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The First ASI Candidates Debate

Students lay out reasons why they should be our elected representatives

Students+from+the+ASI+general+debate
Students from the ASI general debate

Students from the ASI general debate

Ani Nalbandian

Ani Nalbandian

Students from the ASI general debate

Ani Nalbandian, Copy Editor

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Associated Students (ASI) had their first debate for the 2017 ASI General Election on Tuesday, April 4. The seven candidates at the debate are running for various positions. The final two debates over the following weeks will feature different candidates.

Jesse Mora, the candidate running to be College Representative of the College of Arts and Letters, said he wants to “improve the campus community through events and guest speakers.” A second year undergraduate student, Mora cited executive leadership experience through his fraternity, Phi Sigma Kappa, as a reason for being prepared to take on a role as a College Representative.

The only candidate for the Charter College of Education Representative position is Kenya Pineda. She intends to provide Charter College students with the best quality experience by “by advocating for the rights of students, planning and executing relevant and important events, and by working closely with CCOE clubs to help them flourish and grow.”

Nathan Lee, an incumbent Community Affairs Representative-at-Large, is running for a second time in 2017. Lee is a second year undergraduate Computer Science major who believes “there’s much work in making our community better.” Lee is running against Yessenia Villacorta, who was not present at Tuesday’s debate.

“This is my second year running because community work is a passion of mine, I’ve always liked branching out service learning opportunities,” said Lee. “I like working with EPIC, they do a lot of good things like the Cal State LA Toy and Food Drive. They branch out to surrounding communities, low income families, and get them some food and toys, making their winter a little warmer.”

There are also five candidates running to be the College Representative of the College of Natural and Social Sciences; Lili Nguyen, Laica Tolentino, Brandon Liu, Deborah Ascencion and Hector Marruji. All but Hector Marruji were present at the debate.

Nguyen believes her experience will help her resolve college advisement issues. “If elected, the main issues I want to address are the problems regarding advisement and the absence of social activities for students on campus,” Nguyen said. “I am passionate about helping people and want to represent the best interests of the students within my college.”

Focusing on issues with college advisement, Laica Tolentino said, “I will be the voice and the ears of my fellow students, to listen to them and speak for them as timely as possible.” Tolentino is a second year undergraduate Biochemistry major.  

As an NSS students, Brandon Liu believes the “Dean should listen to students.” Liu would be “…interested in contributing to event coordination,” and would like to improve communication between NSS and the Associated Students. Liu also expressed through his bio on the ASI website of his interest in improving the office hours of professors with large class sizes.

Deborah Ascencion said, “Student involvement is needed at a commuter school, people just come to school then go home. They don’t take advantage of the resources that our campus has for them.” Ascencion will bring fresh eyes to this problem and wants to promote networking as one solution. “The students in the College of NSS will have a voice and be represented at the Student Government in Cal State LA.”

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The First ASI Candidates Debate