Even with the presidential race whittled to just one candidate, the Associate Students Inc. elections campaign continued as scheduled Thursday in the University Union.
As ASI elections chair Kelsey Rice read from index cards, lone presidential hopeful Sarah Storelli, who has spoken with more than 67 clubs and organizations as part of her promise to unite campus organizations, said she felt at home in front of the mix-and-match crowd.
“I was comfortable, and I gave the best answers I could in the short amount of time,” she said.
Free cookies were given to those who submitted questions.
Filled with baked confection, one student expressed concern for the increased student fees and class availability. Storelli said while she will work to decrease fees, a lot depends on Governor Schwarzenegger and the state budget.
“As far as classes go, although students feel like classes are harder to take, they were able to take, on average, 14.2 units this quarter,” she said, “and both are ongoing issues that we can address with university administration once the time comes and depending on the state of the economy next year.”
After she answered the second question, a stream of peaceful demonstrators filtered in and filled the plaza.
MEXA president Daniella Castro said the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act is an important piece of legislation and hopes students will show their support by signing a petition, which could help carry the legislation all the way to President Obama.
The petition and a wall detailing the DREAM Act will be on Dexter Lawn.
“We’re not pushing immigration reform,” she said. “We just want graduates to have a good chance to get a job once they leave here.”
Castro says some students in the club pay for their education because they do not meet the requirements necessary for receiving student loans or grants. Only legal residents qualify for such educational benefits.
If passed, the DREAM Act would grant temporary residency to those, who, as Castro pointed out, have no choice whether they are taken across the border. If passed, the act grants six years in which to complete an undergraduate degree — which would earn students legal resident status — or join the military. Benefitors, however, would not be considered U.S. citizens, meaning they couldn’t vote.
“Schwarzenegger don’t be cruel, we just want to go to school!” echoed behind drum taps as Storelli finished the round of questioning.