The Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) presidential candidates — agricultural sciences junior Jana Colombini and mechanical engineering senior Isaias Diaz — are in the home stretch of their campaigns this week.
Both have been rushing to make last-second connections with potential voters on campus before voting ends at 9 a.m. Thursday, attempting to increase their visibility through additional signs and banners across campus, along with more face time in the University Union (UU) Plaza.
Colombini, the vice chair of ASI Board of Directors and a founding member of Alpha Gamma Delta, has been focusing her campaign on three points: care, communicate and connect. Diaz, who is on the Cal Poly wrestling team and working to get fraternity Kappa Chi recognized, said he largely wants to focus on improving community relations, inclusivity and the campus’ social scene.
Colombini said she has been trying to stay as organized as possible, keeping things in line through the duration of the voting period.
“In preparing for my last week, I’ve been meeting with my campaign team, reaching out to clubs — just making sure everybody’s on the same page,” Colombini said. “I just want everybody to be able to make an informed decision.”
There was a brief moment to breathe amid all the chaos for Colombini, though. Her parents visited during Open House weekend.
“It was really nice just to recharge,” she said. “They took me out to dinner and to lunch.”
Similarly, Diaz said he has been working to keep up with outreach to the end — talking to engineering students, athletic teams and greek organizations he said he can relate to, and going out to march with the Queer Student Union during Open House.
“I feel good, but I still feel like I have work to do,” Diaz said. “You can’t stop until the final whistle blows. I’ve learned that from wrestling … it’s not over ‘til it’s over.”
Thus far, Colombini said she has spent approximately $3,000 funding her campaign, while Diaz said he has spent approximately $2,000. Both candidates have had to come up with all of the money on their own, but their funding sources were vastly different.
Colombini self-funded her entire campaign through summers spent working on her parents’ ranch. The Colombinis own a 175-acre walnut orchard.
“That’s something important that I want students to know: I’m paying for my entire campaign — my parents aren’t paying for it. I’ve known I wanted to be ASI president for a couple of years, so I’ve been saving up all of my own money for it.”
Diaz has gotten the bulk of his funding through donations from alumni associations and friends.
“It’s been a collective effort,” he said. “My family’s not well off. I’ve depended on financial aid every year I’ve been here … and I’m in sports and engineering, so I don’t have time to get a job.”
As a write-in candidate, Diaz said he had to collect 200 signatures to get his candidacy approved.
He said it’s spurred him on to work harder: “I feel good, but I still feel like I have work to do.”
Colombini said she feels like by the end she’s confident that she’ll have done everything she could do to get the vote.
“I feel like I can do this, but you never know,” she said. “It’s a 50/50 chance.”