The Associated Students Inc. presidential elections begin Feb. 1, and staff are busy streamlining the application rules in preparation.
The rules for running are essentially the same as in previous years, except for the implementation of a new bylaw regulating preexisting policies. In accordance with the bylaw passed this month by the ASI Board of Directors, anyone running for ASI presidency must have a minimum 2.3 GPA for winter quarter and an overall GPA of at least 2.0.
The bill “was really a clarification of something that has always been in practice,” said Carl Payne, Chair of the University Union Advising Board. “It’s always been part of the election packet.”
The GPA minimum requirement reflects the dual role of ASI presidents as campus leaders and students.
“I think the ASI board is interested in being certain that students who aspire to leadership roles are academically-minded,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Cornell Morton.
The requirement also highlights the responsibility inherent to the position. While some may consider the GPA requirement stringent, architecture sophomore Erin Osberg said it seems fair.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Osberg said, “because if they’re going to apply for that sort of work, they should be able to handle at least their courses.”
The applications are available on the ASI Web site starting Feb. 1 and are due by March 6. Campaigning doesn’t start until April 26, so the candidates are still unknown.
The job description for ASI presidents is something like that of a correspondent, representing the student body to the state-run university.
“The primary role [of the president] is to represent the interests of students to the university administrators, to faculty and staff,” Cornell Morton said. “I think that Cal Poly has been very fortunate to have some outstanding student leaders. That position has been very important in our university.”
Applicants have traditionally come from all six colleges, and every Poly student is welcome to run, so long as they have studied at Cal Poly for at least two quarters prior to running. While student government experience is not essential, “I would say that successful ASI presidents in the past seemed to be very active on campus, very involved in clubs and activities,” Carl Payne said.
The position of president presents the student with an effective means to change the world around them.
“I think that you have to really want it because you have to want to be a part of an active change,” ASI board of directors member Kelsey Rice said. “And it’s also for people who like challenges, because it is a diverse body of people.”