Your not-so-average-Joe

It’s no secret that being involved with Associated Students, Inc. can be a time consuming endeavor, but the Beach’s newest vice president-elect makes sure to balance his academic and social calendar with an off-campus life.

When Joe Nino isn’t at Cal State Long Beach, which is most of the time, he tries to lead a healthy lifestyle; he’s a kinesiology major after all. A big factor that lead to this decision is that he grew up with Crohn’s Disease, a chronic inflammation of the intestines. The condition affects the stomach in such a way that a good diet and fitness are necessary. Nino wanted to find alternative ways to make him feel better, which is where health and fitness became a huge part of his life.

He hopes to teach the subject or become a counselor when he earns his degree in kinesiology.

“I wanted to just not experience it, but I wanted to study it and help people with [health and fitness],” Nino said.

One of the things Nino does to stay active is play on his softball team sponsored by Bradley Bounce and Air Zone. His group of friends have been playing on this team for the last seven years and have played in other states including Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

“[I keep playing] because it’s self-care for myself and keeps me active,” Nino said.

Nino is a transfer student from Cerritos College, where he was the vice president of the Associated Students of Cerritos College student government. He had left school for seven years due to his health issues. When he was able to gain control of his condition, he was ready to give school everything he had.

He always had a routine on campus: class, library and home. He wasn’t very involved, until his longtime friend and newly elected ASI president, Daniel Gomez, came to him and told him about an opportunity to join an honor society with his good grades.

“Suddenly, one thing lead to another and I went into student government, it was hard to say no, and I was seeing the bigger picture for education for students and myself,” Nino said.  

When he came to Cal State Long Beach in 2015, he says he instantly wanted to join student government and then ran for and became a senator of the College of Health and Human Services. He then realized he wanted to run for the higher position of vice president, knowing he could make more of a difference in the student government.

“[As a senator] I do a lot and a vice president can make more of a difference. Even though it’s a little different, I did do this before at Cerritos College,” Nino said.

Even though it was never Nino’s plan to go into student government, he says it has open multiple doors for him and he wants to encourage students throughout CSULB to be more involved.

“I think that [being] involved helps you know what’s going on not only on your campus, but [also know what’s in a statewide level,” Nino said. “Students need to know their power as students, and the things that are going on with state and federal level.”

He says he wanted to join ASI to make a difference by making the student government more transparent and focused on students. He wants to try to bring in $10,000 worth of scholarships for undocumented students and international students.

“I want to make sure we can provide a safe space for students and what they need to get an education,” Nino said.

As Nino decided he wanted to run for vice president, he knew he had to reach out to students all over campus and get his message out. He knew earning a higher position would help make more of a difference to the campus.

“I talked to a lot of people [around campus], [I didn’t] want to do use just social media, people might see things, but not pay attention,” Nino said. “We were also given permission from different professors to talk to classrooms.”

A friend of Nino’s and mechanical engineering student, Jordan Doering, said that Nino is not afraid to ask questions when something is not up to proper standards — however, he does it in a tactful manner where “it doesn’t feel as if he’s going after you,” Doering said. He believes Nino is a great fit for vice president because of his experience from Cerritos and the work he already does in student government. Nino is someone who believes in successful education for all students, he said.

“Joe is a very motivated and healthy guy, [he’s] doing what’s best for the students and putting them first no matter what. He’s [probably] been fighting for students even before I was in college,” Doering said.

The new ASI executives will begin their term on June 1.

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