A.S. CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS

by Staff

PRESIDENT: Jessika Seekatz

Rarely have so many well-qualified candidates emerged for the position of Associated Students president and it is a difficult and welcome challenge to choose the one we believe is best suited to meet the challenges facing A.S. and San Diego State.

Sean Guardian has an impressive resume. During his time at SDSU, he has had important positions such as a voting member of the A.S. Council, the Student Diversity Commission and the Rules, Executive and Campus Fee Advisory committees, and the Interfraternity Council president. Josh Morse has proved with his experience as a foster youth, through his work as vice president, director and academic mentor for the Education Opportunity Program, and his efforts fundraising for the Guardian Scholar program for foster youth, that he understands the challenges SDSU students face inside and outside of the classroom. Canae Washington’s biggest strength comes from her work in A.S. as vice chair of external relations and as an SDSU ambassador, preparing her for the task of promoting and representing the university. Jessika Seekatz’s role as the undeclared student representative in the A.S. Council gives her firsthand understanding of the inner workings of the student government. Her current position as SDSU Debate Team president gives her the skills to eloquently explain and argue her goals for A.S. and SDSU.

All candidates discussed increasing communication between A.S. and the student body. During the debate, Seekatz showed fresh, and more importantly specific, ideas on how to foster greater dialogue. Rather than simply paying lip service to communication, it’s clear Seekatz is committed to hearing the voices of all students. Her idea for an A.S. social issue-based event builds on the success of popular programs such as Aztecs Rock Hunger food drive. Her goal for an open forum where A.S. executives can meet with social organizations, clubs and individual students might help offset fears about organizations losing their voices during the ongoing restructuring.

There are several solid candidates for this position and the editorial vote wasn’t unanimous. However, we believe Seekatz has the balance of experience and practicality needed to lead A.S. as it finalizes the ongoing restructuring program and opens the new Aztec Student Union.

 

EXECUTIVE VP: John Davidi

With the implementation of the new governmental structure going into effect next year, it’s imperative that the Associated Students’ chief operations officer is knowledgeable on what’s likely to be a lengthy and complicated transition. As the A.S. Restructuring Committee chair, Jon Davidi is positioned to be the board of director’s most informed voice on the subject.

The executive vice president will also be in charge of operations at the Aztec Student Union, which will be an enormous responsibility in itself. Aside from Davidi’s involvement in the restructuring process, he placed fiscal responsibility high on his list of priorities—which will be an important quality when overseeing the Aztec Student Union.

For these reasons, coupled with his intelligence and genuine interest in reform, Davidi is our near-unanimous choice for the position.

 

VP OF UNIVERSITY AFFAIRS: Morgan Chan

As the Associated Students sustainability commissioner, Morgan Chan has unique insight on one of the most important challenges San Diego State faces. The new vice president of university affairs will play a key role in SDSU’s continued move toward sustainability, led by its opening of the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum-certified Aztec Student Union.

During the debate, Chan answered the questions in a way that showed she understood the responsibilities and goals of the position. This is why we believe Chan is best qualified to help motivate SDSU toward a more ecologically responsible future.

 VP OF FINANCIAL AFFAIRS: Mariah Kelly

During the debate, we asked a question tweeted to us regarding the Associated Students’ funding of the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center’s operating expenses. This potentially troublesome question was handled gracefully by business administration junior Mariah Kelly, who explained and justified the expense to the audience in a simple, sincere manner. To us, this displayed both her intelligence and knowledge of A.S.’ financial inner workings.

Her position as the Afrikan Student Union president and her role on the finance restructuring committee show that she has the leadership skills and knowledge of A.S. needed to do the job effectively.

VP OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS: Celeste Rodriguez

Another position where the endorsement vote was divided was the race for vice president of external affairs between Celeste Rodriguez and Javier Gomez. As the Associated Students representative from the College of Arts and Letters, Gomez has experience bolstered by a good performance during the debate. However, Rodriguez’s experience on the External Affairs Board as the chair of Lobby Corps gives her a unique understanding of the position she is running for.

During the debates, Rodriguez showed she knows which specific actions taken by A.S., such as the Good Neighbor Program, have been successful in raising San Diego State’s profile in the community. This experience makes her the best candidate for the job of representing A.S. and the school to the local and state governments as the vice president of external affairs.