With the end of my term within sight, it is time for me to prepare to pass the torch. It’s a bittersweet time of reflecting on this year’s success and challenges, looking ahead to next year’s potential and most importantly preparing our next ASI president to tackle the most important issues facing students. As I prepare to enter into the real world of ASI ‘has-beens’ here are three of the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing Cal Poly students.
Transportation – There are three issues that need to be addressed within transportation: Effective and efficient public transportation during typical service hours (6 a.m. to 10 p.m.); safe, reliable and affordable late-night transportation service (i.e. Safe-Ride, Police Escort Vans, etc.); and accessible, sustainable transportation options to, from and throughout campus. Together this package is tough to tackle all at once, but a focused president with strong student support could manage to make progress in all three areas throughout the year.
Student success – An often overlooked area of campus that would benefit greatly from consistent student support is “student success” initiatives. The campus is working hard to improve our graduation rates and trim our average time-to-degree, but there must be a concerted effort on the part of your student leaders to provide the student perspective while these programs are under development. The exciting part is that the university is currently engaged in a broad process of improving our campus technology resources and the time is ripe for students to have an impact on how services like class registration, graduation evaluations and class schedule planning are delivered in the future. I challenge future ASI leaders to seriously consider this a priority because it’s a win-win situation. The students win because we can graduate sooner with a smoother process, and the university wins because the services are delivered so they can reallocate limited financial and staff resources to other important projects.
Sustainability – I believe that Cal Poly as an institution is on the verge of becoming a recognized national leader in environmental stewardship, in no small part because of the passion and commitment of hundreds of our students who have built the foundation of a blossoming sustainability movement on campus. In addition, the support and encouragement that students have received from our talented faculty, staff and administrators along the way has been incredible. If we continue developing these technologies conceptually, and implementing small solutions over time, it won’t be long before Cal Poly becomes known as not only the best academic university in the West, but also the most sustainable. Wouldn’t it be exciting to have a hand in that effort? Well, you can, especially if your next ASI president keeps the issue a priority on campus.
One thing I’ve learned while serving as your ASI president is that students DO matter to the university. The challenge is not only in establishing our voice as an important perspective, but leveraging our voice in the appropriate time, place and manner to make effective progress toward positive change. This reason alone is why the ASI president is so important to Cal Poly. The ASI president has the ability to bring people together to discuss pressing issues and approach tangible solutions. Most importantly, the ASI president is your delegate to the university, accountable to your concerns and perspective, and responsible for advocating on your behalf in every way possible. Show Cal Poly that you care. Get out and vote to elect your next ASI leaders and help us reach our goal of a 25 percent voter turnout.
Tylor Middlestadt is the ASI president and Mustang Daily columnist who encourages you to choose the best candidate and get out and vote next week. He can be reached at 756-5828, firstname.lastname@example.org, AIM: CPASI President