A.S. Presidential Candidates

by Staff

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YUAN (TOM) GUO

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

After hearing Yuan (Tom) Guo speak at the debate last week, no one could deny his passion and powerful personality. Originally from Shanghai, China, Guo came to San Diego State to pursue his “strong passion of learning English.” When asked to describe his qualifications, he cited experience hosting exchange students and managing a student association budget in high school. He supports both the Student Success Fee and the recent salary increases to Associated Student executive officers. I’m not sure I follow his comparison to the labor battle in Wisconsin or agree with his assertion that more money will make executives work harder, however, he does aim to make SDSU a globalized and “enlightened” university. While I admire Guo’s passion and courage, I don’t believe he has the communications skills or experience to manage such a massive organization. It takes more than confidence and a kind heart to lead a student government and corporation with a $23 million budget.
—Randy Wilde, staff columnist

KEVIN GRUIDL*

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Touting “over a 3.9 cumulative GPA,” considerable student government experience here at SDSU, and involvement in the Greek system, Kevin Gruidl appears the likely front-runner. He appears to fully understand the responsibilities of the office and what the primary issues on campus will be through the next year. His three goals stated at the debate are to ease the disturbances to student organizations and the student body during the construction of the new student union, forge a working relationship between A.S. and President Stephen L. Weber’s successor and improve A.S. communication with the students. These three objectives appeared the most relevant to  a successful term at SDSU next semester. His justifications for the recent salary increases to A.S. executives were at least somewhat credible, though not completely convincing. Gruidl appears to be an experienced, intelligent and articulate candidate, but I am disappointed by his focus solely on short-term issues and his failure to present a clear vision for SDSU’s long-term future. In such uncertain times, faced with both a budget crisis and burgeoning enrollment, there is nothing we need more from our leadership than vision.
—Randy Wilde, staff columnist.

CODY BARBO

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Although more than a little Greek-heavy, Cody Barbo’s list of positions and experience is considerable. He presented himself at the debate with above-average intelligence despite an obvious struggle to toss big words into every other sentence. His three stated priorities are sustainability, communication and leadership development. While I’m 100 percent behind the imaginative idea of sustainability as a number one priority, I’m not sure his plan to use the bikes and treadmills to generate power for the Aztec Recreation Center would be first on my list of sustainability initiatives. His plan to improve communication – Aztec TV – seems a bit more realistic. However, his proposed “Aztec Achievement Plan” to codify leadership experiences as a resumé supplement seems only mildly useful to a very limited segment of the student body. His focus on this last initiative only adds to the fear that serving as A.S. president will be little more than a resumé builder for Barbo.
—Randy Wilde, staff columnist.

LAURA MORENO

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Laura Moreno is poised to bring some diversity of thought to A.S.’ typically Greek-loaded upper management. Having previously served on the A.S. Facilities Board and currently serving as the president of M.E.Ch.A, she brings varied managerial experience to the table. Vowing to represent marginalized and low-income students, Moreno was the only candidate to explicate her willingness to do battle with the administration in regard to student matters. Her willingness to stand up to A.S. administrators’ intent on pushing through costly “legacy projects” – cough, Modern Space – may prove valuable to students. Her time with M.E.Ch.A seems to have shaped her priorities, as she is quite concerned with the ability of student organizations to get what they need. Moreno’s eagerness to improve communication between A.S. and the various student organizations on campus is important, but beyond that, her goals are not as ambitious as some of her competitors. However, her agenda’s lack of unfeasibly expensive projects may prove prudent in a time of dwindling resources and sky-rocketing fees. Perhaps a bit of hesitation to jump into needlessly expensive projects is exactly what we need. Articulate and concerned with student welfare, a vote for Moreno seems a vote for stability and grassroots student representation.
—John Anderson, staff columnist.

KRIS “BUK FIDY” KORSGADEN

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

After Kristopher “bUk FiDy” Korsgaden’s cryptic and possibly Tourette’s-induced candidate statement, the A.S. presidential debates meant we finally got to see what he is all about. Despite dancing around direct questions, it seems Korsgaden’s heart is in the right place. His aversion to fee increases is clear, and his desire to protect teachers from state resource wars is genuine and admirable. I am not totally clear on how Korsgaden plans on protecting teachers from within A.S. The majority of his work will go toward extracurricular activities and student events. Perhaps he means to be an outspoken advocate and to use A.S.’s considerable resources to lobby for teachers, though it is more likely he isn’t entirely sure of the responsibilities of the position he is running for. I question the wisdom of electing someone with the intent of exposing how ridiculous the A.S. presidential position is. Korsgaden wants a position with a salary of $26,000. The only way I’m going to help him make that is if he can coherently tell me how he is qualified to manage a school organization with a $23 million annual budget. I wish him luck with his rap career, but Korsgaden is not the right person to lead A.S.
—John Anderson, staff columnist.

*Opinion’s endorsement. ***The views expressed in this analysis do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.

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