Associated Student Inc. (ASI) election season is here, and the presidential candidate banners are flying.
Active campaigning began Sunday, and an introductory forum was held Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the University Union (UU) Plaza in preparation for voting on April 27 and 28.
Liberal studies freshman Kayla Meints attended the forum, but said she noticed an overall lack of student presence.
“No one was really there,” Meints said. “Not a lot of people know about the elections.”
The two presidential candidates, Kiyana Tabrizi and Daniel Galvan, have booths in the UU Plaza and election posters around campus. They spoke briefly at the forum, followed by introductions of each of the 69 candidates for ASI Board of Directors. Yet, many students continue to overlook the ASI election process.
Kinesiology senior Anna Acuña said she pays little attention to ASI elections.
“I think (the candidates’) posters are cute with how rhyme-y they are,” Acuña said. “But, other than having the opportunity to speak with them, you have no idea what they intend to do as ASI president.”
Other students, such as materials engineering senior Ryan Satcher, said they can’t make decisions about either candidate because of how difficult it is to access information about the elections.
“I may vote, but probably not,” Satcher said. “Because I don’t know anything about it, it would be hard to vote.”
Not all students, however, are ignoring the election cycle.
Industrial technology freshman Katie Brennan said she has wanted to get involved for a while, and is doing so by joining the Tabrizi campaign team.
“I think it’s important to vote,” Brennan said. “These are the students who are going to represent us.”
Tabrizi, a political science senior, addressed student disinterest during her speech, as well as the normal “monotony” of ASI election forums and debates.
“I ask you just to participate and vote,” Tabrizi said.“Usually ASI presidents come up here and say they’re going to do this for sustainability, this for diversity, this for greek affairs and the list goes on. It’s not that simple. It’s not a checklist.”
This being said, Tabrizi’s speech focused less on her platform, and more on the changes she wants to see in the culture of ASI.
“(ASI) lacks in a few major skills: communication and maintaining and creating relationships,” she said to those listening in the UU plaza.
She said ASI must develop more transparency, specifically with regard to its handling of the Recreation Center closure.
Tabrizi’s opponent’s platform differed in a few aspects when it was announced.
Galvan, a sociology senior, said in his speech that he is running on a three-part platform of sustainable living, diversity and advocacy.
“A platform serves as a way to hold me accountable during my term,” Galvan said. “With no platform, what can you hold me accountable for?”
In Galvan’s speech, he also said he pledges to enhance communication between the ASI president and the student body.
“I plan on using technology to communicate to all Cal Poly students (through) something as simple as a one-minute, biweekly YouTube video,” Galvan said.
The ASI presidential candidates will go head-to-head in a debate Thursday in the UU Plaza during UU hour. Until then, people involved in ASI, such as ASI secretary of sustainability and biological sciences freshman Cale Reid, can only hope the elections begin to garner more attention.
“As we get closer to the day people can vote, I imagine active campaigning will ramp up,” Reid said.
Still, other students not associated with ASI, such as electrical engineering freshman Spencer Williams, said the atmosphere on campus does not show passion for the elections.
“It doesn’t seem like most people are interested in what’s going on,” Williams said.