Vice President of Financial Affairs candidate Alex Shapiro

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Vice President of Financial Affairs candidate Alex Shapiro

by Will Fritz, Staff Writer

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Position: Vice President of Financial Affairs

Name: Alex Shapiro

Year: Junior

Major: Business finance

Why did you decide to run for Vice President of Financial Affairs?

I’ve seen throughout my experience for the past three years here at San Diego State that A.S., and specifically the A.S. Executive Board, has performed greatly advocating for student interests, as well as bettering the school and the surrounding community. However, I feel that it is important to recognize that there are certain areas that could use improvement. Specifically for financial affairs, there are a few transparency and accessibility flaws that I am excited to take on, and I feel that there could be a lot more transparency as to exactly where the student tuition fees are going, because the students are paying for that money and I feel that they deserve to see exactly where their money is going. And not only that, but I feel that students deserve a right to be better informed on how to apply for specific student success fees, whether that may be through workshops provided by RWS professors, teaching them how to create specific proposals for grants.

What would you like to change at SDSU?

Well, I see that essentially there are two overlying properties involved with this position — one side being the financial, number-crunching, budget allocation side, and the other side being the philanthropy side, such as our school’s biggest (event), Aztecs Rock Hunger. So, with not only my background interning under the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) for the City of Calabasas and co-managing a $250 million budget while allocating general ledger funds, municipal grants, and petty cash funds, that serves me more than capable to effectively improve on the first overlying property. With that being said, I am pursuing a degree right now in business finance. I am the only candidate pursuing a degree in business finance, and with that experience (I) will effectively be able to, like I said in my previous answer, improve transparency, accessibility, and constantly show students where their money is going, whether that may be through a weekly update email blast or providing specific updates and visuals on the monitors at the student union. On the other side of things, the philanthropy side, and Aztecs Rock Hunger, for the past two and a half years I’ve served as the Chairman of Community Service and Philanthropy for the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity and through my time serving, I have broken and currently hold SDSU’s record for most hours raised in a single semester, being 3,025 hours, as well as putting on several successful philanthropies. Through that experience, I will be able to revolutionize not only Aztecs Rock Hunger, but all school-wide philanthropies.

How did you first get involved with Associated Students?

Well, when I came to San Diego State my freshman year, I immediately got involved with Greek life. I saw it as a great networking avenue and a support system to get accommodated while I was here, and through my Greek organization, I immediately became the chairman of community service and philanthropy. Through my networking, through community service and philanthropy, I met a bunch of leaders and influential people around campus who introduced me to Associated Students. I first served on the Associated Students Student Support Commission, absolutely loved it, and then I moved on to the Campus Community Commission. Additionally, I served as the designee for Alex Padua, who was the Vice President of Financial Affairs on the A.S. Executive Board. I see how amazing and necessary Associated Students is to the success of San Diego State University and I do recognize that there are places for improvement. Not only have I been involved with A.S. and community service in my own chapter, but I utilized these avenues as a way to branch out even further, increase my network, and, additionally, make sure I could help others through that increase. I joined the I.F.C. (Interfraternity Council) Executive Board, and through my term serving as Vice President of Scholarship and Accreditation, I led a board-wide increase in overall GPA and two chapters got placed on the honor roll. Additionally, I got involved with Rotaract, and the motto there, “Service above self,” kind of reflects my own personal morals. I’ve noticed that throughout all of these organizations there are leaders, and everyone’s input is very imperative. It’s important that the students’ voices are heard, and through these various organizations, it’s important to take those voices and bring them back to A.S., so that not only the students on A.S. are heard, but the entire student body is heard.

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

Yes, something I like: Not only does it drastically change our experience here at San Diego State University, it enhances it. Without Associated Students, many magnificent aspects about our campus would not be present currently. If it weren’t for Associated Students we wouldn’t have the bike lanes, the new student union and many other effective programs that have been implemented to not only increase the prestige of our degrees, but the beauty of our campus, the success of our students and the safety of our campus. I think it’s imperative that we have this student-led initiative because it promotes leadership, develops connections and interpersonal skills, and allows for the students to really feel that they seriously have a voice and their voice is being heard. It’s important that the students are actually taking this initiative, getting involved and actually seeing the benefits of their actions.

Something I dislike: I would just bring it back to the fact that there could be room for improvement in the sense of making sure that A.S. truly is for all students. We want to ensure that not only those who are on the A.S. committees and boards are having their voices and opinions heard, but every single student across campus has their voice heard and implemented effectively. I also think it’s important that students understand and are informed on the many different avenues and tools that they can access, such as applying for Student Success Fees, because without that knowledge, they’re kind of left in the dark. It’s important that they have the knowledge of how to properly apply, because every year and in years past there have been numerous amounts of unallocated money in the budget from the Student Success Fee, that is then transferred over to reserves and placed in the next year’s budget, so it’s important that people understand the tools they have, and that they are truly represented by A.S., and that A.S. is constantly adapting to the students’ needs and desires.

What are some accomplishments you’re proud of?

Well, I can touch upon what I previously have stated, one of my most memorable being breaking SDSU’s community service record and being given that acknowledgement and the positive response from the community, as well as The Daily Aztec, for that accomplishment. Additionally, I was very active in the It’s On Us campaign, bringing awareness to the severity and current issue of sexual assault on college campuses. I participated in the It’s On Us video campaigns, as well as actively speaking on its behalf. And being around campus and seeing the positive reaction and change that that made was a huge accomplishment as well. I’m currently involved in an organization that teaches students how to recognize this issue and prevent sexual assault and bring awareness to the severity of this issue. Additionally, I joined the prestigious Rotarac club, as well as being elected to the IFC executive board, as well as serving on two A.S. commissions, as well as throughout my three years at San Diego State University, holding four jobs, a few of which help local SDSU startups and entrepreneurs, one such being Pure Vita, which started here at San Diego State University and is one of my favorites because of their charity line of bracelets. They donate to amazing causes, such as breast cancer awareness, preserving wildlife, saving the turtles and orcas, anti-bullying campaigns and whatnot.

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