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

Students talk presidential candidates

Elissa Tauscher

San Diego State students who attended the Associated Students presidential debate on Wednesday, March 8 shared their choices for A.S. president and reactions toward the candidates’ responses about the Aztec mascot.

Political science junior Mustafa Alemi said he was upset when Ben Delbick referenced a former alumni and talked about the administration’s stance on changing SDSU’s mascot.

“We are Associated Students; we don’t represent the interests of alumni or faculty, staff or administration,” Alemi said. “We represent the interests of students.”

Alemi said the emphasis should be placed on the interests of Native American students on campus.

“Interests shouldn’t be (based) on whether a donor is going to pull their funding,” Alemi said.

Junior international business major Ella Napata said she “hated” Delbick’s response about the Aztec mascot.

“If I was Native American I would feel so discouraged to go to this school because you are viewing my culture as a costume and that is why I’m definitely not voting for that guy,” Napata said. “His response that the brand of the school is better than the people that are in it blows my mind.”

Electrical engineering senior Kevin Archangel said he respects Delbick’s stance on the Aztec.

“Although most people don’t want to talk about changing it, I am not for the change,” he said. “I do believe in the appreciation of what it stands for because I do understand the history and the context of it, (but it) will create a big fiscal damage to our school.”

Archangel said he believes the Aztec name pays homage and respect to the legacy, and that is what the school has to understand.

He said he sees Chimezie Ebiriekwe, the presidential candidate for the Transform SDSU slate, and Delbick as the top two leaders.

“Those two are the ones that may make the actual difference,” he said. “The only difference is Chimezie comes with experience, diversity and a background because he has been intertwined and left his mark on anything he has done.”

Business administration sophomore Dominique Davis said she sides with the candidate that agrees to hear the concerns of students who find it offensive.

“We should not be parading around in other people’s culture, and I completely see why people find it so offensive,” Davis said. “Rather than dismissing their concerns, we should be accepting of their feelings. Culture is not a costume.”

Archangel commented on Ebiriekwe not visiting all the organizations he said he would speak at during his time as A.S. Vice President of University Affairs. During a KCR presidential debate on March 10, Ebiriekwe did clarify that he did visit all of the organizations, but he did not turn in his paperwork on time. 

“He has to understand that when you give your word you have to uphold to your word, but that’s when the student accountability comes to play,” Archangel said.

Napata said she is probably going to vote for Ebiriekwe.

“I am tired of seeing the same kind of representation,” she said. “(There’s) usually a white male with a fraternity background in these positions and I just want to see someone who has the same experiences as I do.”

Business finance sophomore Christian Onwuka said he is thinking of voting for Ebiriekwe and thinks he will take SDSU to new heights.

“The man has handled himself extremely well and professionally, especially considering the negative words that have been said about him,” he said. “To say that he is unqualified by people who might be a little bitter based on previous elections is very childish. He has done an amazing job as VP of University Affairs and has proven his leadership and charismatic energy.”

Political science freshman Michael Wiafe said he was bothered when Delbick said SDSU was a binational campus.

“I expected to see some backlash on that from other candidates,” he said. “When you call a campus binational that means that there is two, so I mean seeing as his fraternity is one race, I imagine it as one race versus the other.”

He said he does not like that kind of idea of opposition out there.

Sustainability freshman Alessandra Casey said she is leaning toward voting for Delbick or Chloe Sension because she liked what both of them said during the debates, and she is friends with both.

“Coming to this debate has been really healthy for me to see both sides of their perspective,” she said. “They both have conflicting ideas which is normal in any election, you’re going to have to weigh out the candidate you support most. As for issues, I have to see who has the stance on issues that impact what’s most important to me first.”

Journalism junior Mary Borstelmann said Delbick’s response to feeling unsafe, and his example of being egged in his Jewish fraternity house was really strong.

“It gave an example of how important it is to take initiative on (the issue),” she said.

Business entrepreneurship freshman Jenna Spreier said she is voting for Chloe Sension.

“I just want to support Chloe, our Delta Sigma Pi president, as much as possible,” she said.

She said she is most excited about how Sension will implement her STRIDE (policies) as A.S. president.  

Marketing sophomore and member of Delta Sigma Pi Maddie Roster said she is voting for Sension because Sension is the president of business fraternity and she is confident that Sension will be the best president for SDSU.

Tiana Loving said she did not think Sension’s dedication to making the Blackboard and WebPortal websites more accessible through the mobile phone is impactful, and it is a simple thing to do.

“It’s rather minuscule compared to the larger issues we face here. I’m not impressed,” she said.

Napata said Kaitlyn Hart has only been at SDSU for two semesters.

“I heard she has only been here for two semesters.”  Napata said. “To be A.S. president you have to be in this university for at least three years to know you have an opinion about the university and have yourself established as an Aztec.”

Sustainability junior Charlotte Roberts said she liked how Hart was honest and well-informed.

“But I have also had conversations with (Sension) and she impresses me a lot with her dedication to the university and representing everybody equally,” she said. “However, coming to the debate today, I am definitely impressed with (Hart) and Delbick’s honesty with issues and staying true to the opinions they have developed based on their own research.”

Voting for presidential candidates begins Monday, March 13. The next A.S. president will be announced at 8 p.m. on  Thursday, March 16 in Montezuma Hall.

Additional reporting by Kemi Giwa

About the Contributor
Jasmine Bermudez
Jasmine Bermudez, Assistant News Editor
Jasmine Bermudez is the assistant news editor at The Daily Aztec. She is a fourth year journalism major and political science minor at San Diego State.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Students talk presidential candidates