Bates, Matijasevic stress more unity within campus community

Daily Sundial

Zachary Bates and Ana Matijasevic both say they think the CSUN campus is fragmented to the point of dismemberment.

“The student body, right now, (is) like an amputated body,” Bates said. “You (have) fingers laying over there, (legs) over there. It’s not really together.”

Bates and Matijasevic, presidential and vice-presidential candidates respectively, both said they can use tactics they learned while working as representatives for student athletics to stop the bleeding and make the campus whole again.

Bates, senior graphic design major and Matijasevic, sophomore business administration major, both serve on the Student Athlete Advisory Council. Bates is a member of the men’s track and field team, and Matijasevic is a member of the women’s tennis team.

Bates is co-president of SAAC, where his duties include representing CSUN student-athletes in the Big West Conference. He is also one of two students in the Big West Conference chosen to represent student-athletes from the conference.

If elected president of A.S., Bates said he will increase student participation in campus activities by using what he has learned through Student Athletes Supporting Student Athletes.

SASSA relies on CSUN sports teams to adopt a different “buddy” team in an unrelated sport and attend their respective competitions to show support.

Bates said SASSA has moved beyond the initial concept of one team supporting another, to the point where it is common to see numerous members of various teams showing up at sporting events to support one another.

The same concept could be applied to establish stronger relationships between different student interests, clubs and organizations on campus, Bates said.

Also, since teams are made up of individuals who learn to work together, this makes he and Matijasevic good choices for president and vice president, Bates said.

“On every team, there’s a plethora of culture and ethnicity,” Bates said. “(Within that group), there (is) a plethora of majors and departments. Athletes, as a whole, represents the whole college.”

Student athletes come from different backgrounds, but Bates said this has no effect on the relationships they build with one another.

“(We are) all friends,” Bates said. “Everybody gets along.”

Matijasevic said she wants to increase student awareness about A.S.

“I’ve talked to so many people while campaigning,” Matijasevic said. “I think it’s sad that all they know about A.S. is that they pay $67 a semester. I want to educate people about all the things A.S. can do for them.”

If elected vice president, Matijasevic said she wants to emphasize cooperation between A.S. senators.

“(I want the Senate members) to spend more time working with each other, instead of against each other,” Matijasevic said.

Matijasevic grew up in Paris and attended college while she was there. She said the university system is very different in France.

“There’s no A.S. in a French university,” Matijasevic said. “Students here don’t realize the great opportunities they have. There’s a chance for people who care. The system is set up for success. There’s great potential, but it needs to be realized.”

Matijasevic said she understands the responsibility she and Bates will have if elected.

“(The students) give you this power and then you give it back to them by being their voice,” Matijasevic said.