By: Brandon Nakao and Melanie Rodriguez
Isaac Julian, who served as the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Academic Affairs Officer and Senator-At-Large, was recently elected ASI president in the 2022 elections on March 17.
49er: How do you feel after becoming elected ASI President? Did you celebrate?
When I heard that I had won, I was overwhelmed with feelings of excitement and happiness. I feel honored and privileged to have been selected by the student body to represent them. I celebrated that same day with my family, and the next day with some of my friends.
49er: What are going to be your main priorities as ASI President?
I want every student to feel welcome and immerse themselves in the different opportunities the campus has to offer. I will work towards this by focusing on three main priorities.
The first is improving communication between the student body and the University administration. I will work towards creating more transparency between students and administration here on campus.
Second, I want to expand on the resources that are offered on campus. I want to make sure that every student is aware of the mental health and basic needs resources offered and ensure that they have access to them if needed.
Lastly, I want to create a more equitable environment by promoting diversity in leadership. I believe that having individuals with different backgrounds offers a perspective that is essential in making things more equitable across the university.
49er: How are you going to leverage your experience as an ASI senator?
Being an ASI Senator has taught me various things. I learned how to network with both students and faculty, while also starting projects that benefit the entire student body. Having built a connection with various members of administration over the last two years, they know that I will make sure that the student perspective is heard.
Holding the position of senator has also taught me how essential it is to advocate on behalf of the student body. I was elected to represent my constituents and, having served as both a senator and as the Academic Affairs Officer last year, I can state with confidence that I will use what I have learned to better the community.
I am currently working on a collaboration with Housing and the Dream Success Center, in which we aim to provide more opportunities for AB540 and undocumented students. Overall, I believe that actions speak louder than a thousand words, and I have advocated and completed numerous projects that have benefited the entire student body.
Diamond Byrd, who serves as the Social Chair Director of the Black Business Student Associate and the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, was elected ASI Executive Vice President.
49er: Now that you’ve been elected ASI Executive Vice President, how do you feel? Were you able to celebrate?
I have not been able to celebrate yet, but I’m starting to feel very excited, especially because I may be the first-ever Black female EVP. That is incredible! I wouldn’t even know what to say besides ‘Wow, look at me.’
49er: You have served as the Social Chair Director of the Black Business Student Associate and the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs. What is the greatest skill or asset that you’ve acquired from your experiences that you can leverage as the ASI Executive Vice President?
The greatest skill I have been developing throughout my time in these roles is learning how to be a part of a team. I’m really big on mentorship and learning from others because, as a first-generation college student, I have experienced many challenges navigating higher education.
With BBSA and ASI, I have learned how to navigate these positions by asking questions, being okay with being uncomfortable, and how to use my identity and experiences to guide the work I am passionate about. These are the same skills I will use to guide and navigate my experience as the EVP.
49er: What issues do you want to focus on as ASI Executive Vice President?
I want to focus on the voices and experiences of students who often go unheard because of their underrepresentation– like graduates, African Americans, systems impacted, and other empowered communities.
I also want to focus on tuition, accessibility, and improving student success outcomes.
Mitali Jain, who served as Chair on the University Student Union (USU) Board of Trustees, was elected Vice President of Finance.
49er: How does it feel to be elected ASI Vice President of Finance?
I feel very honored to be elected as ASI Vice President of Finance and I am very excited about my term. I am looking forward to serving students and working with them.
49er: What are the main goals you hope to achieve as ASI Vice President of Finance?
There are three types of funds: the travel fund, the research fund, and the fund for clubs and organizations on campus.
I want to work towards spreading more awareness that these funds are available to students. I hope to collaborate with Southland Credit Union to bring more financial literacy workshops to students on a wide variety of topics like loans, credit/debit cards, etc.
I want to advocate for more mental health resources on campus and work with the Beach Pantry to combat food insecurity.
49er: Having served as Chair of the USU Board of Trustees, what are some policies or issues you hope to change on campus?
Being responsible for a $17 million budget, I was able to get Southland Credit Union on the campus. I am planning on collaborating with them and bringing financial literacy workshops for students. Students can learn about how to manage their finances, learn about credit card/debit card, stocks and investing.
I would like to bring more food options on campus that will also have a wide variety of diets like vegan, vegetarians, etc. Along with my board, I recently got Subway to open.
I also want to revise the transparency laws, so students are aware of what’s going on on-campus and see where their money is being used.
As a woman of color who was uncomfortable on campus, I am a big advocate for women’s safety on campus and want to work with the university on introducing some programs that will be focused on women’s safety.