With Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Student Government voting underway, the new wave of student Board of Directors will be revealed Thursday, April 25 at 11 a.m. But with the majority of the student body not voting in ASI elections, many students are left asking how the Board of Directors affects them.
The Board of Directors is made up of representatives from each college. These 24 representatives serve on standing and external committees.
For example, the Recruitment & Elections or Business & Finance are standing committees, made up of ASI Student Government members and ASI staff members. These committees focus on specific ASI matters.
External committees, such as the Parking or Commencement committees, are made of faculty, staff and ASI representatives. These committees are concerned with broader campus-wide issues.
According to environmental and protection management junior Mark Borges, who serves as the Chair of ASI Board of Directors, members balance giving direction on ASI business operations while also serving as the official voice for Cal Poly students in all major university decisions.
One example of the board’s corporate influence was their decision to vote on allocating money to the ASI Children’s Center on campus after a fuse broke, according to Board of Directors representative and sociology senior Noah Krigel.
The official voice of students
ASI passes resolutions and endorsements about key student issues such as sustainability, diversity and inclusion and academic affairs to ensure students’ voices are heard when administration is making decisions.
Board members talk to students and discover what issues are most relevant to student life. If there is a common sentiment about an issue, representatives can draft a resolution that the board can then collectively vote on. For example, during the 2015-16 school year, the board passed a resolution to recommend free parking on weekends to improve student access to campus.
“This is an example of student success when we talk about students being able to go to the library on campus and study and have group meetings, that’s all a lot in part to the advocacy work that the board does,” Borges said.
While it can be challenging for representatives to get a lot done because of the battle with legal constraints from ASI, Cal Poly and the CSU System as a whole, the board urges students to vote to reflect the change they want to see in the future.
“Students should vote because the decisions and student conversations that are happening within these positions are so vital to student success,” Borges said. “The individuals who are sitting in these seats are people who are doing this because they’re passionate about these issues and, like any elected representative in any situation, that individual is speaking on your behalf, so you want to know who those candidates are and make sure that they’re going to do the job to the best of their ability.”
Students can vote for the 2019-2020 ASI President and Board of Directors through their Cal Poly portal or the ASI website until Thursday, April 25 at 9 a.m.
In the future, students can also reach out to a representative of their respective college through the ASI website or by making an appearance at the Board of Directors’ open meeting. The bi-weekly meetings are held in room 220 of the Julian A. McPhee University Union at 5:10 p.m.