Students grabbed coffee and talked with Associated Student Inc. executive candidates Wednesday to receive information for the upcoming senate election.
The two candidates running for vice president and the two running for president invited students to come forward with questions about ASI government and what each representative will offer for Long Beach State during the 2019-20 academic year.
“Running has been amazing,” said Justin Contreras, a vice presidential candidate. “We’ve been able to talk to a lot of different groups of students on campus. They’ve been giving us a lot of good ideas and things we can work on once we become elected. It’s been an amazing experience connecting with the student body.”
Contreras is running against current Vice President Leen Almahdi.
“Some things that we look to continue to work on of course is bringing the aspect of diversity,” Almahdi said. “As you all know we are going through the process to disassociate from our former mascot Prospector Pete, and I’m really proud to be one of the folks that offered that resolution got that process started.”
President Genesis Jara is running for reelection against Lizbeth Velasquez.
“We are making sure that we are always advocating for students of underrepresented communities,” Jara said. “Those students are the ones that face more systematic barriers that can impede on their student success, but also their holistic wellness and we want to make sure that we are always advocating and not only that, but that we are being represented in student government of the student demographics that we have here on campus.”
Jara said the level of experience is what differs between herself and Velasquez.
Jara and Velasquez are running against each other and both have different goals.
“The difference between me and the current ASI president is that we are running on different goals,” Velasquez said. “Our goal right now is that we are talking about food insecurity and the different ways we can address that within the campus. Also talking about textbook affordability and financial aid while keeping the tuition at the same.”
Omar Prudencio Gonzalez, Senator at-large, said this event is important because ASI wants students to be civically engaged on campus.
“We want students to become aware of the issues that affect them and their student leaders and their students,” Gonzalez said. “And this is important because as students, ASI determines where a lot of the money and the budget from their ASI funds go to.”
Coffee with the Candidates will continue Thursday outside the 49er Shops Bookstore from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.