ASI President Jason Colombini and political science senior Daniel Wasta hope to increase attendance at sporting events.
Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President Jason Colombini has three main items on his to-do list: grow and develop ASI Student Government, engage Cal Poly with the surrounding community and effectively represent all students.
In the past, the ASI leadership team has picked an attack plan to accomplish the main objectives. This year, Colombini’s team set the three goals and let all elected officials decide the best implementation strategy.
“There’s a lot more buy-in from everyone, and we think it’s going to be a lot more successful this year,” Colombini said. “We have a lot of action items we’re working on already, just hitting the ground running.”
The former Interfraternity Council President and agricultural business senior said he wants less distance between all components of ASI, from his executive cabinet to the 24-person Board of Directors.
Students not currently involved in school government will have their voices heard too, Colombini said. He ran for president on the promise of increased office hours and is free for face-to-face conversations three days of the week.
Anyone can talk to Colombini at The Avenue from 8-9 a.m. on Mondays, on Dexter Lawn from 1-2 p.m. on Tuesdays and in his ASI office from 6-8 p.m. on Thursdays.
“The idea was (to do) different times, different days, different locations, just however accessible I could be to get that additional student input,” Colombini said. “I treat it just the same as class. You don’t schedule things over class, and you don’t schedule things over office hours.”
By encouraging true democracy within ASI, Colombini hopes to give more students opportunities to communicate clearly and effectively with elected officials.
ASI’s website will soon have a feature where students can ask questions about anything on campus, and student government members will respond.
Students will receive a survey in the coming week with questions about life at Cal Poly, such as, “What do you think about having a smoke-free campus?”
The new feedback system is one of the most exciting items on Colombini’s agenda, biological sciences senior and Colombini’s chief of staff Derek Majewski said.
“It’s such a simple idea, but we haven’t done it before,” Majewski said. “So now it’s time to make it happen.”
To encourage clear communication between ASI and the student body, Colombini is working on implementing a program used by Fresno State called “Open Gov” that shows where students’ money is going in a user-friendly format.
Colombini plans to revitalize the Student Community Liaison Committee, he said. The committee meets with a variety of community groups including Cuesta College, City Council members and the head of Neighborhood Services in a roundtable format once a month.
The committee has mainly been a way for groups to share information and build relationships over the last couple years. Colombini wants to see more collaborative action, such as campus organizations helping with senior citizens’ projects.
“It was originally an opportunity to work out community issues in that kind of setting, to ease tensions on whatever problems there are in the city,” he said. “Some people on the committee would like to see it stay informational, but there’s also some — like myself — who want to see a little more action potential with it.”
Colombini said he abides by Abraham Lincoln’s idea of a staff of rivals — meaning members of his executive cabinet come from different walks of life with diverse ideas.
“I wanted those diverse perspectives on everything,” Colombini said. “We have people of all different years, five of the six academic colleges, pretty split male-female, even on race too.”
One member of Colombini’s cabinet used to be an actual rival. After running for office against Colombini, political science senior Daniel Wasta is in the president’s corner.
“(Running for office) was a really good opportunity to meet a lot of the students and hear their concerns,” Wasta said. “I know it’s not a one-man job, and I couldn’t imagine not being involved.”
Wasta is focused on increasing attendance and spirit at Cal Poly sporting events. A former high school golf and tennis player, he wants to see more of the Manglers and the Mustang Maniacs screaming at games.
“We’re trying to create an atmosphere, especially at soccer games, like the UCSB game for every game.” Wasta said. “He expressed to me that was something that was really important to him, which was good for me to hear because it’s one of the things I was running on.”