Associated Students, Inc. presidential candidate Jake Rodgers is an agricultural business junior. | Courtesy Photo

Benjy Egel
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  • Two-year member of the National Agricultural Marketing Association (NAMA) team
  • Vice President of Cal Poly Young Cattlemen’s Association
  • Agricultural Student Council President
  • Campaign Slogan: “Be The Difference”

Agricultural business junior Jake Rogers comes from Glenville, Calif., a mountain town an hour outside Bakersfield with road signs reading an overestimated population of 131. And he said he’s ready to lead 19,000 students as Cal Poly’s Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) president.

Rogers’ small-town upbringing taught him to become familiar with people on a personal level. He wants to be ASI president to bring a one-on-one approach back to student government, he said.

“I think ASI, right now, has an image problem … I feel like a lot of people don’t think ASI truly cares what every individual thinks,” Rogers said. “The Board, the president and the executive cabinet … the majority of their time shouldn’t be spent up in their office.”

Rogers, the Agricultural Student Council president, hopes to implement a new system designed to get more feedback from clubs and individual students, he said. His slogan, “Be The Difference,” is less of a campaign marketing strategy and more of a philosophy for his time in office.

The first step would be assigning a different member of his executive cabinet to each club council, he said. Club councils are less formal and organized than Board of Directors meetings, Rogers said.

Once open campaigning begins on April 12, Rogers plans to erect a blackboard wall where students can write what difference they want to make to the community.

“I feel like with a lot of the club councils throughout the college, there’s a good basis there, but they don’t necessarily have the organization and training that they need,” he said.

Though Rogers’ background is in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science (CAFES), he said he doesn’t foresee any problems serving students from each of Cal Poly’s six academic colleges.

If elected, Rogers plans to fill his executive cabinet with students from a wide span of academic colleges and community organizations, such as greek life and sports councils.

“When it gets down to the specific details of your major, that’s stuff that’s going to be handled at the college level anyway, and that’s another benefit of strengthening those club councils,” he said. “Really, the problems that ASI should be focusing on are university-wide issues.”

One university-wide issue Rogers saw in the past year was the fraternity party registration policy; he said good intentions resulted in the administration stepping on students’ freedom.

Keeping students safe on campus should be a priority for Cal Poly officials such as Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Humphrey, Rogers said. He took umbrage with the way the administration didn’t seem to listen to fraternity presidents, not the policy itself.

“It seemed as if the president’s office and Dr. Humphrey framed it as if the students wrote everything in the contract … which wasn’t true,” Rogers said. “I also believe it could possibly hinder the greek community in the future and I know a lot of students, when they’re looking for a university to attend, want an authentic greek experience.”

In addition to his CAFES commitments, Rogers has paid his way through school with money earned at his full-time job training horses. He survives on four hours of sleep a night and multiple cups of coffee a day.

The ASI president’s tuition is paid for by the school, meaning Rogers wouldn’t have to work if he were elected to office. His time previously spent wrangling horses would be spent corralling ideas from students around campus.

Though Rogers is currently a junior, he has enough units to potentially graduate after next fall quarter. Even if he is not elected to office, he said he might choose to remain a Cal Poly student for the entire year.

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