For current Associated Students Inc. Vice President Leen Almahdi, running to retain her office is a matter of finishing the work she has started and helping ASI’s new executive director transition into their role.
Almahdi’s platform revolves around introducing and expanding existing services to address a variety of student needs. To do this, Almahdi wants to work on improving accessibility to the campus and its programs.
To help students seeking Counseling and Psychological Services, Almahdi said she would like to develop a peer-mentor program in which master of arts psychology students would work with other students to give them similar aid to that which CAPS would provide.
“There’s an increased need for our mental health resources on campus, especially with CAPS,” Almahdi said. “So something that we are doing on the statewide level is [advocating] for more psychologists and counselors to be within our institutions to decrease that wait time.”
Almahdi would also like to develop a system which will allow people of varying mobility to travel across campus. Almahdi cited the size of the campus and the amount of construction as barriers for individuals with different accessibility needs. To address this, Almahdi wants to introduce a system where Community Service Officers would be available to escort students around campus in the morning.
“It’ll be the same [existing] system but it’ll [also] be utilized in the morning similar to our shuttle system,” Almahdi said.
In an effort to make classrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Almahdi wants new purchases of desks separate from chairs. Desks currently used in classes have the chairs attached to them, which Almahdi believes can restrict the ability to accomodate for all students’ needs. In addition to this, the current vice president would like to make textbooks more affordable for all students.
“We have issues with college affordability [and] if textbooks are [costing] hundreds of dollars, it’s really doing a disservice to students,” Almahdi said.
To alleviate expenses for students, Almahdi plans to advocate for state-funded financial aid to cover non-tuition costs and summer semester courses. She also wants to use student government legislation to increase the amount of textbooks available via the Day One Digital Access program, which provides digital versions of books at a reduced price.
A long term goal of Almahdi’s is to have more classes offered at night and on weekends to accommodate schedules for parents, older students and those working full-time jobs.
“This would also help alleviate parking issues because if we have more students showing up at different pockets of the day… we’ll have more parking freed up for people,” Almahdi said.