ASI candidates for Board of Directors and President for next year talked with Mustang News about their priorities if elected into office.
The voting period will begin Tuesday at 8 a.m. and close on Thursday at 8 a.m. Voting is available through the Cal Poly Portal or through the ASI website.
On Thursday in the University Union, the two candidates running for president spoke in a moderated debate and further explained their platforms. A recording of the full presidential debate can be found here.
Environmental management and protection senior Sam Andrews said that he intends to make the Cal Poly campus more accessible — physically, mentally and financially.
“I have been working in student government, working to advocate for students since my first year on campus,” Andrews said.
Andrews was previously involved with the Interhousing Council, setting all-time records for leading efforts that passed the most legislation.
“I really do want to show that I’m a person who is capable of advocacy,” Andrews said. “Sometimes, the student body is sold on a lot and doesn’t receive a lot.”
Andrews will be entering as a fifth-year in the 2023-24 school year. He is advocating for transparency between campus leadership and the student body, aiming to work on that within ASI. He also plans to create a “circular action economy,” which would look like creating a system to support and bolster student class projects that help improve campus.
“There have been some feelings that transparency by admin and leadership has failed and shared governance has failed,” Andrews said. “So that’s something I want to work on within the organization.”
Write-in candidate Jake Zylstra, an agricultural business junior, is advocating on the platform for free speech. Zylstra previously ran for ASI president last year.
“I grew up Christian and I have a lot of those traditional values,” Zylstra said. “I hate seeing the deterioration of freedom of speech happening on this campus.”
ASI Board of Directors
Elections for the ASI Board of Directors will open alongside the presidential candidates on April 25. The board consists of 24 positions. Mustang News spoke with nine of the candidates who shared their goals for the incoming school year.
Among candidates, common platforms included club funding, safe transportation means and transparency between the student body and Cal Poly administration.
Computer science junior Sujanya Srinath is one of the candidates that has a focus to improve the system for club funding. Srinath is currently on the Board of Directors as a College of Engineering representative.
“In the future, I’d like to advocate more for club funding and diversity on campus because that’s pretty important here,” Srinath said.
Srinath is also on the diversity and inclusion committee, where she has advocated for social justice funding within club organizations on campus.
Journalism freshman Alexander Levine also wants to make club involvement accessible to all students.
“Some of the things I really want to bring to the table is a precise eye to look at the procedures we’re using is fair and equitable, to make sure everyone has access to clubs and activities and to really know what’s going on campus,” Levine said. “I really want to get everyone involved on a deeper level.”
To make clubs more accessible, Levine hopes to hold more than one campus showcase that annually happens in the fall.
Political science freshman Scott Drouin found support from Student Diversity and Belonging and wants to support its associated campus centers.
“I’m really just running on a platform of advocacy and I really have a focus on SDAB centers,” Drouin said. “I really benefited from them and want to see them in a wider breadth, and have the resources they need to be successful.”
In addition to supporting club sports, political science freshman Beckett McVoy hopes to focus on student wellness and promote eco-friendly and health beneficial transportation.
“I’m a very outdoorsy person,” McVoy said. “And my goal as an ASI Board of Director is to help promote student wellness within the campus.”
Statistics freshman Jett Palmer is running on the platform of student wellness as well.
“I’m passionate about student mental health and accessibility and I want to bring that to my role here at ASI,” Palmer said. “My goals are to bring the unheard voice to the Cal Poly student government and ensure everyone has equitable access to the resources we have here and to promote high-quality education.”
City and regional planning student Aaron Posternack is campaigning to improve on-campus transportation.
“I would like students to know I’m someone who is actively campaigning in order to make stuff a lot better on campus,” Posternack said.
Computer science junior Siddharth Kartha is currently on the ASI Board of Directors as a CENG representative. Kartha describes himself as a “hard worker” and “great listener.”
“I want the university to do not what I think they should do, but what students think is right,” Kartha said.
Kartha is focused on a “multitude of issues,” one being improving the study spaces during the library renovation.
“The temporary location that the library is using is insufficient and is absolutely disastrous. And I want to change that,” Kartha said. “I want the university and ASI to provide a safe, comfortable and quality study space.”
Computer engineering student Ethan Robin wants to improve the transparency between university and student body.
“I love this campus and I have a lot of things I really want to come to fruition and I really just care about Cal Poly and other people,” Robin said. “So you can come to me anytime and ask me any questions, I love talking to people.”
Robin values students’ understanding of how the university operates.
“What does your college dean do? What does the president do? What does ASI do? Who’s in charge of your meals?” Robin said. “I want there to be easier-to-access platforms for people to understand how things work at Cal Poly and know who to go to when they’re bothered by something.”
Business administration freshman Alexis Kong is focused on daily issues students face such as food insecurity.
“I want students to know that the Board of Directors is to represent you and to keep their best interests in mind so that their college experience is memorable,” Kong said.
All of the 2023-24 candidate statements can be found on the ASI website.