Georgie de Mattos/Mustang News

Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) hired political science junior Andrew Robinson as the new chief of staff on Feb. 3. Mustang News sat down with Robinson to discuss his new position.

Why did you want to be chief of staff?

I was on the Executive Cabinet last year. I had a lot of fun, and it was a great learning experience, especially in leadership development. I want to give back to the students who are on the cabinet this year and give them the same great experience that I was given last year. I want to help them develop as leaders and students.

How do you think being a member of the Executive Cabinet prepared you for the chief of staff position?

I had actually applied for the chief of staff position last spring, so it was something that I had always thought about. Leading up to it, I talked with last year’s Chief of Staff Jake Rogers about what it was like being in that position. Then I would just watch what he did, how he did it and try to learn from him. Being able to have that experience of knowing what he did to be successful, and the ways he learned from his mistakes and grew as a person helped me come into this position. I am  confident that I can develop and learn from my mistakes as well.

What are your responsibilities as chief of staff?

Most of the responsibilities lie within managing the cabinet and running meetings. My central duty is basically making sure that the cabinet is working toward fulfilling the goals of the president.

What are your goals for this position?

Mostly, I oversee the cabinet in helping Owen (Schwaegerle) as the president manage everything. Learn by Doing is something that I very strongly believe in. I am a political science major, so having an office like this is great for me. I am learning for the future, learning how to work with people and help others develop themselves and take critical feedback.

What are you involved in outside of ASI?

Currently, I have an internship with the State Department. It is a virtual internship that takes about 10 hours a week. So it is a nice casual internship where I am having a lot of fun getting to know the inner workings of the State Department.

In the past, I was involved in New Student and Transitions Programs. I was a WOW (Week of Welcome) leader and a SOAR leader for two years, and I also worked as an orientation leader, which was a lot of fun.

I am graduating in the spring, so I am working on my senior project.

What projects are you going to be leading?

Something that I am really passionate about is bringing students and the permanent residents of San Luis Obispo together. A lot of what I was passionate about and worked on last year revolved around the community and building relationships with the neighbors that we live around, and how they interact on a daily basis with us students in Cal Poly. So, I am really looking forward to a couple projects where we can bridge the gap between students and community.

How will you bridge the gap?

I know that there are a lot of community members that look unfavorably on students at Cal Poly, so having some face-time interactions with those community members would be good. I want to show them that we are just students, who are not always rambunctious; sometimes we do like to sit down and talk and get to know people.

The former chief of staff (Jonathan Lampkin) was involved with the Flex Your Right campaign, what are you going to do to take over?

We have some tentative plans for the rest of the year to try to really finish strong with that campaign. There’s nothing solidified yet, but at least I will be doing some work in paving the future of that campaign.

What was the transition like coming into a position, not only mid-term, but also mid-quarter?

I haven’t felt overwhelmed at all coming into this position. A lot of people have been helping me; staff and other students in student government pointing me in the right direction, telling me what I can do to improve and fit into the position easily.

What are you looking forward to as chief of staff?

It’s the last thing that I could have done to make this my best year here. I have four months left at Cal Poly and I am excited to be busy helping people because that’s something that I love doing. Knowing what’s in the agenda for the upcoming months is exciting for me.

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