A.S. vice president of university affairs candidate Jennifer Schenkenfelder

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by Katelynn Robinson, Assistant News Editor

Position: Vice President of University Affairs

Name: Jennifer Schenkenfelder

Year: Junior

Major: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Minor in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience

Why did you decide to run for this position?

“I decided to run for this position because over my time being a leader in the pandemic I noticed there were a lot of issues that needed to be resolved and there were a lot of issues with the student voice not being heard. I believe that given my role as a community assistant and working hands-on with these students I think there have been some injustices done to the student voice and I want to ensure that moving forward academic success is not only comprised of success inside the classroom but also success outside the classroom. I want to use my perspective to make sure that is continued forward.”

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

“My history with Associated Students began my sophomore year. I was just feeling really discontented from the university and so I decided to apply to be on the Aztecs Rock Hunger executive board and I was chosen to be one of the competition outreach coordinators for the campaign. During that time I also applied- well I ran to be a College of Sciences student council representative for Associated Students. And I believe those two roles really played an integral role in my preparation to be Vice President of University Affairs. In addition to that, also working as a community assistant has broadened my lens to what academic success means in terms of closing equity gaps and ensuring all students have the proper access to higher education.”

What would you like to change at SDSU?

“I believe that currently, we need to focus on ensuring students are supported again both inside and outside of the classroom. There is a lot of thought currently going towards the mental health of students but that shouldn’t just be a topic of conversation during the pandemic. I want to ensure that mental health is always a priority within SDSU’s community and moving forward it is more prevalent within all spaces both academic and non.”

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

“I really like that in Associated Students there are a lot of opportunities for students to come into the organization and get involved and feel that their opinion matters within Associated Students. But I feel like the approach is not proactive, it is more of a reactive approach. We’re waiting for students to come to us and I don’t feel like that’s effective and that it is not a good way for the student voice to be properly represented especially by executive officers. So I am hoping during my campaign to take that proactive approach and use my position chairing the university affairs board and using the Your Voice Matters campaign to go directly into organizations and go to the students to make sure they feel that their voices are being amplified.”

What will be your top three priorities in this role?

“I know that my first priority is to ensure that there is a smooth transition into the hybrid format coming in Fall 2021. A lot of our students have been away for so long and I want to ensure that once they get to campus they feel that they have a home here and that we are ready to support them through that transition. Being that we have basically two classes of people who have never been on our campus it is going to be vital that we ensure that they know what the SDSU community is and how much that we care about them.  

My next goal is to advocate for shorter course waitlists and advising wait times. There is a new advising system coming out in the fall, which I am really excited to continue working on after Crystal (Sanchez) who is currently the vice president of financial affairs. They put a lot of work into that and I want to make sure students are educated on how to properly navigate that. In addition working with Provost Ochoa who has been doing a lot of good work to try and ensure that students have the proper accessibility to courses, but I want to continue that work through my term. 

And my last priority is to ensure that shared governments and capitalized on moving into the coming years at SDSU. Given the situation that we have with Spring Break and the university senate decision, the fact that the university didn’t even make an effort to make sure that was amplified throughout the student body was unacceptable in my opinion and I want to ensure that students are informed of the decisions that are being made and that they have the proper time to ensure that their opinions are being heard not only by Associated Students but within the university as well. “

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