As students walked through campus Tuesday wearing “Keep Calm, Wasta On” shirts, political science junior Daniel Wasta sat inside the Walter F. Dexter Building and told the story of how he came to Cal Poly from Iowa less than two years ago. Then, he didn’t know a single person on campus.
Clearly, he said, things have changed.
Wasta, who has held firm in his message of promoting “spirit, sustainability and support” at Cal Poly since developing the platform in February, said Tuesday he’s been busier than ever managing his campaign for Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) president. He is enrolled in a graduate-level political science course, working as a resident adviser in Sequoia Hall and on track to graduate in three years.
“It’s a tough job,” he said. “I like to think I’m the most organized when I have a lot on my plate, (but) this is obviously the most I’ve ever had on my plate.”
All four candidates have managed to put aside their desire to win, Wasta said, and he’s been impressed by the campaigns’ fairness. He said each of the candidates has different ideas about how to run student government, but they are all running for the right reason: to improve Cal Poly.
Wasta said he unexpectedly met competitor Jason Colombini at a Cal Poly soccer game Saturday, leading to a 30-minute conversation that illustrates the candidates’ casual relationship with each other.
Though the two did discuss campaigning — “the elephant in the room,” as Wasta called it — their conversation focused on how to improve the university. And their crazy schedules.
“We all want to see the best for Cal Poly, we all want to see Cal Poly move in the right direction,” Wasta said.
If Wasta wins, it would be his first ASI leadership position. He’s repeatedly said coming from the outside of ASI leadership won’t limit his ability to govern, but will instead give him new perspective on old issues.
The Wasta team doesn’t have any plans to celebrate a potential victory Thursday. It’s a scenario, Wasta said, he’s been too busy to fully think about.
“Of course I’ve thought about it, but I’ve never gotten past the ‘Drum roll, please’ part,” he said. “I don’t know what I’d do if I heard my name.”
Though Wasta said he’s likely been outspent by his competitors, he remained confident Tuesday that all students will be able to connect with his platform.
As Wasta stood alone at his booth near Dexter Lawn Tuesday afternoon, Colombini left his own booth — buzzing with dozens of students — and handed Wasta a hot dog.
Still, Wasta said he feels good about his chances.
“They’ve got food, and we’ve got a platform,” he said. “I just think we have a such a great platform. Everyone benefits from it. Our signs might not be the tallest and we might not have the most signs, and we were most likely outspent. But I like to think money won’t buy this election.”