A.S. elects map out strategic plans

Photos by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor

Photos by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor

by Adriana Millar

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Co-authored by Jaclyn Palumbo, senior staff writer

The Daily Aztec talked to the newly-elected Associated Students executives to get the specifics about their plans for the upcoming school year.

Jonathan Cole

President

The Daily Aztec: What is your strategic plan now that you’re elected?

Cole: The first action is to really go back to the organizations that feel really disconnected to (Associated Students).  Also, continue outreach to organizations we weren’t able to speak to (during campaigning) to make sure their voice is heard.

DA: How will you go about making changes?

Cole: With 300 plus organizations it’s not feasible for me to go to all the organizations.

I hope to empower every member of A.S. to really be representatives for these student organizations.

DA: Why are these changes important to you? 

Cole: The first organization I got involved with on campus was the Student African-American Brotherhood. The president was my (Resident Adviser). Those guys were my brothers. When I came to campus I felt lost, and getting involved really empowered me.

It’s all about service. I want to lead by example, and that’s how I define this position.

 DA: What promises do you have for the students at San Diego State?

Cole: (If students come to me with a problem) I will drop everything to see that problem is attended to. At the end of the day I’m a student representative. Students should feel 110 percent confident they can come to me. Above all else I want students to know I’m a trustworthy person that is a resource for them.

Kevin Hancock

Executive Vice President

DA: What is your strategic plan now that you have been elected?

Hancock: I will continue to work with new student-parent programming, the office for intercultural relations, and residential education and welcome week.

Also, making sure that students in their first week on campus really have a safe place to meet other students and that current students and commuter students and transfer students all have those activities that they can take place in. After that, I want to continue to work on homecoming.

Some of my goals once in office are to really improve upon parts of campus life that have so much potential, but haven’t quite reached it yet.

One of the most important things that we need to do as A.S. is continue reaching out to all of the organizations so that their members are aware of the opportunities that are available on campus.

I think more outreach needs to happen with getting students involved in committees because that is one of the best ways to have your voice heard.

This year was a great year for the restructuring of A.S., but I also think that next year we need to focus on the issues that came up, and one of those issues is transparency.

What I’ve learned so far from campaigning is that students feel a huge disconnect from A.S.  and another thing we need to focus on is making sure that students understand that there are appointed positions that still need to be filled after the elections are done.

DA: What changes will Aztecs see and why are these changes important to you?

Hancock: One of the big changes would be working with the internal A.S. There are hundreds of different ways to get involved on campus and A.S. is just one of them but if you did choose to get involved in A.S., just ensuring the retention and development of our members.

If we can give students a part of thinking A.S. means something to them, I think that it would make a difference on this campus. Since I’ve gotten a lot from A.S., I want to ensure that other students who choose that route get that experience as well.

If we had more rallies for football games, soccer games and baseball games I think more students would have a chance to go to these athletic events and show their Aztec pride.

One of the many purposes of A.S. is to recognize SDSU as a great academic university but it is also a place where students can have transformational experiences and really feel like they’re a part of something, a lot of which takes place outside of the classroom.

 DA: What promises would you make to SDSU students?

Hancock: The open-door policy, which is incredibly important. Any elected official who doesn’t have an open-door policy really needs to reevaluate that situation.

This goes without saying, but everything that I do will be with the best of intentions with the students in mind.

With my involvement in A.S. up to this point, every decision that I make and every conversation that I have really is with the best intentions and I always try to think of different ways of how things can benefit the students.

Also, really looking at the pros and cons of how things are going to affect campus life and the students’ experience here. That’s what I want and that is what I am sure the other students want, ensuring that the students are my top priority.

Alex Padua

Vice President of Financial Affairs

DA: What changes are you going to make?

Padua: I think the most important thing is keeping that continuity from the old executives through this really important transition period.

I know that Aztecs Rock Hunger is a huge campus event, so I definitely want to raise the bar with that and that event, and in terms of raising the bar I personally want to have a 5k.

Another thing would also be increasing accessibility for A.S. student budget. I think it’s definitely transparent but the accessibility isn’t there for any student just to go online and easily find where money is being allocated to different parts of campus.

Last change I would definitely make would be increasing awareness for fundraising on campus for student organizations.

DA: How are you going to make these changes? You want to make information more readily available for students?

Padua: I think there’s a website that other (California State Universities) use that have a really visual way of presenting the budget and how it’s changed over the years, and the changes within the budget itself and that would be within the A.S. website.

DA: How would you get students to log into this website? Because only 9.9 percent of the student body voted in A.S. elections and that was held online as well. 

Padua: Well it’s not a login, it’s just there—A.S. budget—you just click that and it would show our budget.

I’ve researched other CSUs and how they make this information easily accessible for students and its important; $7.8 million of the A.S. budget comes from student fees, so that’s a lot of money that people need to have access to see.

DA: What promises can you make to students for the upcoming school year?

Padua: It’s my number one duty to have that positive impact and to make sure the budget touches the most amount of students on campus, whether it be through program funding, or through student organization funding, making sure it’s having a positive impact on students.

Corey Polant

Vice President of University Affairs

DA: What’s part of your strategic plan for next year?

Polant: First I want to make sure whatever Morgan (Chan) has been working on the past year gets finished.

Also creating relationships with administrators on campus. I’ve had amazing opportunities by knowing and meeting administrators through my various organizations and leadership positions, and really solidifying those relationships.

I’m using the summer as a big transitional period so I can really start the school year really head-on. I think the summer will be a really critical period for all the incoming executive members.

DA: How will you provide support for commuter students?

Polant: This campus has really become my second home. I’ve had an incredible amount of opportunities to really develop that campus connection, and if I didn’t I would have probably transferred back to New York because its really my involvement in organizations and meeting with students that really kept me here.

To hear that there are students who commute to school that have those opportunities and don’t understand how to use them, or they don’t understand that they’re here for them, it really made me upset, to be honest.

I want all students to have the opportunity to get involved on campus and have the experiences that I’ve had the past three years because it has literally transformed my life and the person I’ve become. Next year I can promise I’ll be working a lot with providing commuter students a place they can call their second home, and make them feel comfortable to get involved on campus, and use the academic resources and college counsels that are valuable to them, and resources all over campus to really have a connection to their universities.

 DA: How will you encourage students to get involved on their college counsels?

Polant: Over the summer and going into next year we’re going to start having meetings with college deans and letting them know this is something I plan on taking on heavily.

It’s going to be a lot of going to classrooms. I don’t think we can just hand out fliers and hand out emails and expect students to come to us. Will some come to us? Yes. Will the majority of students? Probably not.

That’s just something I realized in any organization I’ve been a part of. You have to go to students, you can’t just expect them to come to you.

College counsels know their students the best. And a lot of students don’t realize these counsels exist. So I want to let them know, A) there is a college counsel for your major and B) if you want to get involved on campus and if you want to get involved with its resources, internships, meeting administration, meeting all the students, letting your voice be heard in terms of comments and suggestions for your college counsel, which will be even more important with the Student Success Fee. It’s just a matter of letting them know A.S. is here for you

Jacqueline Karczewski

Vice President of External Relations

DA: What is your strategic plan now that you have been elected?

Karczewski: I really want to take marketing in the surrounding San Diego community to the next level. “The State Report” just came out this year and it lets students know what is going on around campus. I really want to make sure that people know what that is.

I also really want to utilize the AzteCast app, an app that allows student organizations to put their events on that app and then they can share it with whoever has that app.

I also want to provide organizations with a marketing sheet to market their events. That would be a list of things that they can check off to make sure that they have reached all students, organizations or target markets that they want to reach so that their event can be more successful than they were in the past.

DA: What changes will Aztecs see and why are these changes important to you?

Karczewski: They’ll see a lot more of me and my team. We want to have more of a presence and be more transparent and connected with students.

We want to be out there and connected to them because before we are A.S. executives, we are students. And just letting them know that we are here as a resource. We’re here to serve them.

These changes are important to me because I love San Diego State and it has served me so much over the past three years that I’ve been a student here and I could have found ways to get involved on my own but this will be a great too for students who don’t know how to get involved but don’t know how to.

 DA: What promises would you make to SDSU students?

Karczewski: I want to be a friend to students, I want to be a resource, and I want to be available to them. I promise to be accessible and willing to help. Students come before everything else because we are here to represent them. You’ll be seeing more student resources utilized.

Read about the rest of the 2014 A.S. election results. 

Photos by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor  

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