A.S. vice president of external relations candidate Fabiola Moreno

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by Jadyn Brandt, News Editor

Position: Vice President of External Relations

Name: Fabiola Moreno

Pronouns: She/Her

Year:  Third Year

Major: Political Science & Criminal Justice                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Why did you decide to run for this position?

Coming into my first year I didn’t think I would even be at SDSU for a semester. I thought that because I was a first-generation and low-income student that I was just going to be another statistic. I saw that there were systems and barriers that caused that for me but as I proceeded towards SDSU and towards my academic career, I noticed that a lot of students face the same barriers I do but it’s not dependent on their race, their gender, their identity, etc. I specifically saw this when I became an RA, when I was the only person of color on my floor I saw that it didn’t matter that my residents didn’t look like me, we were all going through the same issues. That’s why I decided to get more involved as an RA with those students (and) to continue to be more involved within my EOP (Educational Opportunity Program) community. I decided to stick with Associated Students to really bridge the gap between EOP and AS and cultural (organizations) and people of color.

I was able to kind of bridge all of those three, and I really decided to run to assure that through systems and policy outside of the university, because Vice President of External Relations has to deal with a lot of outside and external policy decisions that are being made, I really saw that there’s a way where we can make sure that those policies are fit for our SDSU students and their diverse perspectives and hardships.

What makes you qualified for this position? What is your history with A.S.?

I have been in the realm of external relations for three years now, as an active member of the External Relations Board, serving as an active member of the Lobby Corp Board, which is a subcommittee of External Relations and makes sure that we are researching the policies within the university and outside the university that involve SDSU students. I now chair the Lobby Corp Committee and I just planned the California for Higher Education Students Summit where SDSU students were able to lobby for SDSU students, their peers and our CSU students and that directly correlates to the role of External Relations.

Other than that I’ve been in the Educational Opportunity Program and I’m a proud first-generation student within that program I have been in the RISE program, which is the only program on campus that gives tours to parents that are non-English speakers and we’re able to show them all around the school, etc. Within that program I have also worked on recruiting students from lower-income communities in San Diego, communities like San Ysidro, Chula Vista, National City, making sure that I am inviting them to SDSU and providing them information about our school that resources, it has to offer, and really showing them that you know as a person that looks like them, they could really get into the school first and thrive.

What would you like to change at SDSU?

The respect that students have for administration. I think that the administration has failed us plenty of times. I’m going to use this example over and over again because it’s really true, spring break. I think that the mental hardships students are having, the extra stress that students are having, all of that has to do with The University Senate not listening to us. They heard us when we were in that room, but they did not listen to us.

My job is to make sure I aid that relationship (through) representing students and (through) putting myself in those places but also (by) bringing others with me. I really want to make sure that there are more voices in our space. I think that if we start at that ground level, then students are able to get informed and then themselves are able to then attend University Senate meetings if they want to, because they have that knowledge because they’ve been involved in the work. A lot of up students aren’t involved right, so I really want to make sure that (I) get them more involved.

Can you name something you like and something you dislike about A.S.?

Something that I like about Associated Students is that there really is a niche for everybody. Whether you’re in sustainability or politics or policy to create events there’s something for you, rec. and wellness there’s something for you. 

But I think that one thing I dislike about associated students and that I could see them improve on is the accessibility of these meetings. So, say, for example, a commuter student can’t really get involved, because you know some meetings are late at night, some meetings are slightly early etc, and they have to sometimes add four hours to the commute at school. that makes it really hard for them. I feel like Associated Students really needs to make sure that they are involved too.

Enhancing that outreach to all communities is really important, and especially to those who aren’t as represented. If you’re not involved in A.S., you’re probably involved in another organization (and) there are opportunities in Associated Students for those to (collaborate) and those worlds to mix. We just need to make sure that we’re making it accessible, that we’re retaining the students most importantly, and that we’re diversifying our spaces coherently.

What will be your top three priorities in this role?

My first (priority) is basic needs. We’ve seen that with COVID these have been exacerbated. Everything from food insecurity (and) making sure that I am enhancing the CalFresh programs at SDSU, making sure that I’m making it easier for students to apply to those programs, and these programs are really accessible to all students. More institutional aid and more Cal Grants to make sure students aren’t taking out loans to pay housing, we know that housing affordability is a huge problem. Making sure that I can work with Aztec Shops, with our career services, with Associated Students to provide those workplaces where it’s accessible for all students to get (jobs), especially for our undocumented students. I really want to work on that and inclusive mental health resources. 

Another (priority) that I really want to work on is civic engagement, really making sure that I go to students on campus and (make) sure that through Associated Students we’re amplifying their needs their voices to then make sure that I am best representing them when I’m lobbying for this legislation that will affect them and their experience at SDSU.

(My) third (priority) is diversity, inclusion and equity. Really making sure that I open up those spaces for students. Because we’re Associated Students, so we need to associate the student body with all of us and we really need to make sure that we’re bridging those worlds and again, like I said, retaining them. So, diversifying our classes, diversifying Associated Students, diversifying our workspaces. This will coherently give students a better experience and allow them to get more involved if they wish to do so right in their own community or in A.S.

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