San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

A.S. presidential candidate Ashley Tejada


Position: President 

Name: Ashley Tejada

Slate: SDSU Now

Year: Fourth Year

Major: English with Leadership minor

Why did you decide to run for this position?

“Growing up, I really was inspired by the leaders and kind of leadership before me, within my whole life and within those in my family, definitely my grandma has always been my driving force for pursuing leadership, when she came here from Peru, for myself, looking back at that, and looking back on my upbringing, and how much that has impacted my entire family. Lineage is something that I then wanted to foster that energy and continue to pursue leadership on my own.”

“For this position, specifically, I feel that the presidency really is the sole voice for the student body, and that is something that I have continuously been passionate about since I’ve been in Associated Students is really the advocacy behind it. I’m very passionate about making sure that students have their voices heard. And I feel that I have the holistic perspective of A.S. to know exactly the most efficient way to do that. Not to mention currently being in COVID, we do need a lot of repairs, quickly. And that is something that as a member of the board of directors I’ve really wanted to focus on as well as being adamant and driven with my leadership decisions and advocating for all students. I feel that a lot of times the university and even Associated Students has different tasks or goals, but they’re not always executed in the most efficient way. Which is also why our slate name is SDSU Now, because we really want to push the immediacy. Despite any community that was involved in different campus issues currently, or really is being obstructed by the university, I think there’s one thing in common, which is we all want the change right now.”

What makes you qualified for this position? What is your history with A.S.?

“I’ve been in Associated Students for the last four years, I’ve been able to have experiences working on the Aztecs Rock Hunger leadership team Rock the Vote initiative, serving on a CSSA committee, as well as founding the Campus Safety Board, community commissioner, campus community representative, working outside of Associated Students as well on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee for Delta Gamma sorority, as well as currently serving on the A.S. Board of Directors as well as equity gaps in classroom settings Committee for the strategic plan under the university. And I feel that my qualifications don’t just come from my experiences and campus issues I’ve been exposed to in those environments, but also the ability to recognize where A.S. continues to fall short time and time again, and really neglect some of the student needs. And recognizing those gaps and continuing to build off of them, is why I feel that I’m most fit for this position. Being able to make sure that the different errors and times where Associated Students and the university fall short, is something that I’m able to really execute and elaborate on in my position to better serve the student body.”

What would you like to change at SDSU?

“I would like to change the nature that we have as far as the disconnect between campus communities. I think something that I’ve recognized even just in this process is that there are so many voices and identities neglected, a lot of times those may be underrepresented communities and the cultural or ethnic sense, as well as traditionally marginalized communities throughout our country that’s really reflected as well within our campus, but also identities such as those of varying abilities. We have the athlete community, the commuter community, transfer students, first-generation students really making sure that all of those prospective communities have their voices amplified and recognized. At SDSU, I think, traditionally speaking, we don’t always recognize the communities that need the support and platform the most.”

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

“I love the passion within A.S. that I see a lot of the time, students are oftentimes driven when they first enter positions to make a change and really push the university forward. If there’s one thing I dislike about A.S., I think it’s sometimes our student leaders come in with such a passionate mentality and goals for themselves, that we are unable to push forward as one cohesive piece. That really holds us back from making changes on this campus. We all come in from our different identities, cultures and walks of life, which is really unique and beneficial to the entire student body, but I would want to make sure moving forward to my presidency, that there are certain goals and tasks that we’re able to meet and move forward with and really stand behind as a group. Making sure that impact then happens much quicker, and in a much more substantial manner for the student body.”

What will be your top three priorities in this role?

“I really wanted to make sure that my goal is focused on what our student body needs most, one of those being transparency. As far as the Mission Valley expansion goes, I know a lot of students are really hurt right now financially, which is why it’s so frustrating that there is no transparency on the Mission Valley expansion, considering that’s going to become an entirely separate entity that also needs support. I want to ensure that I’m working with the Vice President of Mission Valley, Gina Jacobs to really be as transparent as possible and take the student voice into account. Currently, there is no platform for the student voice in the Mission Valley expansion. And that’s something that I learned on Monday and the board of directors meeting is there is no student voice in the process. So my goal is to make sure their student representation is there to really just preserve the support for a current campus, but as well as the future students.”

“As far as COVID-19 recovery funds, I know that socio-economically speaking, we are hurting right now, as university students need the support financially, which is why I really want to focus on COVID-19 recovery funding. Then my third one is to expand on scholarship opportunities. There are so many A.S. funds that are not tapped into, as my Vice President of Financial Affairs Austin Barber mentioned during his debate. I really want to restructure and reapply these to better serve students, one of which is the study abroad scholarships that were not utilized this year, because there weren’t any study abroad programs, either this semester for the spring or the fall. So what are we doing with that money? And I want to push it towards really reworking it into something better that is able to serve students and take that money and reapply it to our current COVID environment.”

About the Contributor
Brandon Balayan, Staff Writer, Staff Photographer
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
A.S. presidential candidate Ashley Tejada