Meet the new Associated Students President and Vice President
As a high school senior, Jonathan Goldenberg wanted to pursue a career in fashion and decided CSUN would be his best option, however in his sophomore year, he gained an interest in politics.
“I landed an internship with Congressman Brad Sherman,” Goldenberg said. “In that job, I got to go out and see the community. I realized that if I got involved with politics I could make a change rather than just meet the status quo.”
Goldenberg, a 21-year-old economics major and political science minor, will graduate this May, but will return in fall to pursue a master’s in political science and be the president of Associated Students (AS).
“As president, I want to increase community engagement,” Goldenberg said. “I want to implement the 100-day initiative, which is on the first 100 days of every academic year, AS will visit 100 classrooms throughout the campus and present an interactive presentation about AS and how to get involved.”
Goldenberg has been a member of several school organizations including the American Marketing Association, the CSUN Rock Climbing Team, a board member of CSUN Chabad, as well as the President of CSUN Students for Israel and the Management Association of CSUN (MACSUN). He has previously worked for AS finance in allocating the A.S. budget.
“We need to get smarter with community engagement,” Goldenberg said. “The priority shouldn’t be to get them into AS, but to get them involved with clubs that are relevant to their majors.”
Aside from school organizations, Goldenberg has worked in politics for both for Congressman Brad Sherman and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“There [are] a lot of issues within the university as a whole,” Goldenberg said. “I want to make sure that CSUN students can compete against top school graduates for jobs, so that even once you graduate CSUN is working to help you. I want to put CSUN on the map for employers.”
Goldenberg also discussed his plan to give marginalized groups a voice on campus.
“We want to create an ad hoc committee structure where all these marginalized communities can take a part of the voice of CSUN,” Goldenberg said. “Our undocumented students, international students, student veterans, Muslim students, LGBTQ students, and many others have the power to make the change they need to see for their own communities. I want to increase diversity of opinion and be able to give students the tools to be heard.”
He also added that he plans on creating more collaboration between organizations.
“We want to reach out to different organizations so that they can collaborate more,” Goldenberg said. “By doing this there can be an increase of diversity in opinion and integration among groups.”
Goldenberg wants to pursue a career in elected politics after he finishes school.
“Trying to create solutions would be rewarding,” Goldenberg said. “One thing about me is that I try to prioritize bringing people together.”
AS new Vice President Zahraa Khuraibet who was born in Kuwait City has many plans in store for CSUN.
She was the president of her high school back in Kuwait City. Prior to transferring to CSUN in Spring 2014, she went to the City University of London, where she was a representative for civil engineering students.
“I’ve always wanted to study in the U.S. but because my sister was studying in London, my family thought it was best to join my sister,” said Khuraibet. “ But after my sister graduated, I wasn’t a big fan of the British educational system so I decided to look elsewhere to go study within the United States.”
Khuraibet looked to the Kuwait Cultural Office in her university who recommended CSUN to her because of the popularity it has among Kuwaiti students.
“My family came out here before I transferred they saw CSUN and my mom was like, you should apply here,” said Khuraibet
She joined AS two years ago and applied to be a finance committee member, which is how she met Jonathan Goldenberg. She then ran for Senator of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
“During my time as a senator, I realized I had a big passion for helping students and representing them and since Jonathan wanted to run again and give the elections a second shot, I figured since I have a year of experience, that I would run,” said Khuraibet.
Khuraibet is currently majoring in civil engineering and hopes to go to graduate school and focus on transportation.
“It is quite unfortunate that at CSUN we don’t have a main focus transportation as a senior option when it comes to final work,” said Khuraibet.
“I want to see if we can maybe work something out with CSUN and introducing a transportation program and hopefully through that, I can do my thesis on transportation and continue to do that through my masters.”
Khuraibet said there are four main core points within her slate. The first one, making sure there are enough tutoring services and resources to help improve academic success at CSUN. Khuraibet said this is something she will be working on to make sure students excel.
“The third point I really want to work is on minority representation and student involvement in campus. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people don’t know about AS and what we do,” said Khuraibet
“I want to open up more opportunities within AS and really just build a network of students so AS is really known.”
Khuraibet also wants senators to be more active in their colleges by having town halls so that students can have more communication with their senators.
“I really hope that my legacy ends up being the legacy of the students, I want to be able to make sure that AS is known and that any goals we have is actually what the students want,” said Khuraibet.
** Joanna Rosales contributed to this article.