Getting personal with the A.S. candidates

by Staff

03_11_13_Opinion_Profile_Morse_AZJosh Morse hasn’t had anything handed to him in life. When he was young, he dealt with extraordinary challenges, including homelessness. However, even during that time he kept his priorities straight.

“One thing I held really important to me was my education,” Morse said. “I knew that no matter what I did, no matter who I was with, I had to get to school.”

His dedication paid off. Morse eventually became part of the Guardian Scholars Program, within the Educational Opportunity Program, for foster youth. Today, Morse is the spokesperson for the program, which includes about 70 students, and helped raise more than $2.2 million in donations. He also mentors incoming students to help them navigate their treacherous freshman years.

“I feel like (because of) my representation of all these student organizations from Greek Life to EOP to Associated Students, I have a very broad perspective,” Morse said.

He hopes to bring that perspective to deal with the large changes coming to A.S., including the restructure. Morse said he understands cultural organizations’ fear losing their voices and as a leader in EOP, he hears their concerns.

“What’s good about my diversity of perspectives is that right now, the current structure is not set in stone,” Morse said. “There are still opportunities to change things if need be.”

He plans to allow at-large student positions and communication with cultural organizations on campus so A.S. will continue reacting to the needs of the student body.

“As an EOP student, believe me, I get it,” Morse said.

 

03_11_13_Opinion_Profile_Seekatz_PNDuring her time at San Diego State, Jessika Seekatz has worked to give a voice to students, who often go ignored.

She worked at the External Affairs Board, Lobby Corps and Green Love Sustainability Advisory Board. One of her greatest accomplishments came as the undeclared student representative of the Associated Students Council. During her time there she was able to create the Undeclared Student Council. When she’s not working with A.S., Seekatz is honing her argumentative skills
as president of the SDSU Debate Team.

“I think the biggest responsibility of the president is to be able to provide that insight into student voice when they sit down to meet with people like President (Elliot) Hirshman,” Seekatz said. “I would bring a fresh perspective to that.”

Her goal as president would be to expand the student voice. One of her ideas is to hold a forum at the end of the spring semester when representatives from each club and student organization on campus, plus students at large, could meet with A.S. executives. This forum would be a chance for students to contribute to
the A.S. agenda for the upcoming year.

“Give us constructive criticism, give us angry comments, give us positive comments; whatever they want so we can actually understand what people would expect from us,” Seekatz said.

It is this specificity and focus that enables Seekatz to be receptive to the needs and concerns of a diverse student body and convey them clearly to administrators and the
SDSU community.

 

03_11_13_Opinion_Profile_Washington_PNCanae Washington has made an art of understanding and promoting diversity at San Diego State. She works as an ambassador, a role that carries more responsibility than most students realize.

“Ambassadors are not only tour guides,” Washington said. “They’re the official representatives of San Diego State, so of course we advocate for all of the 35,000 students that come here.”

With two retired U.S. Navy parents, she also works with the Student Veteran Organization as its Student Diversity Commission representative.

She also works with current Associated Students Vice President of External Affairs Tom Rivera as the vice chair of the External Affairs Board. “We got over 4,000 students registered to vote here,” Washington said, adding that it was the highest number from any school in the California State University system.

“Students can take safety and assurance in knowing that their voice matters to me,” Washington said. “I’m not your typical A.S. presidential candidate and that is because I’m diverse, I’m unique.”

As a candidate, she says she is driven, focused and passionate and her goal as president would be to expand what SDSU means to students.

“I’m running for president so that I can make SDSU like a third home for students,” Washington said. “I want people to make sure that they can get involved just like I can.”

03_11_13_Opinion_Profile_Davidi_DMJon Davidi is a candidate with the students’ voice in mind. The executive vice president candidate is a political science junior, with an interest in pre-med and hopes of one day becoming a doctor. Throughout the past three years, Davidi was heavily involved on campus with positions as a residence hall adviser, improv team member and the Jewish Student Union Associated Student representative. Recently, he took on the role of A.S.’ Restructuring Committee chair as well as being a member of the Executive Committee.

Through his on-campus experience, Davidi hopes to involve more students in the decision-making process. His leadership philosophy is based on genuine representation and doing what is best for the students.

“Let’s ask the students what kind of policies they want. It’s not about my goals—I don’t care about my goals,” Davidi said. “It’s about what you want me
to do.”

This push toward student interaction couldn’t come at a better time. The A.S. restructuring plan for the 2013-14 academic year removes some cultural organization’s council seats, forcing them to rely on the representation of two Student Diversity Commission members.

As restructuring committee chair, Davidi is confident in his ability to handle any difficulties that arise during his term as executive vice president.

“We know that there are going to be bumps in the road next year with restructuring,” Davidi said. “I can guarantee no one knows more about the structure than I do.”

His plan to get more students involved is simple—just ask. During his typical 35-40 hour workweek, he plans on dedicating 10 of those hours to reach out to students by making class announcements, visiting smaller organizations and using social media. This method may be a bit unrealistic for reaching the entire student body, but the ideology is commendable.

“I am a representative of you, so tell me what kind of policies you want and we will work it out,” Davidi said.

 

 

03_11_13_Opinion_Profile_Anderberg_AZExecutive Vice President candidate Kyle Anderberg leads a double life. During the day he’s an engineering junior and the College of Engineering representative to the Associated Students Council. During the night, he is San Diego State’s Aztec Warrior.

This position has prepared him to represent SDSU.

“I’m the ambassador for the school,” Anderberg said. “It’s a really fun position.”

One of the biggest challenges the new A.S. vice president will face this upcoming year will be enacting the restructure. Anderberg is on the Restructuring Committee and supports it fully.

“I’m very proud to be one of the members that has passed it and will be implementing it next year,” Anderberg said.

To him, the key to a successful transition lies in communication and “letting the students know the reason for (the restructure).”

The new A.S. structure will consist of two main groups, the Campus Life Council and University Council.

“The executive vice president, hopefully me, will be chairing the Campus Life Council next year,” Anderberg said. “What we did was effectively represent everyone on that council.”

Anderberg added that “advocating for equal representation” is the “best way to do it.”

His understanding of the benefits, and challenges, facing A.S. as it completes the restructure has put Anderberg in a position to help spearhead that transition as the executive vice president.