Newly elected Associated Students’ President, Sevag Alexanian, and Vice President, Kenya Lopez, intend to promote, outreach and address a wide range of student issues in the coming school year.
Now that they have won this year’s A.S. election, four “pillars” will serve as the focus of the two student leaders’ upcoming policies and proposals: campus life, advocacy, sustainability and communication.
Alexanian and Lopez have been listening directly to students’ concerns since they were elected to student government last year. They played active roles in the 100-Day Initiative proposed during president Reyes’s 2015-2016 candidacy. The program sent A.S. representatives on over 120 classroom visits to find out what changes students wanted to see on campus. It was also an opportunity to remind students of the resources and opportunities A.S. could offer.
“For the first time in a number of years our finance committee, sustainability committee and actual senate are full,”Alexanian said. “The members applying for these positions said the 100-day initiative helped them know about these positions and make a change on campus.”
Alexanian and Lopez intend to expand the program. They plan to make presentations to 100 clubs and student organizations in addition to 100 classrooms.
Alexanian also hopes to build upon the mobile bike shop he and former President Reyes campaigned for last year. Alexanian and Lopez propose offering bike rentals from the moving repair shop to encourage cycling as an alternative to driving. Alexanian hopes the program will reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
President Alexanian and Vice President Lopez will also continue to support CSUN’s “Brown is the new green” water-saving campaign, and recycling efforts throughout campus.
During their last terms in office as A.S. Vice President and Lower Division Senator, respectively, Alexanian and Lopez supported the relocation of the AB540, or DREAM center. It was moved from an undersized location in Santa Susanna Hall, to the space vacated by the wellness Center at the University Student Union. Alexanian said the change doubled or tripled the program’s operating space. According to him and Lopez, more undocumented residents attend classes at CSUN than at any other campus in California.
Lopez knows from firsthand experience about the difficulties undocumented students struggle with. She had to stumble through the specialized financial aid process for DREAM applicants without assistance. Lopez wrote part of the motion to augment the DREAM center, and believes the work done there provides valuable guidance, piece of mind and dignity to many undocumented students like her.
She and Alexanian also plan to advocate for student’s interests on broader topics. In March they traveled to Sacramento to lobby for increased funding for the University. Alexanian said that efforts to procure money for the University have become critical since the bill that has frozen student tuition since 2012, proposition 30, will expire in just a few years.
Alexanian and Lopez want to offer legal advice to CSUN students for any issue they might encounter. They propose establishing a legal clinic that would make arrangements with attorneys to provide services to CSUN students at a subsidized rate.
The President and Vice President elect intend to keep the concerns of all Matadors in mind in all matters. Whether the issue relates to the provision of basic needs like better walkway lighting, or complex topics like state funding, the two leaders will work to make sure the students’ voice is heard.
“We are advocates for the students,” Alexanian said.