Photo courtesy of Victor Penera
Name: Victor Penera
Position: Vice President of Financial Affairs
Slate: SDSU 2020 Vision
Why do you want to run for vice president of financial affairs?
“I want to run for this position really because of my involvement in other campus organizations. The first one that comes to mind is Rotaract of SDSU, which promotes service above self, and my role on the executive board of Tijuana Home Build, which unites the campus community through one goal of serving a family in need. It was during this time that I realized the true value of service and the true ability I had to unite people from all walks of life into achieving one goal.
“Also because of my exposure to a variety of financial fields. I am a member of the SDSU Financial Planning Association and I participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant Program with the International Refugee Committee in which I assist refugees from around the world in filing their taxes. Also my hands-on work with world management firms throughout San Diego. Coming into this position, I offer a really unique perspective because my two ideas of service and finance would be able to coexist within a single position, which is why I felt that this is the best position for me to advocate and give back to all students.”
What makes you qualified for this position?
“I’ve been with the students on the ground level for three years. Being at this school, I’ve experienced a bunch of change in terms of my freshman year to now. It’s through that perspective where I acknowledge places for improvement that I can bring my background in to possibly improve on. Especially with my background in finance, I think that’s what sets me apart in terms of (being) service-oriented. Coming into a position next year, we’re definitely going to be in a hold considering a lot of A.S. auxiliaries are not operating. I think that it’s really through my combination of service through the organizations I’m in, along with my background in finance, that makes me most qualified.”
What would you like to change at SDSU?
“In terms of my fruition, what I can do that would bring the most change is to increase our financial transparency between Associated Students and recognized student organizations. One of the biggest facts I alarmed before I made the decision to run for this position was that there was $60,000 of unallocated funds for recognized student organizations that went untouched. For me, I tell myself, ‘That’s a problem, this money is here for us,’ and the fact that students don’t know about it … that’s where I can act as the liaison because I understand the finances and students’ outlook on it.”
What would you like to stay the same at SDSU?
“One thing I would like to stay the same is clearing out the sense of pride we’ve had this year, especially with our basketball team going 30-2. But also one thing too is our identity because I think that’s one of the biggest things I came to school here (for). Everywhere I went, I felt as if I couldn’t be myself, and when I first stepped foot here, I realized I can be myself since there are so many people from all walks of life. The one thing that represents us is the four letters on our chest, which are SDSU. So that’s one thing that I hope to retain, the fact that SDSU doesn’t really have an image and I think that’s what inspires me because I understand I’m not just representing one type of student, I’m representing everyone.”
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.