Ryan Chartrand

Every other week, about 30 student representatives convene to spend their Wednesday evenings discussing important bills, upcoming events, how money should be doled out to student clubs and much more. These students are the very ones you chose to represent you and your college, and will have the opportunity to choose once more in the next few days. But as the school year progresses, many of these students only occasionally exercise their rights to debate and their attendance becomes more infrequent.

That said, there is one person who continues to stand out and raise her hand when the rest of the room remains silent. And it’s not just in UU 216 that she inquisitively raises her hand – it’s everywhere.

Every year, the Mustang Daily editors take the time to discuss which Associated Student Inc. presidential candidate we feel would best serve the university in the coming year and leave a lasting impression for years to come. Several members of the editorial staff met with the candidates in person when the Mustang Daily filmed an interview just more than a week ago (check it out at http://tinyurl.com/664n9w) and had the opportunity to ask their own questions. Other editors took the time to speak with the candidates one-on-one at their booths or by researching their platforms and stances on issues. Some had even previously interacted with them in a class setting.

But after a week of active campaigning, there wasn’t a whole lot of doubt among the 14 editors. With one editor supporting Arvand Sabetian, one supporting Melissa Lema and one undecided, the majority of the staff agreed that Angela Kramer is the obvious choice for the 2008-09 ASI president.

While the two other candidates both show great experience and ambitious agendas for the position, Kramer truly embodies a new future for ASI and student involvement in general. It should be noted that the Health Center is certainly an example of a student service that could stand to be improved, and Sabetian’s idea to provide safe transportation to the students living in Poly Canyon Village next year is a great idea that should be pursued by whomever is elected president.

But the role of ASI president is so much more than that. Don’t think of this as the U.S. presidential election that promises to accomplish specific tasks that will fix or change everything; this is about setting a tone and most importantly, implementing a vision that will last for years to come.

And Kramer’s vision is a particularly green one – one she calls “a realistic dream.” Her campaign says it all and sets an example of the ideals for which she stands. Few students in ASI are pushing as actively for sustainability and LEED certification at Cal Poly as Kramer is, and we believe she has the persistence and motivation to start paving such a future.

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably seen Angela Kramer before – she is everywhere. She stood megaphone in hand proclaiming “Homophobia has got to go!” at the Pride Alliance’s Same-Sex Hand-Holding Day in February and, along with her peers, smeared coal on her face in support of clean power at Focus the Nation in January. From the last-minute Chelsea Clinton speech to the controversial Saudi Arabia forum, she is always present and always asking questions. Whether it’s in a classroom environment or an ASI Board of Directors meeting, Kramer doesn’t accept being spoon-fed information. Instead, she asks pertinent questions when no one else will.

And she takes the time to answer questions as well. Who would make a better ASI president than someone who has already been actively representing the university as a PolyRep and an ASI board member? Her passion for this position is unparalleled and even the most polarized of student organizations can’t help but be inspired by her. Kramer truly holds the potential to transform Cal Poly into a university where students are involved, unafraid to ask questions and care about their campus and its future.

Given her passion for the position, her outreach toward student organizations and her ongoing campus involvement, we believe she is capable of representing the 18,000-plus students around her. Even in classes, she proves that she is motivated and focused, but always engaged and respectful of her peers’ opinions.

So, regardless of whom you may lean toward for your president (or whether you’re leaning at all), take the time to get to know the three candidates. But in our opinion, it’s Angela Kramer who can shape a new and effective student government on campus, while inspiring and reminding students why they came to Cal Poly.

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