Position: Vice President of External Relations
Name: Stephanie Estrada
Major: International Security and Conflict Resolution
Why did you decide to run for this position?
“I have been a part of the SDSU community for the last three years. One thing I have noticed is that I really value the relationships I have gained, whether it be inside the classroom, in our organizations or even the off-campus relationships I have made with students. One of the reasons I really want this position is to enhance those stories. The first thing that came to my mind was the reason the Pell Grant protest happened. One of the chants was actually, ‘SDSU, who do you serve?’, and that’s that. It’s students like you, it’s students like me, and I feel like a lot of the times, SDSU kind of reverts from that, and I want to be able to enhance that individualistic aspect of San Diego State.”
What makes you qualified for this position? What is your history with A.S.?
“I believe I’m the most qualified because I’ve been through a lot in my life. I’ve experienced a spectrum of different issues in terms of mental health, in terms of affordability on campus and I’ve combated them throughout my whole time here. With that being said, I have also shared grievances with other students at the same time while dealing with these issues, and I’ve realized I have that delicacy of being able to relate with a student in terms of my organization and motivation.”
What would you like to change at SDSU?
“One of my basic things is I want to be able to enlighten and put a spotlight on how students are not only just struggling for basic needs, but are also struggling mentally. For example, having to work for a job that’s not in their major. I would like to change, one, for example, the basic needs of putting the attention on that. We are making students have to choose between two things, being able to do what they want and what they need to do, and I am a strong believer that we shouldn’t have to choose both because we are students.”
Can you name something you like and something you dislike about A.S.?
“What I like is the opportunities that it gives. For example, all the campaigns, the “Rock the Vote” campaign, being able to talk to students, “Your Voice Matters,” mental health, all initiatives are amazing. They are the core of A.S. One of the things I do believe we need to work on is being able to take those policy stances and not just remain neutral on issues. (We should be) allowing our students to feel like they can rely on our student leaders, not only to groom but be able to say ‘you know what, this was wrong and we’re going to tell our students that this is wrong and we’re gonna take that.’ In terms of the position, which it does swirl in for external, is being able to empower the students and feel like they’re able to have a voice within the board, but on a bigger aspect, with our local and federal representatives.”
What will be your top three priorities in this role?
“Top three priorities are for sure job opportunities, I want to be able to promote on the HR blackboard. Be able to have more paid internships, I want to enhance that because a lot of students are doing great research on campus. A lot of students are doing great research off campus, but they’re not getting paid for it. So being able to balance that is a little bit hard, especially as a third year and a fourth year. My second thing is on the burden of housing and how that is on the finances for students, especially with this sophomore success program. That’s one of the biggest, current, prominent things right now. Lastly, I want to be able to try to make SDSU as student-centric as possible.”
Interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.