A year ago, Anne Giapapas didn’t know how to “Experience ASI,” but she was listening to what students had to say and with their support, she is running for ASI president. A senior recreation administration senior, Giapapas strives to make the campus safer in the absence of Safe Ride and be not only a new face in ASI, but a recognizable face that all students see regularly.
Mustang Daily: Why are you running?
Anne Giapapas: I haven’t been involved with ASI and after seeing that not many of the students cared about who was running, there was never much student involvement, I never heard my friends talk about ASI ” I just heard complaints about different things they wanted to see. If you’re going to complain about it, why not actually go talk to somebody and try to make a difference? … I thought, “Yeah, actually I’d like to make my mark on this school.”
MD: How are you involved on campus?
AG: I’m still majorly involved with the recreation program – I am a part of the recreation RAM club and then also this year started doing fund-raising events through my major. – Other than that, I’ve been more of an involvement off campus, I wanted to make sure that I was pretty well-rounded and that I had a lot of different specific jobs. A lot of them have been managerial jobs, which I think will be great if I do come into office to basically run the board and to share my experiences.
MD: Transportation is one of your big topics – how would you address the issue of Safe Ride?
AG: I want to make sure that as soon as I’m into office that I’m addressing that problem mostly because Safe Ride was cancelled so I want to extend the hours of the escort van. I want it to be out in front of the major bars every half an hour so you know when you get out, if someone needs to get home, they’re going to get home safely.
MD: What are your strengths and weaknesses and how would you address them as president?
AG: My strengths are that I happen to be a good people-person, I have great people skills and I tend to be a good speaker. I’m quick on my feet and I know when I have a problem, I know who to go to for help. – Some of my weaknesses: I don’t know everybody in ASI, I don’t know the specific issues that they’ve been talking about in the executive board meetings. I’ve been going to the board meetings, I’ve been finding out as much as I can.
MD: If you’re elected, how will you deal with Mardi Gras?
AG: I’m definitely proud of what Tylor and past presidents have done – there needed to be an end and they worked with the city even though the city spent way too much of our taxpayers’ money. – I think that it’s been two years now and you can see that people are scared to go out of their houses on Mardi Gras weekend – and I think that students have lost that sense of tradition that was here at Cal Poly with Mardi Gras. – But I think that we do deserve a second chance and – what if ASI presents an event that saves the tradition – a dry event. People could start coming onto campus in costume and have this small parade that’s responsible and secure. – So by showing them another opportunity, another side where they can come in and play it safe, I think the police might support that and they might want to be at that event – if the community works together with the Cal Poly community, that we could really make things happen, that we could change it for the better and not spend as much money.
MD: Where did your slogan come from and what does it mean?
AG: When I said I was running for office, someone told me that most people are going to see you as a little sorority girl running for office. And that really upset me, one for the fact that are you saying a sorority girl wouldn’t be a great candidate for president? And two, because it seemed anti-feminist to me – “Anne’s the man” has been showing I’m a girl but I can do the job, I can be the man, I can wear the pants, so it’s Anne’s the Man. – And then there have been the comments from Todd’s supporters saying “Don’t be confused, Todd’s the man.” And I want to make sure that people know that a woman can be in power, that a woman can do the job.
MD: What has some of your positive feedback been so far?
AG: I’m bringing a new group of people to ASI, people that normally wouldn’t be at the debates have started coming and I’ve started getting e-mails saying, “I wasn’t going to vote this year, but I believe in you.” – I’ve been getting a lot of good feedback from the people that normally don’t vote, that 83 percent of the population that didn’t vote in an election last year. It’s not saying that’s my target market, but I want to make sure I’m getting everybody involved, that’s what I’m trying to run for: student involvement in ASI, to know that there are opportunities.
MD: You say you have no interest in politics, so why ASI?
AG: I chose ASI because I want to be a student’s voice. I don’t want to be my own voice, I don’t want to listen to myself try and jumpstart a political career. I’m here because people want me to be here and I think that I would have a really good effect on what the good points of ASI are now, I think I could really have the potential to make them better … I don’t want to go the government route; I’m much more of a people person – Right now I don’t have the love for that, I have the love more for the people.
MD:The president’s job is to represent the students of Cal Poly – would you represent them in a different way than this year?
AG: I think yes. I think for the last three years we’ve had an engineer as president, I believe that I know people from every college and that I would be very well-rounded and equally represent students. – I think that as a president I would stand out a little bit more than Tylor just because I have more of a broad understanding of students. Instead of working with ASI for the last three years, I’ve been with the students, acting with them as a member of an intramural sports team or part-time work … I think I bring the average voice. I’m more of a wealth of information rather than narrowly ASI.