There are only two days remaining to pick up a packet from the Student Life and Leadership office and become a candidate for the ASI spring elections. This year our theme for elections is “Move to Improve,” so if you’re considering getting involved on campus, have dreams of being in a business or political leadership role later in life or just want a chance to make a real difference, this is your chance! Being elected to ASI is a great first step to build your leadership skills and your resume. Here are a few reflections on what ASI offers.
First of all, I wasn’t very involved on campus before I chose to run for ASI, and the reason I decided to run for a seat on the ASI Board of Directors was to gain leadership experience and make sure that student resources were being used responsibly.
Once I was on the Board I was amazed by how much I learned at every meeting. It was nothing like I expected and it’s nothing like high school student government. We saw reports from campus administrators on the campus Master Plan, campus dining, textbook prices and even got to meet President Baker, who we try to invite to one meeting each quarter. We also got first hand information from the chief of SLOPD, city staff and county supervisors regarding Mardi Gras, SLO Transit and smart growth issues in the county. All things considered, it can be said that before I was on the Board, I knew next to nothing about the campus. But after a year in office I had a solid understanding of how the university functions.
Since I got involved in ASI Student Government three years ago, the Board has taken positions on several important issues including: tolerance on campus, sustainability, California budget issues, registration and scheduling policies, gender equity, women’s safety, Mardi Gras, textbook prices, ethnic studies, tsunami relief, community relations, voter registration, SLO Transit, diversity and much more.
Additionally, being on the Board of Directors introduced me to many other opportunities. It opened doors for me that I wouldn’t have even known about if I hadn’t made a decision to be a candidate. Following a resolution I co-authored on sustainable campus development, I was able to work with the Cal State Student Association’s (CSSA) Environmental Affairs Officer on a system-wide policy initiative to create strong goals for renewable energy and sustainability in the CSU. Through this effort I was appointed to a CSU system-wide committee responsible for shaping the policy mentioned above. As a member of the committee I worked for over two years advocating for strong goals, collaborating with high-level staff in the CSU Chancellor’s office. This year ASI continues to collaborate with CSSA to represent students at the statewide level.
Being on the Board was the only reason that I was prepared to be Executive Vice President last year and President this year. It helped develop a strong foundation of knowledge about ASI and Cal Poly. This is an opportunity that is available to all students and I strongly encourage you to consider your potential as a campus leader. The world needs more ordinary people to step up to the plate and take a chance at leadership. Who knows, you might just be the one we’ve been waiting for.
Tylor Middlestadt is the ASI president and a Mustang Daily columnist who encourages you to take a chance and run for ASI office. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 756.5828 or AIM: CPASIPresident.