Q&A with Associated Students President and Vice President

Kristopher A. Fortin

Abel Pacheco
As higher fees are prompting more requests for help within student clubs, Pacheco defines help in two ways, "either I can do it for you, or I can give you the tools to do it for yourselves." Photo Credit: Caitlin McCarrick / Staff Photographer

What is Associated Students (A.S.) introducing this academic year for the first time to the CSUN community?

There’s going to be the CSUN gear trade-in program where students are going to be allowed in a short timeframe to donate their gear of other campuses, like USC and UCLA, for a voucher. They can trade the voucher in at the bookstore for equivalent CSUN gear. The clothes that are collected will be donated to MEND (Meet Each Need With Dignity).

Can you describe the relationship A.S. shares with CSUN administration?

We’re making it a lot better than many years in the past. We both recognize the need for it this year. It’s one of my goals in my administration to have respectful dialogue between Associated Students and the CSUN administration.

Do you see your cabinet and administration as apart of a single cohesive unit or as separate entities?

To me, it’s a team effort. Quite honestly I’m just the captain of the team. They’re all very intelligent, and independent-minded individuals with great ideas.

What is your biggest priority in putting on the Big Show, especially during this state budget crisis?

Because this will be our last Big Show for quite some time, we want to make sure that this is a Big Show that students can enjoy. That’s much more student focused, that provides an opportunity for clubs and organizations to fundraise. And at the same time, we can ensure we do our best to find as many savings as possible in putting on this program.

How can students get into direct contact with A.S. representatives?

This semester, we are going to be starting a comments, questions and concerns box outside my office and the office of the vice president. In our A.S. notes, we are going to be publishing the office hours of the senators. We are also going to be posting the hours of the directors and senators inside the office, inside the lobby.

Conor Landsdale
AS Vice President Conor Lansdale takes a break from his summer classes and diligently attends to some e-mails on Friday, August 14th. Photo Credit: Caitlin McCarrick / Staff Photographer

What have you accomplished thus far and what is the most daunting goal you have yet to reach?

We were able to get the university scholarship increased by 10 percent. The most daunting is to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.

How are you deciding what programs and services will be cut due to the statewide budget cuts?

We’re trying not to cut anything. We’re trying to collaborate with other campus entities. If it’s a club or organization on campus, one of the main criteria is that you use all funds to its fullest.

What’s the bare minimum to make the event happen? That’s the criteria.

What efforts is AS launching this academic year to raise awareness of A.S. among CSUN students?

Trying to do a lot of electronic and viral marketing to students. There’s a huge push in collaborating with campus entities. We’re contacting all of these bodies, student bodies, housing and athletics. We’re making sure we are on the major hot spots on campus. We’re just trying to reach out to the departments.

What is A.S. introducing this academic year for the first time to the CSUN community?

Environmental Affairs Committee. It’s been in the books for a while, but previous administrations didn’t fill the seats. They left it vacant and this year we chose to use it.

What is your biggest priority in putting on the Big Show, especially during this state budget crisis?

Making it cost effective. We’re negotiating a lot more aggressively for performing acts and we are searching for more local participation. We’re trying to get bands from the Northridge, San Fernando Valley area. We’re looking for those people.