Associated Students Vice President of External Relations candidate Carmel Alon

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Associated Students Vice President of External Relations candidate Carmel Alon

Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor

Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor

Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor

by Jocelyn Moran, Senior Staff Writer

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Name: Carmel Alon

Position: Vice President of External Relations

Year: Junior

Major: International security and conflict resolution

1. Why did you decide to run for A.S. VP of External Relations?

Before coming into college, I used to think politics and legislation was this scary thing that only if you had this masters degree, you can participate in. Coming into SDSU, I came in as undeclared, but then I really always had a draw to politics, so I declared political science. But then, I was like I want a bigger scale, more conflict-resolution, more figuring out solutions to issues. So then I took on international security and conflict resolution. I grew this passion and want to normalize legislation, bring it closer to the people and show college students can have a voice in issues that affect them now and later on.

2. What are the first three things you would do on the job if elected for this position?  

First, I would want to create a safer campus. I feel like a lot of people, even myself, am nervous walking home alone at night, so I want to create an app, kind of like Uber or Lyft, so students can know where their escort is at all times, and I also want to expand the parameters of that escort service.

Two, I want to create new campus-wide polling technology because I go, and I vote how students would want me to. I go to CSSA, and I am voting the way students would want me to. So, it’s only fair they have the information– all the background and all the history on what I’m voting, so they can tell me how they feel. I want to create the educational material around that and then, also be able to actually gage how they would want me to vote.

Lastly, I want to work closely with California state legislators to push for protection for undocumented students, sexual assault prevention, improving mental health services, increasing financial aid and making sure CSU’s stay affordable for students. I want to create a “Know Your Rights” tab on the A.S. website. As students, we feel like people might try to take advantage of us because they assume we don’t know our rights. I want to create a “Know Your Rights” page so students can apply their situation whether it’s immigration enforcement, police stops or protesters’ rights, because lately, we have been such an active campus. I think students need to know they can keep doing this and know what they’re doing is fine. Just because someone might try to stop you, doesn’t mean you have to.

3. Why do you think you can understand SDSU students more than other candidates?

I think (it is) because of the different positions I’ve held at SDSU. I am currently the vice chair of external relations, so I kind of understand the inner workings of how the External Relations Board works. I’m the College of Arts and Letters representative, and that has so many various diverse organizations within it so I get to hear every week what’s going on, what’s important to them and what we can do to better the connection. I’ve also been an academic advisor for international students. I’ve worked one-on-one with students who don’t understand the SDSU culture yet, and getting them acclimated and showing them how much SDSU has to offer. I’ve also been president of my sorority, so I’ve been able to use my conflict resolution major to apply it to any sort of issues that might arise and know how to deal with both the student level and advisor upper level administration.

4. What would you change in A.S.?

I would change the normalizing of legislation. Also, the transparency. I vote on issues that directly affect student affordability and their equitability. I’m making sure their SDSU experience is successful. I feel like in the past, students have not been made aware of issues that would affect them, so I definitely want the things I vote on, and A.S. as a whole, votes on that affect student life on campus to be more transparent.

5. What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

I think a lot of people don’t know that I’m actually a first-generation immigrant. We came here one suitcase per family member. We did not think we were actually going to be living here for more than a year. Slowly, we started realizing we were going to stay here. I started having to make wherever I was going to school or whoever I was with my home and my family. A lot of it was like, I had to find and seek out my own opportunities, and that’s something I’m sure many students here have to face, and I want to help them through that, help them with their passion, their drive, whatever that might be.

6. If we were sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what did we achieve together?

I would hope we would have accomplished that new (campus) app. I would hope that undocumented students do feel safe at SDSU. I hope that in a year from now, we will say ‘yes, SDSU stuck to protection and to equal opportunity for its students.’ A.S., as a whole, I hope that we come back, and we see that students do feel a more direct connection to A.S. because we are here; we are students. A.S. is the student government, so we are here to serve them. I hope that in a year from now, students feel everything that A.S. has to offer them, like if it’s a mobile food pantry, they know about it from the start.

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