Just a few weeks ago, Daniel Gomez served as a senator at-large for Associated Students, Inc. Following the election results in March, Gomez will bring his passion to serving students to the executive level as the new ASI President at Cal State Long Beach in June.
Gomez is a transfer student from Cerritos College and is now in his senior year, pursuing a major in Communication Studies and a minor in Public Administration. But, it was at community college where he began his work in student government.
At Cerritos College, he was a kinesiology major and later worked as the school’s commissioner of athletics. Gomez said that serving as commissioner was the start to his career in student involvement.
“A lot of what I did was attend athletic events and help budget the athletic programs.” Gomez said.
Gomez then moved on to work in the Cerritos College Public Affairs office and in the Transfer Associate of the Arts program.
The AA-T program is for students who wish to transfer from a community college to a CSU and students who complete the program are given confirmed admission to a university in California.
Before transferring to CSULB, Gomez continued his work in the Public Affairs office at Cerritos College and as a senator for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.
His work for the SSCCC was where he found the inspiration to serve students further. Gomez worked with 13 other community colleges in Sacramento during the “March in March” to advocate for and against legislative bills that affect students statewide.
“That was the catalyst for me, I discovered that I had the ability to advocate, that this is something that I care about a lot,” Gomez said.
Gomez is also a father, and says he wants to make changes in student government now so that his son has a stable future when he begins college. But while Gomez is in college, he says still needs help balancing his responsibilities as a student and as a member of ASI.
“If it were not for my mom and my girlfriend, there is no way I would be able to balance everything going on in my life,” Gomez said.
Gomez also takes his son to events that he works on to introduce him to what he does when he’s away from home.
“I try to bring my son to some of the things that I do,” Gomez said. “All my son has ever known is me in school, so we tend to do homework together when we can.”
With the experience Gomez gained in student government in community college, he joined ASI to continue his advocacy for the campus community.
Gomez had the experience, but his drive to serve students came from after the controversial campus incident in which a student brandished a knife in class which later started an investigation by the University Police Department and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“I felt that it was an opportunity to help in any way I could,” he said.
Since the incident, Gomez said he was propelled in his mission to serve the students. He tried serving students with his work on several resolutions, one being a proposal to provide feminine hygiene products in the restrooms.
Gomez also worked with another group of senators to support CSULB becoming a sanctuary campus. The day after the 2016 presidential election, Gomez met with the La Raza Student Association, a Latinx cultural group, to discuss the possible effects of the Trump presidency.
“I spent part of the day at the Raza Center where we spoke about how the election would affect us and our families,” Gomez said.
The following week, Gomez and student senators in ASI began their proposal on the Sanctuary Campus Resolution.
Gomez also served on the team to fight the current tuition increase by proposing the Opposing Payment Peaks Act. This act was ordered to prevent rises in tuition for students. However, the CSU Board of Trustees later voted to raise tuition despite the work ASI has done with Board of Trustees members, the Students for Quality Education and state legislators to prevent the increase.
“A lot of the collaboration that took place was between ASI and SQE, I really thought we were going to win,” Gomez said. Despite efforts by students, the Board of Trustees vote resulted in the tuition increase taking effect this fall semester.
Gomez will be begin his term as president this June, he and the rest of ASI have tuition as their top priority to ensure that financially insecure students can continue to attend CSULB.
“Part of our goal is to figure out a way to find long term sustainable funding,” Gomez said. “The ultimate goal is to offer free tuition because I don’t want my son to have to worry about tuition.”
As ASI President, Gomez said he wants to handle more than just tuition, he plans to work with ASI in its entirety to relieve student fees, improve campus infrastructure and collaborate more with student and cultural groups on campus to be more proactive in serving and advocating for students.