For the 2017-18 Associated Student, Inc. elections, candidates are doing everything from reaching students directly through events like Coffee with the Candidates to posting signs around campus to get students to vote.
President, vice president and treasurer are the main executive positions.
The president acts as the official representative of Associated Students and supervises the ASI Executive Branch’s activities.
A main job of the vice president is to oversee ASI Senate, which conducts legislation and levies concerns in line with the voice of students.
ASI’s finances are administered and handled by the treasurer.
Here’s what you need to know about the candidates:
Daniel Gomez is a senior in Communications Studies minoring in Public Administration who transferred to CSULB from Cerritos College in Norwalk. He is a single father raising his son and says he is proud of his time at community college and hopes to one day give back to the community college system.
Currently a Senator At-Large for ASI, Gomez says he wants to take the current administration’s ideas and continue to expand upon them. For Gomez, this includes continuing to build relationships with cultural organizations on campus, fighting to create a sanctuary campus as well as standing against the proposed tuition increase. A returning student with familial responsibilities on his plate, Gomez says that he found his passion for student governance only fairly recently, but is very passionate about the process.
“I didn’t really get involved until I was 25, 26 years old, not too long ago,” Gomez said. “When I found a calling for student advocacy I had a purpose to go to school beyond just providing for my son’s future. I had a purpose for serving students for once. In my role, we would be enacting programs and addressing the needs of students. Our job is to make sure their needs are met.”
Dale Lendrum – #WeGotchu slate
Dale Lendrum, a second-year communication studies graduate student, is currently the Secretary of System Wide Affairs. Lendrum’s long-term goals are focused on the sustainability of the California State University system. He says he wants to keep tuition and fees from going up and has been combatting the tuition increase already in his current position.
“We still haven’t recovered from the recent recession that saw tuition and fees go up 280 percent in six years,” Lendrum said at the Coffee with the Candidates event Wednesday. “Our students already paid more than half the cost of their education, but they shouldn’t be paying anything.”
Another goal Lendrum wants to pursue is ensuring students receive a quality education. He wants to establish more course availability during the winter and summer intersessions to make sure students can graduate on a timely manner without being weighed down by too many units.
“The quality of [students’] education suffers when they have to take so many units in such a short amount of time,” Lendrum said. “We need to find a way for students to use their financial aid to attend winter, May or summer intersession … so that they can come out with a more well-rounded education and retain what they’re learning.
Vice President Candidates
Kenia Duarte – #WeGotchu slate
In line with Lendrum’s policies, Kenia Duarte, a first-year public policy and administration graduate student, advocates to fight the tuition increase and make more courses available to students. She also wants to try to get more Counseling and Psychological Services opportunities for students and wants to restore food and drink funding for organizations.
“CAPS counseling is crucial, as a lot of students need that right now,” Duarte said. “As far as organizations go, we want to bring drinks and snacks during the meetings to have a fun and safe environment for everybody. It’s the students’ money and we’re trying to give back to them.”
Duarte says she is looking to serve everybody and not take preferential treatment toward ethnic groups or specialty clubs on campus. Part of that service is to create more scholarships for all students.
“Free money is always a good thing, and my thing is to serve every student,” Duarte said. “I am undocumented, but I’m not interested in serving just the undocumented community. I want to serve the Muslim community, the Asian community, the queer community, all of them. Everybody should have an equal platform.”
Joe Nino – Moving Forward Together slate
Joe Nino is a senior kinesiology major who originally transferred to CSULB from Cerritos College in Norwalk. An older student, Nino has battled Crohn’s disease, which he says has delayed his education somewhat but has never been able to stop him as he prepares to apply for a graduate program next year.
Nino says that he developed his love of advocacy at Cerritos and is currently an ASI senator for the College of Health and Human Services. Nino said he is proud of his record at ASI and working as a representative for students in his major at CSULB, and worked to add new classes to the department.
“As Vice President, I will be the chair of the senate,” Nino said. “We can push forward together a policy agenda that reflects our students’ needs. Fighting against our potential tuition increase … that’s something I can put on the agenda and we can actually get things done. I’ll also be a part of the executive team to work with our budget to make sure our students aren’t paying extra fees that they don’t need to.”
Alan Parkes is a third-year graduate student who is studying history. In 2011, Parkes began working for ASI and has held various positions since. He has served as a Building Manager at CSULB and Cal Poly Pomona, and has been a part of events staff at Cal Poly Pomona. Parkes believes that his time as ASI janitor is what best exemplifies his ability to serve the students of CSULB.
“I think I’ve held the broadest array of positions that serve students’ interests,” Parkes said.
Parkes said that promoting the interests of students should be inclusive and that CSULB should be a sanctuary campus. He said that it is important to expand environmental initiatives such as composting and alternative transportation forms, as well as creating more job opportunities and funding opportunities for students when faced with fees and tuition increases.
“ASI needs to provide opportunities for student groups and organizations that promote the interests of students,” Parkes said. “I also want to provide a platform for as many students as possible through prompting ASI government to both become more involved in student affairs and fund events that challenge seeming prevailing conservative ideals outside our campus that threaten our students.”
Samuel Kim is a Senior Business Management student running for treasurer. Currently the Vice Treasurer for ASI, Kim says his goal is to keep students informed on where their money is being allocated. He wants to ensure there is a transparency and balance as to which clubs are getting the most money and what’s being done with students’ money.
As a treasurer, Kim says he promises to make sure the facilities are working.
“As more students come, we need bigger buildings and we need to fix buildings that begin to depreciate,” Kim said. “It’s hard to inform students when there’s 35,000 students to reach out to. I don’t even have that many friends on Facebook. But if I get elected, I’ll be at the University Student Union office available to anyone who needs help.”
Edgar Morales – #WeGotchu slate
Edgar Morales is a junior accounting major who recently transferred to CSULB from Santa Monica College. Morales was the president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at SMC in 2016. As the PTK president, Morales says he worked with the school’s student government and Board of Trustees.
Morales says he shares a deep understanding with undocumented students as many of his relatives are potentially at risk for deportation. He also has prepared himself for a busy year if elected, and said he knows the office of treasurer can burn out students who are unprepared. For Morales, homelessness is a big issue, and he favors student community-based solutions.
“With the growing issue of gentrification, with the growing issues of tuition increases . . . students are feeling like they’re in it alone,” Morales said at a candidate forum Thursday. “What does mean for developing community equity, students for students? As student representatives, if elected, we try to find every measure of action before saying we don’t have the funds for something. How can students be directly involved in acting on their principles?”
Jonathan Wanless – Moving Forward Together slate
Jonathan Wanless is junior majoring in communications studies with a minor in human resource management who transferred to CSULB from Hartnell College in Monterey Bay. Currently Wanless is an ASI Senator for the College of Liberal Arts.
Wanless wants to make sure to find funding for international and undocumented students, who he feels are often forgotten. As treasurer, Wanless said he knows that there’s a lot of responsibility in handling the roughly $8 million operating budget for ASI, and hopes to add more transparency regarding student fees.
“All these people pay these fees into the budget and they don’t know where it’s going,” Wanless said. “Sometimes as a senator, even I don’t know where [the money] is going, and that’s a problem that I want to address.”
*Carlos Villacana contributed to this story