Position: Vice President of External Relations
Name: Angelica Espinoza
Major: International Security and Conflict Resolution
Slate: Vote SDSU
Why did you decide to run for this position?
“I’ve been with A.S. since my freshman year and every year I find a new challenge that I’m really excited about and I really want to take care of. Before, my big challenge was the financial barrier for students to run for positions. Before, folks used to have to do a $100 deposit to run. As Chief Justice for the Judicial Affairs Council, I’ve managed to take away that requirement. I found this year I had different issues like basic needs, food, housing, security, sexual assault that I wanted to talk about.”
What makes you qualified for this position? What is your history with A.S.?
“I’ve held various on-campus leadership roles in diverse backgrounds. I’ve worked as a fellow at the Women’s Resource Center. I’m currently executive vice president for the College of Arts and Letters. I’m the chief justice for the Judicial Affairs Council. I’m the only woman who chose to council in Associated Students. In addition to that, (I’ve been) on the executive board for other organizations like Dance Marathon at SDSU and have off-campus involvement with nonprofits, government agencies and law firms.”
Can you name something you like and something you dislike about A.S.?
“One thing I like about Associated Students is that they have a lot of resources in the capacity of … you can either pursue leadership opportunities, you can run an election, go for an appointed position or just be a voting member. (One thing I dislike) is that we’ve made strides to make it more diverse but I think we need to put more effort into having more equitable representation within Associated Students and folks in our leadership positions and just ensuring that we’re outreaching to everybody and ensure that everyone’s voice is at the table.”
What will be your top three priorities in this role?
“Definitely diversify our A.S. legal services, ensure that we’re connecting with on-campus entities that can help us navigate that, so working with the SDSU Police Department, our Title IX coordinator and our on-campus ombudsman. The second one is food (and) housing insecurity, so ensuring that folks know about the Economic Crisis Response Team, that folks know about our community resource specialists. My last one is civic engagement but I really want to ensure that students get an experience out of it.”
What would you like to change at SDSU?
“First, I really want to ensure that we’re helping students when they deal with vulnerable legal situations. A.S. offers legal services but unfortunately, they’re underutilized because folks don’t really know about it. I find that people are dealing with unfair landlords, or dealing with immigration issues, or just dealing with stuff they don’t know how to petition like parking permits or noise complaints. Another one is food (and) housing insecurity. I have been a student who has been homeless before, so it speaks volumes to me that students already have to go through enough to be a college student. We don’t know what’s going on additionally in their personal life, so for me, that’s something I’d really like to tackle because no one should be wondering where their next meal is coming from or where they’re going to sleep at night. My last one is influencing student engagement (especially) with the (presidential) election coming up in 2020 and just ensuring that folks really are engaged, are paying attention, and are aware of what’s going on.”
Interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.