ASI Leadership Team. Photo by Alexander Bohlen in San Luis Obispo, CA. Credit: Courtesy | Alexander Bohlen

Shayna Lynch, a fourth year Political Science major with a minor in Ethics, Public Policy, Science, and Technology, currently serves as the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Lynch ran on a platform consisting of four key elements: diversity, equity, and inclusion, health and wellbeing, sustainability, and empowerment to the student voice. 

“I will continue to push for implementing approaches that carry out these ideals,” Lynch said. “However, this year does bring changes that we could not have predicted back in April, so this summer, my role has pivoted into fulfilling the calls that COVID-19 brings.”

The role of president and ASI as a whole has shifted to meet the demands of COVID-19, and to help make these times more manageable for students, she said.

Lynch is working with two other ASI officers, Cole Dorris and Tess Loarie, on five main points to help deal with the virus. These include: transparent communication between students and the university, outreach and community building, internal diversity, equity, and inclusion, sustainable access to food, housing, and healthcare, and student input in university financial decisions through discussions.

“I’m grateful to be in a position that helps me let student voices be heard,” Lynch said.

As President, Lynch devotes at least 40 hours a week to her job, with her days full of meetings and talking with students. She attends some general meetings, like cabinet meetings or the Board of Directors meetings. Some weekends she meets with the Cal State Student Association (CSSA) where members gather to make decisions that will impact the 480,000 students attending Cal State Universities. She also works on the Academic Senate and as a co-chair on the new ASI Alumni Council.

“I also meet with students around campus to make sure their voices are heard and to help them have educated activism,” Lynch said.

Lynch is originally from San Jose and worked on ASI for the past three years, previously serving as Secretary of Health and Wellbeing, and this past school year as Chief of Staff. In this most recent position, Lynch helped previous ASI President Mark Borges implement his platform and run the executive branch. 

Lynch also has worked on different committees, such as the year-round operations task force and the Title IX advisory board. 

“I was very fortunate to have a clear view and vision of what the role of ASI president is coming into the role,” Lynch said. 

ASI Executive Director Marcy Maloney works as a mentor for Lynch, providing her with professional advice and being her cheerleader.

“This is a very special working relationship for me because we are very open and honest with each other and I learn from her as much as I hope she learns from me,” Maloney said.

Lynch said that she and Maloney have differing styles of leadership, giving Lynch the opportunity to grow as a leader.

ASI Chief of Staff Elizabeth Roseman works with Lynch to ensure the four key elements she ran on are executed properly. They meet bi-weekly to discuss initiatives, set goals, and brainstorm how they can best support Cal Poly students.

I think Shayna and I work really well together, even in a virtual environment, because we continue to support one another,” Roseman said. “I know that if I ever have a problem or question, or even just want to talk, Shayna will do everything she can to support me. Despite being a student herself, Shayna puts so much time and energy into this role, and I feel so fortunate to work with someone who cares so much about supporting and advocating for students.”

Roseman describes Lynch as selfless, passionate, and determined, saying she takes the role very seriously and devotes so much time and energy to her position.  

When Shayna was elected ASI President, we didn’t really know what this academic year would look like, and there has been constant change and uncertainty since March,” Roseman said. “With that, Shayna continues to advocate for students in every way that she can.”

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