List of Associated Students candidates

Jorge Reyes: President

Hi Matadors,

My name is Jorge Reyes and I am running to be your next Associated Students President. I am a senior studying journalism with an emphasis in broadcast news and a minor in Spanish language journalism and recreation management. I have been involved in Associated Students since my freshman year. I have served as a Producer for AS Productions and a senator for the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication and I currently serve as the AS chief of staff. Through my positions, I have been able to appreciate and represent the diverse groups of students and faculty we have on our campus and I have seen what areas we can improve on as a whole. I have had the pleasure of advocating on behalf of the student body here at CSUN, as well as for the California State University system.

As a senator, I played an integral role in the commencement committee, where I advocated for what students wanted in regards to the possible commencement changes that could have taken place. As the current chief of staff, I supervise the AS president’s cabinet and educate the campus about the various programs and services Associated Students has to offer. As a student leader, I have been active in other campus organizations like the New Student Orientation Program, Matador Camp, Radio Television Digital News Association and the Greek Community, which helped diversify my college experience.

I have the passion, the drive and the determination to represent you as your next AS President. Under our four pillars of Communication, Opportunity, Sustainability, and Campus Experience we plan on implementing changes that students would like to see at CSUN and keep on strengthening our campus.


 

 

Lucas Fehring: President

I am running for AS President primarily because I am frustrated by the lack of attention AS has been paying to the terrible parking situation on campus. As a sustainability minor, I am deeply concerned for the future generations who will attend CSUN and would like to make sure they never have to miss a class or risk getting an expensive parking ticket by parking somewhere they shouldn’t because they can’t find parking on our campus. I have also tried to work with AS for one year as a member of the AS Sustainability Committee and have found the lack of financial transparency, internal organization problems and perceived prioritization of PR, spirit events, and entertainment over education a serious problem. I have been acting as a volunteer research assistant for the Institute of Sustainability and the Transportation Working Group looking for ways to improve the campus’s infrastructure and parking situation and have had a plan that would cost no more than $15 thousand to reduce parking congestion. Reducing parking congestion is my first priority, but my other goals are as follows: I seek to increase water conservation efforts by working with PPM to implement bio-cubes and dual-flush toilets in our campus restrooms that will save water and generate profit for the university in the form of massive LADWP rebates. I want to increase AS scholarship funding by $50 thousand so that the scholarship funds, which have remained stagnant for the last 5 years, increase proportionately with our campus population, which has increased substantially. Last but not least, the AS Productions budget went from being a total of $70 thousand in 2010-11 to $419 thousand this year. Big Show went from costing $20 thousand to costing $200 thousand. I believe spending on events like these is unacceptable when there are many departments on campus that aren’t having their basic needs met. I want to reduce (not eliminate) the funding for AS Productions events to a level that reflects the amount of students they benefit and make sure that funds for upgrades to labs and department equipment is increased so we all get the best education possible.

Q&A

How do you plan to tackle the issues we’re having with hazing?

Currently the university has a very strict no-hazing policy. Beyond that AS is not an enforcer of policies, it merely creates them. I would keep the policy right where it’s at, a strict no-hazing rule.

What is your plan to aid in the efforts to prevent sexual assault?

As far as I know, there is also a strict no sexual assault policy. AS can’t do anything beyond work with police services and give support that way. Ultimately, preventing sexual assault falls under the jurisdiction of police services.

With the recent issues surrounding our fraternities on campus, do you plan to allocate funds to fraternity groups or even sorority groups? If yes, how do you do this in a way where you are not condoning bad behavior, like hazing?

Frankly, I believe that sororities and fraternities are innocent until proven guilty. It is not the role of AS to play the role of the police and do investigations into the fraternities, especially when a fraternity has had no prior record of hazing. Currently a moderate amount of funding is given to fraternities and sororities and it doesn’t make up a large portion of the AS budget. I would see that business as usual is kept with the fraternities, in that the recent goings-on with a student dying from a hazing incident didn’t affect them all, simply because a bad apple does not spoil the bunch. I don’t feel like all fraternities and sororities should be held responsible for the actions of one very irresponsible and amoral fraternity.

Describe the plans you wish to accomplish in your office and how you will implement them.

There are four main points to my party’s platform that I passionately want to accomplish. The first thing is I want to fix parking, that is the biggest most important issue on campus that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. The second thing is I want to help with water conservation efforts on campus. I’m Australian, I’m from the driest continent on the planet and I know of tons of water conserving technology that’s both cheap and efficient, it’ll save money and it’ll save water. I want to bring dual-flush toilets to campus, there are only a few used right now. I want to bring microbial cubes to the campus urinals that are about the size of sugar cubes that dissolve in a urinal over the course of a thousand uses. The bacteria in the cubes metabolise uric acid and the solids in urine. That decreases the maintenance costs on waterless urinals, and it can help transition urinals that do use water into waterless urinals simply by placing the cube in the urinal. We could essentially go 100 percent waterless with our urinals with this technology. We would stand to make probably around $150 thousand in LADWP refunds from the biocubes, that is not including what we could possibly bring in with dual-flush toilet technology. An in-depth financial analysis hasn’t been done with that yet. We would also see to it that we further the efforts getting rid of lawns on campus and replacing them with California natives. There are currently many plans under way, but they are moving slowly. Any lawns that aren’t currently being used for recreation would be turned into California native gardens, and any lawns that must be used for recreation, we should see if artificial turf is a plausible option. That is most of what I want to do with water conservation. Drip irrigation and other technologies could come later, I’m thinking realistically here about what I could accomplish in a year. We want to change the priorities of funding right now with AS. We want to put more emphasis on education and less emphasis on PR and entertainment. As far as a I know from reading the AS budgets that have been published for the last five or so years, in 2010 the total AS Productions budget was approximately $200 thousand, and the current AS Productions budget is $419 thousand and that increased by double. The scholarship levels for the last 5 years and possibly 10, I was trying to look back and find information, has remained between $125 thousand and $150 thousand and it has fluctuated rather randomly not based off of population. The fourth point is changing the priorities from PR to education, by that I mean, we have many locations on campus that have inadequate equipment. The CTVA department regularly doesn’t have good or adequate equipment when it comes to booms and sound equipment.

There are many pianos in the music department that have broken keys with their pianos, literally all the pianos in the practice room are out of tune, and that’s important for a music major. In Jacaranda Hall in the mechatronics lab, there is hand-me-down equipment from the 1980s which is about as relevant today as cassettes are to people who like to listen to music. These are the people who build our planes and cars and important machinery. They should be given good equipment, and there is no reason we can’t provide that to them when we’re spending $185 thousand to $200 thousand on Big Show. These are easy problems to fix just by allocating money to them. I would make it a goal as I’m in office to seek out any departments that have discrepancies with their equipment, or with departmental funding and see if AS could help in some way. Ultimately the first reason why we’re here is to learn, its not to have fun.

How will students benefit from your work in office?

Students will benefit greatly from my work in office primarily because I will try my absolute hardest to make sure every decision I make will benefit the maximum amount of people for the lowest cost. The way I see it, parking will be the quickest felt change, it will make a gigantic impact because then people won’t miss classes due to not being able to find a parking spot, there will be less emotional stress because parking is soul crushing when you’re trying to find it for 50 minutes, there will be less air pollution on campus, etc. The water conservation won’t be felt so much by the students, but is extremely important to the ecology of California. It is something that students will passively get to participate in. It will upgrade the infrastructure of the university. The upgrades to the labs and making sure our actual departments are functioning well, that will be the main way aside from parking that people will actually be able to benefit from my presidency in AS. I am going to try to work with the University Corporation in supplying funds and working out how to get deals going, so that if a lab is in fact under equipped, funds can be taken from AS and put into upgrading that lab just through a senate vote and an approval from the university without having to cut through government red tape.

How can you improve upon the achievements of your predecessor?

My predecessor Tiffany Zach had a number of achievements, the most notable being the Farmer’s Market. I would keep the Farmer’s Market right where it’s at, it’s a very well designed event, it took a very long time to put together. I, however, won’t be expanding the Farmer’s Market and I will seek to produce the AS Productions budget, not eliminate it, but reduce it to a level that isn’t so fiscally irresponsible and inflated. $200 thousand on a show is unacceptable, $20 thousand for each Final Flip event which occurs is far too high, the summer movie festival, which generally has a very low attendance takes $25 thousand of funding. I’m taking all of these numbers from the AS budget that is posted online. The James Franco lecture cost $35 thousand. The parking issue could be fixed with $15 thousand approximately, because the ridesharing software that we’re going to be pursuing to help fix the parking problem costs $7 thousand and some of the incentives that we would be providing to carpoolers would have a fiscal impact of roughly $7 thousand to $8 thousand immediately. The cost of that is very low when compared with AS Productions.

What experiences or education makes you qualified for this office?

I have one year of experience working with the Transportation Working Group which is a faculty group on campus that is tasked with managing and responding to all sorts of transportation related issues. During my time with this group, I spent four months putting together a plan with the head of the Institute of Sustainability Dr. Cox and a graduate student, Chelsea Turner, and the plan was very well researched and took a lot of time, I did it completely as a volunteer. The plan is put together and done, and it would hopefully reduce congestion to where everybody could have a parking spot. That’s my first qualification. I have spent one year working with the AS sustainability committee. I’ve participated in a large number of events on campus including America Recycles Day, Water Day and Ocean Day. This semester when I was working on getting biocubes implemented on campus, I managed to get a full proposal, a vendor and all the information I needed to have given to Physical Plant Management. I had a meeting with a faculty member from Physical Plant Management named Jason Wong, that went exceptionally well. We’re thinking that with the way things are going, we might actually have biocubes pretty soon. In the past I have gotten things done exceptionally quickly. Making change happen on this campus over the course of five weeks is very difficult. I feel that I managed to get the ball rolling faster than is generally done. I am a sustainability minor, I have lots of information about various things that can both economically, socially and environmentally make the campus sustainable for many future generations. I try to make that a focus in everything I do. I have also been researching AS and ways to help the university on the side somewhat as a hobby for the time I’ve been active.

How will you ensure that AS stays within its budget and provides adequate funding to organizations and clubs on campus next year?

I would keep funding for clubs and organizations right where it’s at, I would try and make sure that we’re not strict, but thorough in making sure that we don’t waste money or give money to clubs that are going to misuse it. That would simply be by having a detailed process when asking clubs what they plan to do with the money and keeping people financially accountable. I plan to make as much use of the LADWP refunds as possible for any water technology that is implemented due to AS. I would try to make sure that any time there is an increase in budget in something that we need, like better labs, you would take that money out of a source that was being underused or wastefully managed. Only one example being AS Productions. There are many other line items that could be reduced that are questionable.

What about the incident with the approval of planting roses during a drought?

I have heard about that. My opinion of that is that at best it’s irresponsible,;at worst, they’ve blatantly disregarded the drought. It’s not something that should be sensationalized, because relative to other sources of water waste on CSUN’s campus, those roses account for a very small percentage of it. While the majority of our water usage does in fact come from landscaping, the effect that those individual roses would have on the overall picture is insignificant. Reducing the amount of lawns we have and making sure that our restrooms are efficient as possible would make a difference on CSUN’s overall environmental impact.


 

Sevag Alexanian: Vice President

Hello Matadors,

My name is Sevag Alexanian and I am a sophomore majoring in business management. I’m running to be your next Associated Students’ Vice President. I’ve joined the Armenian Student Association, the New Student Orientation Team, and became a brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity throughout my time here at CSUN. In addition, I currently serve as your AS Lower Division Senator where I’ve served as a member of the AS Finance Committee, Chair of the External Affairs Committee, and have been appointed by President Harrison to serve as the voting member on the University Corporation (TUC) Board of Directors. For next year, I want to have a greater role within the organization and implement positive change to our great campus. 

Strength in Unity is founded on 4 pillars: communication, opportunity, sustainability, and campus experience. Some of the initiatives we want to enact if elected into office are creating an AB 540 center, beginning the talks of creating a “smart-parking” app, and the creation of a bike shop both on campus and at the dorms.

I am excited to work with all of you if elected. United, we can take CSUN to greater heights.

Q&A

How do you plan to tackle the issues we’re having with hazing?

Being a member of the greek community myself, I find it disgusting to see how other fraternities and sororities have been caught doing these actions. It’s really sad to see because you should’t be joining a brotherhood or a sisterhood and having to go through all the negative affects that we’ve been hearing. There’s been allegations now in this past year alone and there’s been talks with the university. With everything that’s been happening it’s been very tough. My thoughts on it is that hazing should not be existent in the greek system.

I’m a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and just last year we became one of the first fraternities to get rid of complete pledging to begin with. The way it works is, we no longer have pledging so hazing not only could take place. Our fraternity didn’t haze to begin with, just as a national level, we no longer have pledging so hazing is no longer an issue within our fraternity. I feel that other organizations should take that into account.

In terms of CSUN, we need to educate these organizations. If these organizations continue hazing, they’re going to shut down the greek system and nobodies going to be happy with that, because the greek system offers a lot of great benefits. We have community service, philanthropy, brotherhood, sisterhood and it keeps you engaged with the university.

What is your plan to aid in the efforts to prevent sexual assault?

As we’ve all been hearing with the Title 9 issues that have been taking place and I know California just passed legislation…it has become a more stricter form of consent.

I feel that here at CSUN we should take the stand and, in a perfect world, none of that would take place here. However, we don’t live in a perfect world but what we can do and try to do is change the culture of campus. I know the university just passed a piece of legislation where they sent emails out to all the students and they have to complete a sexual assault training forum. I filled it out and you should be taking the steps to eradicate such issues.

With the recent issues surrounding our fraternities on campus, do you plan to allocate funds to fraternity groups or even sorority groups? If yes, how do you do this in a way where you are not condoning bad behavior, like hazing?

There are bad seeds in every organization and every system, as you can see with the three fraternities that got in trouble and got kicked off. However we shouldn’t be taking their examples and overgeneralizing. The media portrays the greek system and as well as everything that has been happening, it just shows one side of what the greek system offers. The Greek system does have many benefits. The percentage of individuals that are involved in the Greek systems, they have higher graduation rates than those that are not involved in the Greek system. There’s definitely many great benefits to being apart of the Greek system.

Going away from the Greek system, clubs and organizations as a whole, being involved is important. Not only did I join the Greek system, I also joined New Student Orientation program and AS. Being involved in general has allowed me to be more involved with my campus, become a Matador and feel a part of campus.

In terms of the finding, yes. Because the funding being asked for is going towards events such as philanthropies or events that give money back to these great charities and organizations. Yes, of course, when they come and ask for funding we should support. These clubs and organizations they make someone’s campus experience a lot better and more enjoyable.

Describe the plans you wish to accomplish in your office and how you will implement them.

We are running on four major pillars–communication, opportunity, sustainability and campus experience.

One of the first things we want do when elected into office is start something we like to call “The 100 Day Initiative.” It’s in the first 100 days after being elected, we want to go to 100 classrooms all around campus so that we can get a better understanding of what the students needs are. The purpose behind these classroom presentations will be for the students to know who their elected officials are, but also it will serve as a chance for us to inform the students about the great programs and services that Associate Students offers. In addition there will be a chance to hear what the students want because at the end of the day, we are being elected by the students. It’s only right for us to be best representing them, hearing their voice.

Secondly, under opportunity, we have two things that we’d like to accomplish. The major one is the AB 540/Dreamer Center. There’s California legislation that just got passed and it was encouraging all CSU systems to create some form of AB 540 Center. Myself and Jorge have already taken the initiative and we want to make that dream a reality. Currently there’s an AB 540 in office over in Santa Susana Hall, however, almost nobody knows about it. Especially being a diverse campus, with over 40 thousand students and not only diverse in the CSU, but also in the nation, it’s important to represent students from all walks of life. We feel that by creating the AB 540 center we will be able to adhere to the needs of specific populations on campus. It will let them know that there’s a place where they can go receive more information. AB 540 is some who is coming in and receiving high education, however they are not a citizen yet. There are certain complications that come with status and the center will act as a way for the students to feel more at home and know about the resources and programs that it offers.

CSUN partnered up with LA Cleantech last year, and it helps students create start-up businesses. It’s a program where if you’re a student and you want to become a self-entrepreneur, you go to this program and they provide capital, leadership, experience and they help you become a boss by the time you’re done with your time in college.

Moving on to our third pillar, which is sustainability. We want to become Real Food Certified, which means 20 percent by 2020. Real Food is classified as foods that are humane, not treated with pesticides and clean natural good food. Currently we only have the bagels and the tea bags that are considered Real Food. That’s not going to cut it. We want to make the university open to this standard and make sure they go through with it and be a Real Food Certified campus. The Farmer’s Market was something that this year’s legislation that I was apart of. However to contract is short term. We want to make sure that the Farmer’s Market is here to say in the long run because it provides clean and healthy food.

We want to create a bike shop. In a perfect world, we would create it here as well as in the dorms. A lot of students bike to-and-from the dorms and this bike shop would be a physical space where students can go and get their bikes fixed. We currently have those red little boxes that have tools hanging, but sometimes those tools get stolen. The purpose behind this bike shop is to promote cleaner, sustainable forms of transportation and also make your life a little bit easier.

Lastly under campus experience, our “strength in unity” is about making your campus experience here at CSUN one that’s memorable, but also one that’s efficient and made for the students. We plan on improving the tram services that we have here. It tells you it comes every 15 minutes, but there’s sometimes complications, so you don’t know the exact time. Sometimes you end up waiting ten, 15, 30 minutes. We want to make the best use of CSUN students time. We want to create a tram tracking system, where it will let you know how much time is left until the next tram will arrive. It’s something small, however it’s going to save the students time. It’s just to make your campus experience more easier, more accessible.

Also under campus experience, we want to focus on parking. Parking is a huge issue we have. We have some plans we want to put into play that will make parking easier. Unfortunately we cannot create a new parking lot because we’re still in debt from the last parking lot. But what we can do and want to do, is start an app that creates a smart parking lot. The way the smart parking app would work is you’d look on your phone and it would tell you which parking lots are currently full, have lots of traffic and which lots are currently empty. The purpose of this is that students don’t go to a floor to find that there’s no parking, they just waisted 20 minutes of their day and now they are late to class. It’s suppose to make your life a little bit easier by knowing which parking lot to go park to.

In addition, we want to increase the awareness of the current ride share program we have on campus. This is a program AS currently has, but students don’t know much about it. The way it would work: say you’re coming from LA and, if your sign up with the program, they’d pair you up with other individuals who are coming to CSUN and from your set location you car pool with them to campus. This would have less cars on campus, less emissions into the environment and make CSUN’s parking problem a little better. We can’t completely cure it yet, but we can start.

Also AS provides bus subsidy for the students. We want student’t to know about this and increase awareness about the program because we want students to start using alternative forms of transportation.

How will students benefit from your work in office?

Myself and Jorge, we have the experience within Associate Students. Jorge has been in Associated Students for about four years now and for me it’s been a year now. I’ve served as lord of visions senator, chair of the external committee, a member to the senate representative and all these experiences have been able to best prepare me this next task I take as Vice President. It’s important to have that experience because the first span within the AS, it’s a bit of a learning curve. You’re learning where the funding’s coming from, who to go to get help, for guidance and advice. But now on my second semester I’ve been able to flourish within the chair of my committee and getting the work done.

How can you improve upon the achievements of your predecessor?

I feel like the past president, vice resident and those in office have truly done an amazing job. Just within this past year with taking charge to create to AS Farmer’s Market, now with this past year’s legislation we passed the funding to create the sustainability center. We’ve truly done a great job and AS has been growing over the years with us being able to market our events and more students being involved. We’ve done a great job, but not where we want to be yet. We are just the one delegating that work. Our predecessors have set the ground work for us, and now that we have the stable ground work I feel that we can continue building up.

What experiences or education makes you qualified for this office?

I feel like I’ve been involved in many different areas on campus. I wanted to make a difference and I think it’s valuable being in different areas of campus because I don’t have a biased point of view about how things should work. Being from different areas of campus has allowed me to know what the students want, know the different student needs and better help prepare me for the position.

In terms of AS experience, being the chair of external committee, serving as lord of vision senator and I also was appointed by President Harrison to serve as director under The University Corporation. Working with these difference auxilorities, different programs CSUN has and offers, it’s prepared me for this position. I feel like the experience is need in such a high position. It’s important to have elected official within those offices who know what they are doing from the GETGO. At the end of the day, we are only in office for a year, we don’t have the luxury to wait and figure things out.


 

Vlad Arutyunov: Vice President

Talin Yahiayan: Senator for the College of Business and Economics

 

My name is Talin Yahiayan and I’m running for College of Business and Economics (COBAE) Senator. I am a junior pursuing my degree in business law and am currently serving as the COBAE senator. In the past three years, I have given back to the CSUN community by volunteering in various student based organizations like the Pre-Law Association, New Student Orientation, and the Armenian Student Association. In addition, I have represented CSUN as a University Scholar for President Harrison. Being involved in all of these programs has allowed me to get to know my fellow Matadors better. I have enjoyed meeting and listening to my constituents and vow to do so once again. If re-elected, I will continue my work within Associated Students and enhance the COBAE student’s experience. I am a proud Matador and I hope to represent the COBAE family and expand our student’s needs. A few main pillars I am focusing on is communication, opportunity, sustainability, and campus experience. With the experience I have had during this year I hope to reach out to the diverse campus and represent them the right way.

Q&A

How do you plan to tackle the issues we’re having with hazing?

Well, I’m not part of the Greek community so I don’t have an opinion on the community, but as the senator I do hope to see what my constituents want and see how they’re dealing with it because I do know that we did have an issue last summer and this semester with the hazing issue. But I don’t think hazing is particularly that big of a problem. I do think that one specific group did kind of ruin it for everyone else. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed and all the students need to be aware. Maybe they [Greek community] need to have a new course on it.

What is your plan to aid in the efforts to prevent sexual assault?

I do think that every freshman who comes to the school they take a University 100 course. I think that they should address it in those classes maybe: what is considered sexual assault, when no means no. And I do know that AS has taken a stance on it that we tolerate no sexual assault. There’s so much you could do to aid it, you just have to reach out to the students and let them know that the school doesn’t tolerate sexual assault. But besides that, if a student comes to me, if I am elected as a senator, and they’ve been sexually assaulted, and they need a resolution, I would take that matter very seriously and talk to my president and he or she will take it to the president [Harrison], Dr. Watkins and hopefully that student who committed the sexual assault can be out of school.

With the recent issues surrounding our fraternities on campus, do you plan to allocate funds to fraternity groups or even sorority groups?

The Greek life makes up so many of our students who soon become leaders. If they’re asking for funding that is available and is in our budget language I don’t see why we would exclude the Greek community when they’re students trying to get an education like everyone else and a lot of the Greeks I don’t know them in the Greek organizations but individually I know some people who are in the Greek community and most of their networking is done through Greek system so I don’t see why the Greeks should be excluded out of AS funding.

If yes, how do you do this in a way where you are not condoning bad behavior, like hazing?

I would fund the Greek community if they need it and it’s in our budget language. It has to be educational for all the students, including Greeks, including the outside people, it has to be open to all students. If it’s an event that’s only for Greeks and they don’t let any other students [in], we [won’t] fund that.

Describe the plans you wish to accomplish in your office and how you will implement them.

With communication we want to be open with everyone and have our budget language be open. I want it to be transparent because I do hear many clubs and orgs saying that they don’t know what they’re funded for. So we do hope to go to 100 classrooms and tell all the students what AS can fund and can’t fund. We do hope to create a bike shop on campus as well as [near] the dorms because we know that many of our students commute with bikes. There’s no bike shop around here and many students complain that their tire broke down and they don’t have anywhere to fix it, so we’re hoping to have a little section of the school closed off [for] a little bike shop and in the dorms as well just to aid that.

How will students benefit from your work in office?

I hope they benefit in every single thing I do. But, I’m a commuter so I was worried that I wouldn’t have the best experience at CSUN so I kind of just started getting involved and through my experiences in CSUN I hope I could influence some students to get involved and listen to what they really want because I know that my issue when I came was ‘this is a really big campus and who’s going to listen to you?’

How will you ensure that AS stays within its budget and provides adequate funding to organizations and clubs on campus next year?

I do think that the chair of finance is the crucial part of our financing. Just having good communication with the chair of finance and hopefully having senators that do take the recommendations that the finance committee brings in to senate and listening to those recommendations because they do budget but sometimes I may feel bad for a club and try to fully fund them and if everyone agrees with me then that gets fully funded and it’ll drop down from our budget. I think the clubs and orgs and senate need to be clear about what they’re asking for.


 

 

Chelsea Turner: Graduate Senator

Himeno Vigo: Upper Division

My name is Himeno Vigo. I am 23-years-old and majoring in environmental and occupational health with a minor in sustainability. I have always had a passion to help the community by working with organizations such as Found Animals, where I had the opportunity to use the knowledge that I gained in the veterinary field to teach people about the importance of spaying and neutering pets. The reason why I decided to run for Upper Division Senator is to make a change for CSUN that not only helps the environment but also makes the lives of students easier. Students have enough stress about their studies to have to worry about having to manage their time for parking or not having the resources to learn things that they may need for future jobs. We have the resources to improve our campus and the quality of lives for students. 

Q&A

How do you plan to tackle the issues we’re having with hazing?

I know there is a no-tolerance policy at school. I believe that hazing doesn’t promote any unity, it doesn’t benefit anyone. We should have a positive environment and that’s not positive at all. I would agree with the zero-tolerance policy.

What is your plan to aid in the efforts to prevent sexual assault?

There are students that work for the school where they will walk you to your car at night. I’ve had people do that for me. It has made me feel safer. I am hoping that will decrease the amount of sexual assaults on campus. We can implement more. There is a class that you have to take online now. I really like that, and hopefully we can prevent sexual assaults, or have people talk about it more so they are not scared to talk about it more so they will tell somebody that they were sexually assaulted. I think that’s really good. I think that’s great because people don’t know if you will tell someone if you sexually assaulted someone. I think it will make them more scared knowing that there is more awareness so people won’t do it. Hopefully that will decrease knowing that there is awareness. Sexual assault is just awful. Creating awareness on how to prevent these situations is important. Maybe we can have an “Awareness Day” for that. That is actually a really good thing to have. I like that idea. I think it can be easily done.

With the recent issues surrounding our fraternities on campus, do you plan to allocate funds to fraternity groups or even sorority groups? If yes, how do you do this in a way where you are not condoning bad behavior, like hazing?

I think that they still try to do philanthropic activities. For those kinds of activities, I think funding is ok. I think that they do provide a sense of community and I think that is great. There are different communities at school that they fit into; I don’t want to take that away from them. I think funding them can be good. Of course, we want to make sure they know hazing is not ok. It is difficult, but I don’t think fraternities or sororities are a bad thing. I think it’s a good thing; everyone wants to be in some sort of community where they feel they belong somewhere. There is a no-tolerance for hazing so if there is hazing, they need to report that right away and then we won’t fund them.

Describe the plans you wish to accomplish in your office and how you will implement them?

Our biggest plan is to fix parking; we’ve been working on that in our sustainability class. The president has been working on that. I think it’s been over a year that they have been trying to pass parking; I don’t want to give it away about how we are going to do that. Of course we are still going to be working on that but it’s easier to implement if we have the funding from AS. We believe that it will help students tremendously with getting to school on time, finding parking so they can get to class on time, making it easier to find transportation. I know some students who don’t go to class because they don’t have money to go to class. It would take away some stress away from the students’ lives. So that’s one, transportation and student parking. Our other big thing is allocation of funding for school supplies for laboratories. I know our vice president is majoring in engineering. They’re always talking about how there is not enough supplies. That is not fair to a student and it makes it stressful for students. You need that in the work field. Labs are really important. We want to have more money that. We want to have more money for university scholarship funding. It would help if we had money to really get it started quicker. For university scholarships, we want to not just use money we already have, we want to raise money for it. The school has to be a role model and be the first one to start taking steps for water conservation and sustainability.

How will students benefit from your work in office?

Well one, students will save money on parking and have more choices on transportation and hopefully they will have less stress. If you drive your own car, we are not trying to stop people from driving their own car; we want to make it easier for people to find parking. I know someone who got her car towed twice because she was going to miss a test, so she just parked her car anywhere and just left. A test is more important than parking. I hear about it all the time, I didn’t know it was such a big problem until I tried to find parking around 11 a.m. and it took me 40 minutes to find parking, it was so ridiculous. I understand why students complain about parking all the time. We are implementing ideas that will not require parking structures to be built. Students can save money by carpooling. I will work on getting money for scholarships, supplies for different departments, choices for transportation to make it cheaper and easier, those will all help students and they will benefit. We are all really passionate about it.

What experiences or education makes you qualified for this office?

Environmental occupational health is about public health, which means that I care about the public. Sustainability is about making sure that we act now so we have the resources to make our school better for the future and not worse and that is what we are trying to do. I think my background in education really does help with that. I’m working on fixing parking, we are thinking about the school in my classes. I think that will help me when I am in AS and when I am a senator. I am half Japanese and I was raised to always be considerate of others. Japan is so different, everyone is thinking about the future, conserving and not wasting and I think that is a really great thing that we need to add here. We need to try to reduce carbon emissions and reduce water waste. My cultural background and educational experiences make me qualified to run for office.

How will you ensure that AS stays within its budget and provides adequate funding to organizations and clubs on campus next year?

We are planning to save money with water by implementing something in all bathrooms. We are trying to raise money for things that we are trying to implement so we are not taking funding away from clubs and activities that are fun and students need to have entertainment. It’s not just studying. The SRC is amazing. Students can go work out to relieve stress. I love how we have all of these extracurricular activities. Students can join a variety of clubs and organizations and that makes the life of a student so much easier. We don’t want to take funding away from that, so we are going to try and raise money for the things that we want to do instead of using the AS money that we have for those activities.

What about the incident with the approval of planting roses during a drought?

Next to the Jacaranda building, where most of my classes are, there are a lot of roses. I think its fine. Roses are pretty and we need plants that are not just water saving. Roses should not be placed where there is drought resistant plants. You are going to be watering the roses and the drought resistant plants. You are not wasting water as long as there is no run off water. We do learn about water in my classes. You need to set up plants in groups that need a lot of water and groups that don’t need a lot of water. I see trees that are California natives and there is grass that takes up a lot of water. I think the school is trying to implement plans to save water. As long as roses are in groups then it is ok.


 

Jake Lacaden: Upper Division Senator

Nicole Kucera: Upper Division Senator

Briell Huerta: Lower Divison Senator

Christian Rubalcava: Lower Divison Senator

 

Keina Lopez: Lower Divison Senator

My name is Kenia Lopez, I am a 19 year old freshman majoring in broadcast journalism with aspirations to be a bilingual journalist. I am a part of University Ambassadors, I give tours of the university to prospective students and their families. I am also a part of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). Lastly, I am also a part of the Greek community. I decided to run for office as a part of the Strength in Unity slate ran by Jorge Reyes for President and Sevag Alexanian for Vice President because I knew that one of their main goals was to create an AB540 center. I am very passionate about the AB540 topic because I am an AB540 student myself. I will make sure that during my time in office we create an AB540 center just like we have centers for the other diverse students in our university, such as the pride center and the ROTC center. I also want to create more awareness for the lower division students on the over 300 clubs and organizations we have on campus. During your college years you should acquire the remarkable education you came to CSUN for. However, a lot of the meaningful life lessons you learn in college come from the experience you gain outside the classroom. Which is why I strive to increase student campus involvement during my time in office. Most organizations require a certain GPA to be part of it and I believe that being involved will keep students motivated to fulfill their academic goals.

Q&A

What are your plans on tackling the hazing issues that have been going on?

I really want the stereotypes to stop. That’s a big part of it. Being part of the Greek community, and also being involved around campus I think people really have the wrong ideas. I definitely think it’s a problem worldwide obviously with everything that has been happening specially in the past semester with the whole hazing in other schools and even within our own campus. That’s something we really want to focus on. That’s also part of my slate. We want to improvise on that. We just want to promote positivity. There’s a little bit of everything with every organization. Not everyone does it, you know.

So what’s going on with the allocated funding for fraternities and sororities? Do you plan on allocating funds for them?

That’s not really one of my ideal goals at all. I think the Greek community has great leaders and although I am involved with the Greek community that’s not something I really want to focus on. Something I really want to focus on is more on student involvement and AB540 students.

How would you help the AB540 students?

I myself am a AB540 student and I run under a slate Strength and Unity, which is lead by Jorge Reyes for president. What we really want to do is we want to create an AB540 center for AB540 students. Something that’s like a huge goal of mine is to create more resources for them and I really want to advocate like more scholarships for them because I known the CSUN Dreamers scholarship that was awarded last semester to I believe it was over 400 students although almost close to a one thousand students applied. So, we really just want to create that center, and we really want to work on promoting the fact that we do have AB540 students and we really want to use some of our funding money towards scholarships for them and the resource, research center for them.

What is your plan to aid in the efforts to prevent sexual assault on campus?

I think the great thing that we had to do, all freshmen had to do it, was this agent of change online. It was something required that we have to do in order to register for classes next semester. So, I really want to focus on promoting more stuff like that. Also, having more people work on campus like walk you to your car and stuff like that. Probably what we’d want to do, as Associated Students, we would want to create a conference and stuff like that. Definitely create more safe spots on campus and we already have a lot of really good resources on campus.

Describe the plans you wish to accomplish in your office?

What I really want to focus on is: we have over 300 clubs and organizations on campus. What I really want is for freshmen to really get involved around campus. I believe that if students get involved around campus, most organizations if not every organization requires a certain GPA, and I feel like when you get really passionate about something you don’t want to let go of that. So it’s a way to motivate students to keep up their grades and do well in school. One idea of mine for all students is I want them to sign up for STARS online… I really want to put myself out there and make sure that all freshmen and sophomores know who I am so they can reach out to me and I really can help them.

How do you think students will benefit from your work in office?

College is suppose to be fun and your suppose to be getting your education. Something that I can help benefit all students is I’m really involved around campus. I’m a tour guide and I’m hoping I get, I just applied for a new student orientation leader, and I’m also going to be a camp matador leader. That’s really a camp for freshmen. I really want to put myself out there to be like a role model for freshmen. I feel like I’m really open. I would reach out to University 100 classes. I wanted them to know who I am. Make it easy for them to talk to me and just kind of guide them, their way through through college – at least their freshmen year.

How can you improve upon the achievements of those you came before you?

I think our past lower division center they’ve done a really great job. However, I don’t think the students really know who they are too much so that’s where I kind of want to come in like I really, really want the freshmen to get to know me.

What experiences or education makes you qualified for this position?

I am a university ambassador. I know the campus really well because I am a tour guide. I’m really knowledgeable of the campus. I know the resources that we have on campus. All the touring opportunities we have on campus. If I don’t know a certain question I usually know where to lead them to get their questions answered. I already known pretty much all the resources that the university has so I think that is a huge advantage that I have. I’m also involved in Greek life. I mean that’s like a huge part of the university so I know like a good amount of people.

How will you ensure that AS stays within its budget and provides adequate funding to organizations and clubs on campus next year?

The thing about Associated Students is that every student pays 88 dollars for Associated Students. It’s part of the tuition and the thing about that is that not all students know that some of that money goes back to clubs and organizations. So, what I would really love is to reach out to students. What we plan on doing is hitting 100 classrooms in 100 days. So what we want to do is visit 100 classrooms within the first 100 days that we get elected, if we are to get elected, to let all the students know they can reach out to us to get funding for their clubs and organizations. That’s one way that I can help and do my part for students.


 

Jeffery Perez De Leon: College of Arts, Media & Communication

Samantha Simonds: College of Arts, Media & Communication

My name is Samantha Simonds, I am a junior here at CSUN approaching my senior year. As a current journalism student, I am working to achieve my degree in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. Throughout my years here on campus I have been fortunate enough to be involved in a number of organizations and programs that have enhanced both my personal and professional development. As a loyal member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, my organization has introduced me to many leadership experiences and encouraged me to get involved with national Greek Affairs. As a current officer on the Panhellenic Council I help to make decisions for the Greek community and handle all of our internal public relations. Aside from Greek life, I also serve as a New Student Orientation leader responsible for graduation and freshman orientation. This year I will proudly serve as a cast member in TAKE XXVII, the renowned show shown to incoming students at orientation. In addition to being an active member on campus, I also work within the University Student Union as an event planner. My experiences on campus make me a very knowledgeable candidate for the position of Senator. My goal for the upcoming year will be to provide students with information and opportunities for campus involvement. I would like to make students well aware of all this campus has to offer and encourage them all that getting involved is a great way to foster both community and academic success.

Q & A

How do you plan to tackle the issues we’re having with hazing?

As a member of the Panhellenic Council, hazing is an intolerable idea. I have never been hazed and have never witnessed any hazing of any kind during my time in the Greek community. Hazing is something that we have to get rid of completely. It is not only a Greek issue. I believe that hazing could exist in athletic and academic clubs, as well. We need to create a campus initiative to eliminate hazing in all forms.

With the recent issues surrounding our fraternities on campus, do you plan to allocate funds to fraternity groups or even sorority groups? If so, how do you do this in a way where you are not condoning bad behavior, like hazing?

The main focus of the Greek community is philanthropic. I think that we should show support (in the form of funding) rather than pulling support. The support helps to promote campus involvement and creates a better experience for students while they’re here at CSUN.

Describe the plans you wish to accomplish while you’re in office and how you will implement them.

As a member of the Strength in Unity Party, there are four pillar areas on our slate: opportunity, communication, sustainability and improving the campus experience. I am extremely passionate about encouraging students to participate through campus involvement. I want to focus on initiatives that will serve the students on campus, such as the new tram system and athletic programs.

How will students benefit from your work in office?

As a senator representing the Mike Curb College of Arts and Communication, I would like to reach out to the students of that school directly and see what are their specific needs. I have had students mention that higher tech equipment and updated computer programs in the labs would help make their educational experience better, so being able to work on things like this would be a way to serve the students in the Mike Curb College.

How can you improve upon the achievements of your predecessor?

Well, my predecessor was a really good friend and a great senator. I would work to keep the programs currently in place through the AS running smoothly and continuing to prosper. I am a very passionate person and I would focus on moving forward on the ground level with action pieces, rather than creating just ideas – putting those ideas into action.

What experience or education makes you qualified for this office?

I think a senator should be representative of the student body. I take my academics seriously. I am currently a Dean’s List student and was honored to be asked to write for the department website. I participate in Greek life as a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and have also held the office of PR Chairman on the Panhellenic Council. I am very excited to be involved with the New Student Orientation program as a CSUN mentor and part of the TAKE program.

How will you ensure that the AS stays within budget and provides adequate funding to organizations and clubs on campus next year?

Since the money comes from student fees, it is critical that it is used in a smart way. We should be an accountable resource and since it is student money, it should all be used to give back in some way. I am grateful for the AS funding and I look forward to advocating on how the budget should be allocated. It is our job as student ambassadors to make sure that it is used for the student benefit.

Is there anything else that you would like students to know?

I am excited to serve in this position as senator and I am excited to give back to CSUN by representing the students in the Mike Curb College. It is a huge honor and something really special and near to my heart.


 

Gevork Terzyan: College of Business & Economics Senator

Leia Tabert: College of Business & Economics Senator

I am running for senator of the Business and Economics College because I have a passion for educational equality. I believe that a lot of college students face an uphill battle in education. We have learned to accept that college is hard, not in the way that challenges students to become better people, but in sense that running around bureaucratic loopholes is the only way achieve their goals. It’s ridiculous we have Rate My Professor, we should have the confidence that every class and teacher is stellar, but in reality it’s not. There should be some certainty that there is someone standing up for you, because they are going through the same obstacles as you. I want to promote the voice of the student in order to change this status quo.

I plan to promote educational resources, workshops, clubs, events, and internships. In doing so I hope to inspire students to stand for change.

Q&A

How will you ensure that AS stays within its budget and provides adequate funding to organizations and clubs on campus next year?

When we look at statistics of what we have been spending, a lot of it is in public record and you can see who is taking action in it; I think that we should spend money by appropriating the amount of people participating in that group and probably focus on things that are of immediate concerns like scholarships. I think scholarships are really important, and so is technology to keep it up to date. But yeah, I looking at the history of our spending and figuring out what our priorities are, and maybe bringing in more finance or accounting people and say, “Hey, do you want to intern here and help us with our budget?” because I think we’re great, but maybe if we could get someone qualified and who’s interested in accounting or finance to check our numbers and see what’s the efficient way to do it. We can do it [ourselves], but maybe we can’t see it budget-wise, so maybe bringing more people outside the government positions.

What is your plan to aid in the efforts to prevent sexual assault?

I think if people were more aware that this was actually happening, like it’s a big problem, that we can take steps towards this issue because I think a lot of people don’t know that it happens a lot on campus, so I think if people were aware to have like a pepper spray and have the knowledge and the skills to know to take self-defense, I think that’s important because media shows it differently, perceptive-wise, so people are like, “Oh, it’s not an issue.” But making people are is important.

Describe the plans you wish to accomplish in your office and how you will implement them.

Specifically, I know that we’re trying to allocate funds to educational resources, but what I really want out of my office for the year is to challenge our educational system. I know that it’s kind of difficult if you’re really only managing a budget, especially for a specific department, but I want to allocate funds towards clubs and support the President and Vice President in managing that. I took a survey of a couple of classrooms in the Business department and a lot of them wanted technology services. In another section of school, my friend told me how the Music department is somewhat outdated and needs maintenance repairs and I thought, “Wow, this is a really interesting problem that we’re having.” In addition to that, I want to hear people come out and tell us, “Hey, we need more fund towards technology and internships for people and career events and panels of professionals and I just want to promote that and that would be my goal. I think it would also be beneficial to have a public speaking event to talk about the current issues we’re facing right now for students. I think it’s really bureaucratic at this point and it makes it really difficult for people who honestly just want to have an educational system and run around. I’d definitely keep surveying about what people are interested in and try to manage the budget disburse funds towards what people really need—that’s what I would want.

What experiences or education makes you qualified for this office?

Actually, I’ve taken previous courses in high school, I took math courses that were too expensive in college and I’m really interested in classical and contemporary literature. I feel like I read a lot and I’m trying to broaden my understanding of everything, so I feel like studying a lot and being really interested in education itself and having a strong determination to go beyond with it and eventually become an attorney helps me. My passion to accomplish and understand things and what I’ve done in the past, like in high school, since I’m not very good at math, I took extra math courses just to sharpen myself, so being really passionate about being knowledgable makes me qualified. Also, I’ve done a lot in high school like the National Honors Society Program, which helps you maintain the campus by cleaning and talking in classrooms about… just having a healthier campus so, I’ve done a lot of speaking on that and helped people with the recycling project on campus to help provide money for veterans. We’ve done a lot of charity through that program and so I feel like that makes me qualified. Working with the faculty before—since I’ve done that program more than one time—is something I’m comfortable with and is something that I really want to challenge myself with.