Free time is nonexistent for newly elected Associated Students, Inc. treasurer Jonathan Wanless. Balancing a schedule consisting of classes, an internship, ASI obligations and club meetings is hard enough – but trying to add in a normal social life is the real struggle.
Wanless, a junior communication studies major with a minor in human resource management, is a transfer student from Hartnell Community College in Salinas. While there, he was first the treasurer, then president, of the Veterans Club. After transferring to The Beach last January, Wanless became the treasurer for Students Communication Association; last fall, he became the Senator for the College of Liberal Arts.
A big factor that led to Wanless being so involved and making a difference wherever he can is the Coast Guard. Wanless didn’t know what he wanted to do after he graduated high school, so he enlisted at 18 years old. He moved away from his hometown and was stationed in San Diego for two years.
Being in the Coast Guard shaped his discipline and made him realize what’s important in life, he says. He grew as a person and became more compassionate for people and what they have to go through.
This has also led him to recently join the Pacific Island Association and La Raza club at CSULB. Wanless uses any platform he has to bring awareness to issues people face in their daily lives.
“Before [the Coast Guard] I didn’t think about anything too much, but coming to The Beach and joining La Raza club and PIA has made me more compassionate about every single person I meet and [has helped me with] putting faces to actual situations and problems we hear about,” Wanless said.
Growing up an only child, Wanless always strove to be sociable and interact with his outside community. This led Wanless to have a deep interest in community service. He works with his internship and volunteers his time participating in food and clothing drives for the less fortunate. He has worked with his internship in providing for the needy and helping the community.
“Community involvement has led me to my involvement with school,” Wanless said. “Before I got involved [with ASI], I didn’t have much affiliation with school. I just moved here so I would go to class and go home. I got involved and started meeting a lot of people and developed a strong connection with school, and now I don’t want to leave,” he added. Wanless believes that ASI helped him develop a connection to The Beach that helped him create his own personal community.
“I met Jon last year and got to know him really well, he took me by surprise because he is very funny and easy going – in his spare time he raps and he really lightens the mood,” said ASI Vice President-elect Joseph Nino. “I didn’t know he would be as involved with student government as he has been able to. From the short time I’ve known him he’s become one of the most active senators and volunteers his time for anything that comes his way.”
Nino adds, “Right when he got elected in his senator position, he got involved and quickly picked up on everything and made many accomplishments. He has a willingness to learn new things and he makes time for everyone, he doesn’t say no to people and always lends a helping hand.”
As treasurer-elect, Wanless said he strives to handle those tasks the best to his ability and continue being a motivated college student not only in his academic studies, but also his social and communal endeavors. He plans on staying in Long Beach once he graduates and continuing his career path in human resources. The newly elected ASI members take office June 1.