Todd Maki, mechanical engineering junior, and one of the candidates for ASI president, has many issues that he will fight for if he wins. Everyone has the opportunity to go to the forums that are held, but not everyone does. So, here is a chance to see what Maki is all about. He got a little closer and let us in on some info, from the campaign to the issues to a few fun facts.
Mustang Daily: Tell me a little bit about your ad campaign.
Todd Maki: My campaign team and I were sitting around thinking about why people should vote for me. We were going down a list of things, like because of this, and this, and realized that was it. That is why it is Todd Because- there are so many reasons and 99 percent of the people wearing the shirts can tell you why.
MD: What are your main issues?
TM: I want to work to establish a sense of community in the school and the city. People don’t know the issues so they don’t vote. They don’t know how big of a presence ASI and the students have on the community. There are several groups on campus focused on sustainability that I have been working with a lot. Recently, Empower Poly was created which is a chance for all those clubs to join together and work for one goal. That’s what I would like to do all over campus, bring everyone together so they all know what is happening on campus and get interested.
I also want to continue the work I’ve already started. I want to expand CP NEXT, which Tylor Middlestadt has been working on.
I’m pushing to improve the bus system even more. I want to continue to work with the city on it. I also am working on improving bike access on campus, alternative means of transportation and night transportation. I don’t think it’s safe to walk alone at night, especially on a college campus where alcohol is prevalent. I’ve already started researching what other campuses do and offer. It shouldn’t be very difficult because the school doesn’t want students walking around ” they really do care about us.
I’m also working on student services. I want to increase the debit and credit card use on campus. It doesn’t make sense that there is no credit card use allowed at any food places. Students can only use their cards at three places: Mustang Express, the bookstore, and the Rec Center. The Rec Center and Mustang Express are through ASI. This would be extremely beneficial for the students. Students should be able to pick things up they need for class at Campus Market or get a bite to eat anywhere on campus between classes.
Something else that I would like to see happen is the ability to use Plus Dollars and Campus Express off campus. I know other campuses such as ASU do it. It wouldn’t be implemented come fall ” things like that take time. I know that students would appreciate it. They could go get Woodstocks instead of Backstage or get a steak sandwich at Firestone instead of Campus Market. Whenever I tell students the idea, their eyes light up.
Mostly, I want to close the gap between the city and students. One of the biggest issues we have is Mardi Gras, and it’s always a concern for everyone. This year there were more cops than students and that isn’t ok. The students don’t want to be shot with pellet guns and the cops don’t want to be out there fighting students. However, there has been a huge lack of respect between everyone. We need to do our partying in a respectful manner but they also need to respect the fact that we are college students and that we want to party. We need to build a respect within the community. We don’t want to promote what happened two years ago anymore. It’s not safe though it may be fun.
MD: Why are you the best ASI president?
TM: I will be the best ASI president because I am by far the most qualified candidate for the job. I have been on the ASI Board of Directors for the past three years. ASI is an $11 million corporation, not a high school committee. We aren’t planning pep rallies and dances here. I know who knows what and who to talk to about every issue. Even though SLO Transit isn’t through ASI, we can advocate for change. I know every member of the city council. I know the people in town it takes to get things done. Not only do I know them, I also have a relationship with them. You can’t get people to do things for you by telling them what you want – you have to work together.
The clubs on this campus want a sense of community. It is already starting and ASI can facilitate it. We can use the momentum to continue it.
I like to put this in perspective. For any club, the members would not elect someone as their president that has never been involved in the organization. You would choose someone that has been around and seen how things work. They just know.
MD: What do you think of the fact that both the Democrats and Republicans on campus are endorsing you?
TM: It only proves that ASI has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the students. We are bringing people together for a common goal so politics don’t matter. We are working for the students regardless of their political status. I’ve worked with both clubs and they can see that too.
MD: What other organizations are you involved in?
TM: I am the chair of Student Campus Computing Committee. We are the reason for the new portal and the wireless on campus. We are helping ITS develop a new registration system. Come fall, POWER will be gone. It will be so much nicer to use and it affects every student here.
I am also the senor vice chair of the Engineering Student Council. We are responsible for putting on National Engineering week and the Engineering Awards Banquet. We are also the official representatives of the college of engineering. We work on developing relationships with corporations and bringing new things to campus.
I am finally in WOW, which I have wanted to do for so long. I finally decided I would do it, since it was my last chance before I graduate.