Photo courtesy of Crystal Sanchez
Name: Crystal Sanchez
Position: Vice President of University Affairs
Slate: SDSU 2020 Vision
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies: Public Administration, Hospitality and Public Relations, with a minor in Spanish
Why do you want to run for Vice President of University Affairs?
“I’m a first-generation college student, and this was a big reason why I decided to run. I’ve held positions within Associated Students for the past three years. Since I was a freshman, I got involved in the First-Year Leadership Initiative, and it was (an opportunity to) learn a little bit more about what Associated Students is. I was super involved in a student government when I was in high school, so I was like, ‘Oh perfect, something to get involved in when I came to campus.’
“But one of the main reasons why I decided to run for this position specifically was due to the fact that over the past three years, being on this campus has been amazing — I love going to San Diego State — but I also recognize that it hasn’t been the easiest for me. I only live two hours away from here, which is so nice. I’m really happy I didn’t go out of state, but one of the biggest things has been the financial burden that going to college outside of my hometown has been for my family. My family has always supported me and been encouraging as I pursue my education.”
“With this position specifically, I really want to help students who want to pursue their academics, but may have certain barriers that make them feel as though they’re not supported. Sometimes it’s so easy to tell people: ‘Get a 4.0, you need to do good in school, be a part of this (organization), be a part of this honors society.’ Sometimes we need to recognize how difficult it may be for some students — how some students don’t have the same accessibility or support from their family back home. That’s one of the main reasons why I decided to run.”
What makes you qualified for this position?
“I think the thing that makes me the most qualified is the fact that I truly feel like I can relate to any student. I’ve experienced the (issues) I’m fighting for. That is what I’ve experienced firsthand, and I think that’s what makes me most qualified. The passion that I have is to not just serve our students but also understand them. I don’t think that everyone is the same. I think everyone (has their own issues). In holding this position, I feel like I’ll be able to truly understand these students’ needs inside the classrooms as well as outside. I think that’s my qualification.”
What would you like to change at SDSU?
“I work about 20 hours a week on this campus at BCB. I’m really lucky that I got that job, but I think one of the biggest things that I would like to see changed at this school is how this past semester’s student fees were passed. They had forums and all these discussions on whether or not students should pay for these news resource centers and mental health resource centers, trying to add more counselors because we’re very limited, and many students need those resources even though they’re very limited. We’re trying to serve the entire student population, but it’s really hard when there’s not enough accessibility to all students.”
“I think one of the biggest things that I’m trying to change is just the fact that I honestly think it’s really ridiculous that we are required to pay these fees when it’s already hard enough to pay tuition. I get financial aid, but it doesn’t completely cover all of my tuition. And while my parents are very supportive of me going to school, they also face their own financial struggles back at home.”
“I love this school. I love being involved. I love having the chance to receive my degree from here, but I just think it’s really difficult to understand why we would be the ones paying for these resources when they should be offered to us. I feel we pay so much money as it is, and yet we’re not supported in the sense of (paying extra) for the resources we need.”
What would you like to stay the same at SDSU?
“In high school, I was super passionate about a bunch of stuff. I’ve always talked about my passions, but I never really got to act on them.
“I feel like there’s so many organizations on this campus and it’s so incredible how diverse we are as a campus. One of the biggest things that I love about SDSU (is the involvement in student) organizations. I’m a part of Dance Marathon, and I think it’s so cool how there’re organizations such as Dance Marathon dedicate an entire year to fight back and give back to kids that are in hospitals that don’t get the same chances as us. One of the greatest things is the event that gets put on, and how college students literally give up there Friday and Saturday morning just to come and fight for these kids.”
“One of the best parts of SDSU is the fact that there are so many organizations that people are so proud to be a part of. People are so passionate about (these organizations). Being on this campus it allows me to be passionate about the issues that matter to me. I have so much support from this campus. I’ve been so lucky to be a part of organizations such as Dance Marathon. That’s definitely one of the biggest things I love about SDSU: the community behind some of these organizations — that’s my favorite part.”
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.