Issac Julian takes over as the new president of Associated Students, Inc. this June as the former president, Jesus Gonzalez, graduates from Long Beach State with a sociology major and political science minor.
Julian, a double major in political science and English composition, said his motivation to run for ASI president was the hope of repairing the communication barrier between students and faculty.
“In my role as an academic affairs officer, I was able to do just that,” Julian said. “I was able to keep students in the loop on what was going on in the academic side, as well as keeping faculty up to date with what students wanted.”
Gonzalez worked with Julian last year to campaign against the plus/minus grading system that was proposed at CSULB.
“That was a tough campaign,” Gonzalez said. “[Julian] took a majority of the lead.”
For the campaign, Julian created a survey for students to voice their opinion on the proposal. Gonzalez said they received around 9,000 responses from students, the biggest response ASI had seen at CSULB, with a majority vote against the plus/minus grading system.
During Gonzalez’s term, the former president also proposed Grocery Assistance under the Basic Needs Program with CalFresh. This resource assists in eliminating food insecurity barriers for qualified students and international students on campus.
“Students are able to use this fund for purchasing food. Some of the benefits are that they are able to get up to $200 a month,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said this proposal was a response to his personal experience of being denied access to CalFresh because of his undocumented status.
“We’re going to be the first CSU to have this program available in the 23 universities,” Gonzalez said. “I hope I can continue inspiring other CSUs to develop more additional programming.”
Gonzalez said his favorite memory during his term was at the 2021 Convocation, an annual celebration for CSULB faculty and staff before the start of the academic school year, where he made his first public speech.
“It’s the best event because I was able to introduce myself to the community,” Gonzalez said. “I was able to speak not just to the student body but to the whole university.”
He hopes other undocumented students use him as an example to pursue their college education, despite the struggles and challenges.
“When you’re interested in college, research on the community, research how many students are undocumented… You don’t have to disclose your status,” Gonzalez said. “It’s up to you because it’s who you are, it’s doable.”