When Jasmin Fashami was announced the 2018-2019 Associated Students Inc. (ASI) president, her supporters erupted into cheers as she covered her mouth in surprise.
“It was just so shocking, to say the least. I still now am kind of at a loss for words,” Fashami said. “I’m honestly just so grateful that Cal Poly and so many of the students were rallying behind me and my message and were supporting me.”
Fashami’s campaign was based on her platform, “ACT,” which focused on student empowerment. Her three main points were represented by the three letters: Access to a voice, Creating initiative and Together as one community.
This year, Fashami worked as Secretary of Student Advocacy for ASI. Through her initiatives and work she has done with administration, the city and the student body, Fashami said communication is a key component to success.
“A lot of what I’ve done is for student rights … I realized that communication is very important and that we’re listening to every single group on this campus,” Fashami said. “I know I’ve said this a lot, but underrepresented ones especially, should have a focus with what’s going on in campus climate and campus politics.”
Getting to know Jasmin
While Fashami’s hometown is in Orange Country and she identifies with American culture, she was born in the Netherlands.
Fashami will be graduating a year early as a junior and will only be enrolled in 12 to 14 units each quarter next year to focus on her leadership role.
After graduating, Fashami plans to take a gap year before attending law school.
As ASI president, Fashami will receive a scholarship covering housing, tuition, books and some other living expenses. The position itself can be up to 50 to 60 hours a week, she said.
“To my understanding, I get a scholarship based on what the [California State University System] sees the cost of living is for a student at Cal Poly, so I am very grateful to be getting that money,” she said.
Although there are benefits to her new position, Fashami said she has made sacrifices to get where she is today.
As part of her new position, Fashami has to stay in San Luis Obispo this summer and turned down an internship with the United Nations. She also decided she will no longer continue her position as founding president of the pre-law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta, to fully dedicate herself to ASI.
Outside of Cal Poly, Fashami said music is a significant part of her life. She admitted she is a huge concert junkie and vinyl collector.
“I will travel as far as you want for me to go to a concert. I will pay top dollars,” she said. “I am always in the general admission, get there four hours early type of individual … I love music, I love it with all my heart.”
In addition to her “ACT” platform, Fashami said there are little things she hopes to bring to her ASI cabinet to create an inclusive government.
“I’m about to start reaching out to organizations who have special interests in what I believe will line up with my platform,” Fashami said. “Really reaching out to all parts of campus and having them being included in student government for next year.”
Fashami hopes to expand on many of the initiatives current ASI president Riley Nilsen put in place to continue open conversations with students.
“I think that [Nilsen’s] round tables … [were] a good way to start the conversation about what are your concerns as a student,” Fashami said. “Hopefully by starting a relationship right during the summer, during September, I really see next year being a very legislation-heavy year.”
As campus climate issues have recently risen, Fashami pointed out that there is a lot of distrust between different organizations and the student body. She said she hopes to act as the liaison to build back some of the relationships that were lost.
“I do definitely feel pressure on my shoulders to live up to the things I’ve promised for next year and I’m hoping that administration does really listen to the student voice. I know they have the best intentions in mind, but they are really following through with taking our perspectives into account,” Fashami said.
Looking into next year, Fashami said she is most excited to build individual connections with as many Cal Poly students as she can.
“I like to think of myself as being very open and friendly and I want to make sure no student feels intimidated to come into my office and speak to me,” she said. “I’m hoping that just reaching out at that very individual, personal level, people can come up to me throughout the entire year and ask to go to lunch with me, ask to do things outside of ASI.”