per table. Volunteers worked together in assembly line fashion to scoop different ingredients into bags, heat seal the bags shut and put them into boxes. Each bag contained a meal of black beans and rice that consisted of five dehydrated ingredients: black beans, rice, beef base, vegetable blend and roux. “It’s beneficial for the community... [I] work with children from the community so it’s a cause that’s dear to my heart so I figured this might be something good to do,” said Angelica Hernandez, a teacher at Long Beach City College Child Development Center. Generosity Feeds worked with sponsors such as customizable pizza business MOD Pizza and You Run This Town Foundation, a non-profit charity organization that helps students in their education. According to Klabunde, Generosity Feeds focuses on feeding children during the
Whether students worry about feeding family members at home, maintaining the safety of their children on campus or something as simple as retaining their ability to use an escalator, all topics were fair game at Wednesday’s meeting of the Associated Students Inc. Senate. Students who hate stairs are in for a treat this coming September The 20-year-old escalator in the University Student Union, with a downward stairway that has been out of order since the first day of school, is set for a multi-part replacement and upgrade in late September. Last year’s ASI set aside roughly half a million dollars to replace all of the steps, chains and pulleys within the escalator, according to ASI Executive Director, Richard Haller. After its last breakdown, it was decided that the escalator posed a safety hazard, which is why only the up escalator is working. “We decided to shut down the down escalator,” Haller said. “We communicated that to the university and to Disabled Student Services.” Graduate enrollment falls short This year, local graduate student enrollment dropped for the first time in 10 to 15 years across many disciplines, according to Associate Vice President of Student Life and Development, Jeff Klaus. “It was
Dozens of students spent Wednesday afternoon on the University Student Union lawn decorating photo frames, thank-you cards, bracelets, pumpkin piggy banks and mason jars. Some were even building castles at the third annual Gobble Games and Can Castles. Beach Pride Events and Associated Students Inc. hosted the event for students for Thanksgiving. The annual celebration began in 2015 with the goal of providing students with a seasonal event while also giving back to the community. The cans used in the contest were donated to the ASI Beach Pantry, which provides free food to students in need, but not before five teams of students went head-to-head with scissors, construction paper, markers, decorations and of course, cans of nonperishable food to see who could build the best castle for the chance to win a bookstore gift card. “It’s gonna be a pretty big thing, you can win prizes,” Logan Cross, ASI social media assistant said. “How high can you stack the cans, how many cans can you put on here? And all proceeds go to ASI’s Beach Pantry.” In past years, Beach Pride representatives would email various campus organizations to bring their own cans for the event, but decided to change
As hate speech continues to be a hot topic on campus, Associated Students Inc. moved to pass a new resolution which will take a formal stand against hate crimes. The first reading of resolution “ASI Stands” passed 20-0-2 and serves to fight against hate crimes on campus. According to Chair Sofia Musman, the senate created the resolution as a response to recent racial vandalism and hate speech occurrences at the university. “Given all of the incidents that have been happening on campus about certain communities being targeted with posters being posted around campus, or messages in bathroom stalls or Facebook direct targeting, we decided to take a formal stand on this issue,” Musman said. As senators spoke out about certain revisions or issues of the first reading, Senator Ian Macdonald was opposed to the use of hate speech in the resolution and claimed that the resolution is trying to define hate speech. “Although there is a dictionary definition of hate speech under the laws and the constitution of our country, there is technically no hate speech,” Macdonald said. “I don’t think this senate should be involved in trying to define hate speech, but if we have targeted threats and people
Associated Students, Inc. transitioned from selling plastic water bottles to reusable water bottles that are now available to purchase at all ASI vendor locations including, the Games Center, University Student Union Information and Ticket Center and the Candy Corner. These reusable bottles will cost $2 and $15, the difference between the two being quality, offering both a high-end and an inexpensive option to students. Students will have the choice of choosing between two different water bottles, a CSULB-themed black or yellow bottle with the school’s logo printed on it. ASI began planning to phase out disposable water bottles and replace them with reusable bottles last year, and chair of the University Student Union board Brian Sath said he hopes it will have a positive impact on the environment and campus community. “Essentially, we won’t be making much off of this but any profit we make, we want to put it towards our ASI Beach Pantry,” Sath said. “We want to serve our students as best we can.” The ASI Beach Pantry offers non-perishable food to aid students who experience food insecurity numerous times a week. The first step was cleaning their shelves of all disposable plastic water bottles, such as