Meet the 2023–24 Candidates

ASI President

2023–24 Candidates

Sam Andrews – College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Pronoun: Any

Major: Environmental Management and Protection | College: College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Candidate Statement: 
-TLDR: Record-setting representative with big ideas known for getting things done.
-As a representative, I have consistently pushed to improve the student experience. While holding roles in every level of student government, I’ve become renowned for my ability to creatively problem-solve and complete difficult projects.

In IHC, I set the all-time records for leading the administration which passed the most legislation, and authoring the most legislation as an individual. In ASI, I’ve maintained this pace while holding multiple roles simultaneously.

Among my favorite projects I’ve headed are installing condom dispensers in first-year dorms, directing used cooking oil from dining toward conversion to sustainable fuel, and working to include a permanent thrift store on campus (in progress).

As President, I aim to create a circular economy using class projects to improve campus, complete a shift in club funding to a P-card system, and improve physical and emotional accessibility through infrastructure change.

Diversity Statement: 
TLDR: I’ve learned through my relationship with my personal identities that diversity and accessibility are inseparably tied, and that to improve them at Cal Poly means to develop a system where accessibility is the standard rather than finding temporary and reactionary “band-aid” solutions.

-As a queer, neurodivergent person with a physical disability and chronic pain, I hold a variety of marginalized identities which are often invisible, but deeply affect my life. These identities are part of me, and I experience the challenges associated with them. At the same time, I am white, I present as a man, and outside of my physical reactions to it, my disability is only known to those I discuss it with. In short, I experience life through multiple lenses.

In some areas I hold significant advantages, but at times it becomes clear that the social and physical structures that surround me were not designed to accommodate people like me and we are a periodic afterthought. I want to use this position to make structural changes to Cal Poly and serve all our students. To do this, I want to uplift the voices on campus that are often silenced, and work to make lasting changes to Cal Poly structures to create a more supportive and equitable university based on the needs you communicate with me.

I plan to emphasize work on changes at Cal Poly that establish an accessible and equitable campus as the standard, and prioritize these changes over short-term events.

Jake Zylstra – College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences – Write–In Candidate

(write-in candidate)

Major: Dairy Science | College: College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences


ASI Board of Directors

2023–24 Candidates

Natalie Santos – College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Pronouns: She/they

Major: Animal Science | College: College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Candidate Statement:
My name is Natalie, and I am a second-year majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Law and Society. A club I attend when I can is the Latinx Cultural Association. I joined the club because the lack of diversity was culturally shocking since I arrived at Cal Poly, and I wanted to be part of a group where I felt more represented. I have recently become a Board Member and wish to continue to run as I have not had enough time to produce a plan to put into action. I want to continue to be a board member to be more involved with the student body and advocate for people who do not feel as represented as I did.

Diversity Statement: 
To prioritize D&I efforts, I want to advocate for students and the problems they are facing. As a Board Member, a goal I am working on is meeting with the library council to discuss the library and future plans for students to have an accommodating space where they may study once it closes. As a leader, to me, it is important for students to know that they are being heard. ASI should take responsibility to pursue action more often. As a member, I have seen plans get talked about but dismissed so it would be great if we could pursue them more until we get the desired results. To support an inclusive environment, I joined the student government because I wanted to become more involved as a Latin student and show others that there is someone who represents and resembles them.

Marc Cabeliza – College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Pronouns: he/him

Major: Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering | College: College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Candidate Statement:
Hello ! I’m Marc Cabeliza and I’m a 1st year Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering. I was originally born in the Philippines and moved to Santa Maria when I was 9. A few things about me is that I love playing sports, whether basketball or volleyball, I love going outdoors, and I am an avid reader and movie watcher. If elected, I would do my best to promote and create policies in order to provide an environment where all students at Cal Poly are welcome.

Diversity Statement: 
In high school, my friends, teachers, and I decided to partner with the City of Santa Maria to create a family friendly pumpkin patch. Coming from a school where over 90% of students were on free and reduced lunch, it was important to create a community event that families could afford. We built the Patch Santa Maria, a pumpkin patch where families could learn about agriculture and enjoy time outdoors. If elected, I would prioritize D&I efforts in order to make sure that students are provided events and a space where money isn’t a worry.
If elected to be part of ASI Student Government, I would take the principles that I learned from the Patch and my other experiences in leadership such as FFA and AVID to make sure that everyone has an equitable space at Cal Poly. Whether it be promoting events at Cal Poly for everyone, no matter the background, or creating policies that include every community at Cal Poly, it is important that we provide a space where all are heard and that everyone has a space to be themselves.

Rachel Reade – College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences – Write–in Candidate

(write-in candidate)

Major: Agriculture Communications | College: College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Alaina Ortiz – College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Pronouns: she/her

Major: City and Regional Planning | College: College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Candidate Statement: 
I am a second-year City and Regional Planning major from Los Angeles, California interested in transportation planning equity, sustainability, and urban design. I am a Cal Poly Scholar and member of Sustainable Fashion Club and Institute of Transportation Engineers. Additionally, I am the class of 2025 representative for Associated Students in Planning. My hobbies include trying new recipes, making art, train-watching, and studying Japanese.

Diversity Statement:
If elected, I will make efforts to allocate sufficient resources, including time and budget, to support DEI initiatives. This may include training programs, events, or any other activities that promote diversity and inclusion. I will encourage open communication, active listening, and respect for diverse perspectives. As I am an active member of my major’s DEI organization, I will continue to advocate for safe spaces where students may share their experiences, ideas, and have conversations revolving around DEI.

I believe that ASI should be responsible for fostering a more inclusive campus culture that values diversity and promotes equity and inclusion. ASI should work to offer opportunities for students to learn about and engage with issues related to DEI. As well as provide resources and support for underrepresented and marginalized communities, such as students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and students with disabilities.
At the individual level, I make a point to address bias and discrimination when it occurs, and provide resources and support for peers who may have experienced these issues.

Aaron Posternack – College of Architecture and Environmental Design – Write–in Candidate

(write-in candidate)

Major: City and Regional Planning | College: College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Ashleigh Spragins – College of Engineering

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Major: Manufacturing Engineering | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement: 
HEY, MUSTANGS! I am currently a VP of student government for on-campus living (Inter-Housing Council) and becoming part of a more significant student government would be the next perfect step. As a first-year Manufacturing Engineer, I am constantly trying to find opportunities to be more connected to Cal Poly and the student body. Additionally, I am currently a Delta Gamma and part of the Panhellenic Junior Council. I love nothing more than being involved in Cal Poly. I can assure each and every student that I will be dedicated to the job. With my experience in student government, I already understand the ins and outs of how to put advocacy into action. Furthermore, I currently have the opportunity to sit in on ASI Board meetings through my position in the student government. Rest assured, I will be a member that is dedicated to making student advocacy concerns happen.

Diversity Statement: 
Being so involved in Cal Poly, I feel nothing less than compelled to create and foster an inclusive environment for all so that the student body can love the school as much as I do. I believe that fostering an inclusive community promotes academic success, social responsibility, and personal growth. As a member of the ASI Board, I will continuously prove that I am here to help the student body advocate to foster only the best learning environments. I am committed to ongoing learning and educating in the areas of diversity and inclusion while striving to be an ally for marginalized communities.

I am here to speak up for those that may not have a voice.

As a current member of the on-campus living student government, I am committed to these values. I am already here supporting students to advocate for issues that they see in the housing community. With my experience, I have had the opportunity to develop skills working with not only fellow students, but also staff and faculty to create the most welcoming environment for all.

I recognize that diversity is not solely about representation but also about creating a system and environment where all students feel valued and heard. I am here to make sure that system is in place and working. As a leader of our community, I will work to create opportunities for collaboration between students of different backgrounds to ensure that all voices are heard and included.

It is my main focus to make sure that every student at Cal Poly feels that they have a place here.

Varenya Gupta – College of Engineering

Major: Industrial Engineering | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement: 
My name is Varenya Gupta and am from New Delhi, India. I currently serve as the Chair, Cal State Student Association the student association for half a million CSU students, working on advocating for all CSU students. In my role in ASI Student Government as Secretary of CSU Affairs in 2021-22, I focused on expanding affordable housing, and more mental health initiatives. Over the last two years, I have met with the city and state officials recommending steps for issues ranging from climate change to student safety. I discussed student priorities like affordable housing, increased financial aid complimenting and contribute to discussions on student priorities. While continuing this work, I wish to secure increased funding for clubs and programs on campus, provide students the resources to thrive in every way they imagine.

Diversity Statement: 
Cal Poly is a renowned launchpad to improve student experiences and careers. It is however unfortunate that it still evades several groups for reasons like affordability. As an international student, I have been privileged to attend Cal Poly and want to make it a possibility for everyone accepted. To make campus more welcoming, I will work on more cultural events, greater resources for foster youth, and students who in addition to studying at Cal Poly have to raise a family. Simultaneously I want to implementations improvements across campus clubs and organizations. Clubs on campus helped me not only to find my interests and be a part of industry projects, it is where I found many friendships. Therefore, I want to provide clubs and organizations the financial and programming resources through ASI so that no student pays dues. I will also work with faculty to make club projects especially major related, credit based allowing students to get free or tech elective credits for those club commitments. I will however make sure that these do not come at the expense of students. I wrote documentation opposing the College Based Fee increase which places undue financial burden on students and highlighted shortcomings and alternatives to campus administration. I shall leverage this experience to oppose future fee hikes. My work on expanded financial aid and funding for mental health initiatives will continue, so students enjoy these resources without worrying everyday needs.

Siddharth Kartha – College of Engineering

Pronouns: He/Him

Major: Computer Science | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement: 
I’m Siddharth Kartha, a third-year Computer Science major from Bangalore, India. I work as a Peer Advisor and Study Session leader and currently serve as a representative on the ASI Board of Directors. Through my position, I have worked to increase accountability of the University Administration and other stakeholders to the student population. I’m also working to align the University’s goals, resources, and developmental plans with the wants and needs of the students. In line with this objective, I’ve worked on resolutions concerning biking and walkability on campus and the retreat rights of former Chancellor Castro. Working towards this goal, I’ve also met with several city and county officials to discuss and advocate for student and campus issues. I hope to continue working to ensure that students and student-led organizations can receive the support they need to ensure student success in all areas.

Diversity Statement: 
Being born and raised in India, I have experienced cultures half a world apart. Adding to this, working student-centered jobs as a study session leader and a peer advisor, I have had the opportunity to interact with students from the broadest range of economic, academic, cultural, and experiential backgrounds. This experience has not only taught me to appreciate and learn from the differences between us but also led me to achieve a greater sense of respect for people. Though I can never claim to wholly understand the suffering and discrimination several sections of society face, I understand the importance and greatness of each person and their unique individual and collective identities. I want to ensure that we do justice to each individual and group.

Through my position, I’ve advocated for increased funding of the Social Justice Fund and tried to represent the interests and values of the marginalized students on campus. In continuance of my work, I wish to ensure that funding for social programs is increased and better aligned with the issues and interests of our campus community. I also want to ensure that students who need assistance the most can find the resources we have available. Most importantly, I wish to try and create a campus where each student, irrespective of their backgrounds and identities, is able to thrive and find the success and sense of belonging they deserve.

Ethan Robin – College of Engineering

Pronouns: He/They/She

Major: Computer Engineering | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement: 
Hello! My name is Ethan, and I am a second year Computer Engineering student. I am currently a club officer in Engineering Student Council, Innovation Sandbox, and Robotics, as well as an active member in the Multiracial Student Association. A large passion of mine is looking at administrative policy and decisions through a critical, student-focused lens, and this is why I am running for the ASI Board of Directors.

My guiding principle during my time as a representative will be making the reasons for administrative decisions more understood and transparent. It is my firm belief that whenever a decision affecting the day-to-day lives of students is made, there needs to be an effective way to communicate what went into that decision. Moreover, I want to make administration more transparent so students can point out inconsistencies and potential issues in the decisions being made.

Thank you for reading, and consider voting for me as a representive for the Board of Directors.

Diversity Statement: 
Diversity and inclusion for me is a part of every decision I make, and a very important part of how I conduct my life. At Cal Poly, I do this in my role as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) chair on Engineering Student Council, where I make sure the decisions being made consider DEI. As a person, I endevor as much as possible to question my internal biases, and talk to people I might not normally talk to.

On the Board of Directors, I will emphasize considering how decisions affect individuals and student minorities rather than considering their impact on the student body on average. In my time as a representative, I will also make sure decisions are made with representative data, and find a way to get such data if it is not available.

Gabriela Arevalos – College of Engineering

Pronoun: She/her/hers

Major: Computer Engineering | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement: 
Hello Everyone,

My name is Gabriela Arevalos, I am a second-year Computer Engineering Major. Joining a major that is mostly male dominated has been a struggle. I am also a first-generation student so coming to a university has its own struggle. My goal for being voted is to be able to advocate for inclusions and give the perspective of a first-generation and a female in the stem field. Ensuring everyone’s ideas and points of view are heard will be my main priority. I want to challenge myself this coming year and having this opportunity will help strengthen and build my experience for future careers.

Diversity Statement: 
I will prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts by joining clubs that focus on creating a safe community for fellow students who feel alone and need a community. An example of this would be Latinx Cultural Association (LCA) being part of this club has allowed me to be able to expand my knowledge of different Latinx cultures as well as find a community where everyone faces the same situation. This allows for all of us to work together and resolve any problems that can occur along with a way to ask for help/ advice on a situation. I have also joined a sorority, and one of its pillars is multiculturalism which allows for diverse cultures to come together. This will help me prioritize D and I’s efforts in my leadership role by giving me the knowledge and motivation to ensure that all points of view and beliefs are brought to attention and are heard by the board.

Sofia Buduchina – College of Engineering

Pronoun: she/her/hers

Major: Biomedical Engineering | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement: 
Hey everyone! My name is Sofia Buduchina, and I’m running for the Board of Directors for Cal Poly SLO ASI!

Change is hard. I’ve moved four times before: first from abroad, then from the east coast, then from northern California. And now I’m here, in college. That’s never easy either—it’s hard doing a number of things, whether it’s having a work-life balance or even just eating food you enjoy.

But hard doesn’t have to mean bad. I’ve had great exposure to people, places, and perspectives, and I want to immerse myself into the tight-knit community we have here to advocate for who we are. Whether that””s through investing more into inclusive events, clubs, or creating a forum to easily speak up at any time, I want us to be one family. We’re Mustangs. We learn by doing. So let’s do good and do more, together.

Diversity Statement: 
There’s nearly 20,000 students on campus. That’s 20,000 perspectives. Each one is unique, and shaped by a personal background that includes a special identity, culture, family, and more. Simply put, I strive to be the voice for as many of those perspectives as I can—we’re defined by the people that make up our student body, by the viewpoints and experiences we share together.

As someone who would be a representative for the entire student body, creating an inclusive and welcoming environment that integrates our great variety of interests, ideas, and personalities on campus is my priority. My goal would be to create opportunities for every group on campus—among colleges, clubs, and activities—and provide resources that allow us to speak about what we need and become a family, together. This includes creating settings for shared student voices on issues relating to mental health and inclusion. It means opening direct lines of communication between various groups on campus so that there’s less red tape surrounding getting any kind of help you need, whether that’s funding a club event or reaching out for support relating to campus life.

Inclusion entails creating a home. A safe place. I want to join the board to make that happen. To come together, share our perspectives, and be one family. As Mustangs.

Honore Fowler Preisser – College of Engineering

Major: Civil Engineering  | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement: 
I’m thrilled to be a candidate for the Cal Poly student body and to have this opportunity to share a bit about myself with you. My name is Honore Preisser, and I am a Civil Engineering major in my first year at Cal Poly.

In my short time here, I have been involved in numerous clubs and organizations, including Society of Civil Engineers and Society of Women Engineers, which has allowed me to develop my leadership skills and to make connections with students across campus.

If elected, I’m committed to being a strong advocate for the student body and to working tirelessly to address your needs and concerns. I believe that all students deserve access to high-quality education, and I’m committed to ensuring that Cal Poly continues to provide a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all.

I hope to earn your vote and your trust in this upcoming election.

Diversity Statement: 
As a candidate for ASI Student Government, I am committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (D&I) efforts on our campus. My positionality as a biracial woman that lived in a different country for my more formative years has motivated me to work towards creating a more inclusive environment for all students.

If elected to ASI, I will prioritize D&I efforts by creating more accessible resources for underrepresented groups, and increasing diversity in student leadership. I believe that ASI has a responsibility to take on a leadership role in promoting D&I efforts on campus, and I am committed to working with other student leaders to ensure that we create a more inclusive environment for all students.

I believe that it is essential for all students to feel supported and valued, and I am committed to working towards creating a campus where everyone can thrive.

In conclusion, I am dedicated to promoting D&I efforts at Cal Poly and will work tirelessly to ensure that all students feel included and supported. I hope to have the opportunity to serve as your representative and to continue advocating for a more equitable and inclusive campus community.

Sujanya Srinath – College of Engineering

Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

Major: Computer Science  | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement:

My name is Sujanya Srinath. I am a Third year Computer Science major from Bangalore, India. I am currently serving as a College of Engineering representative on the ASI Board of Directors. I am also one of the Founders and Captains of Cal Poly Andaaz, a Bollywood Fusion dance team on campus. As a CENG representative on the board, I have connected with the college council to have a better understanding and help advocate for the needs of the students. I am a member of both the Diversity and Inclusion committee and the Internal Review committee and have pushed for projects like boosting the social justice funding for clubs and organizations in the coming years. I have also worked with Campus Health and wellbeing on their expansion of abortion pills services and mental health services. I hope to continue my efforts to help improve the lives of students on campus.

Diversity Statement:

Being born in the US as an Indian was challenging. Adapting to a new way of life and dealing with stereotypes was overwhelming especially during my early school years. At a young age I moved to India. The transition was challenging as I went from not knowing anything about my heritage to having a whole world opened up about the beautiful Indian culture, making me fall in love with it. It gave me the internal power to fight for cultural diversity wherever possible as I was eager to showcase my culture to the world. This led me to starting my own Indian Dance team when I came to Cal Poly. Starting “Andaaz” was an excellent way to increase awareness about Indian culture and make everyone feel welcome. Through dance performances, workshops, and events, the club has been creating an inclusive space for students to learn and appreciate its traditions. Apart from this I have also been an active member in the Diversity and Inclusion committee and have advocated for increasing the Social Justice Funding for clubs on campus to help them better promote different cultures. Being an International student, talking to Cal Poly Admissions about admission rates amongst different ethnic backgrounds and how to increase the student body diversity has also been a very passionate project for me. In the future, I aim to collaborate with other cultural organizations on campus to organize joint events and promote cross-cultural exchange and to help advocate for the cultural needs of students.

Mihir Chintawar – College of Engineering

Pronoun: he/him/his

Major: Computer Science  | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement:
My name is Mihir Chintawar, and I am running to represent the College of Engineering at ASI. I am a junior computer science major and passionate about computer science and technology. As CalPoly has treated me amazingly during my time here, I feel that running for the board is the perfect opportunity to give back. As the VP of Tech Sales, I had the opportunity to work with students from several colleges. Working as a junior developer at Amazon, I understand the potential for innovation and growth in the field of technology and want to use it to address the needs of engineering students. I am passionate about bringing students together and fostering a sense of community on campus and I will ensure your voices as students are heard by working with clubs and the Engineering Student Council to ensure the campus knows and is working towards what you consider important.

Diversity Statement:
As a junior Computer Science major and a person of color from Mumbai, India, I understand the challenges and pain points that marginalized communities face on campus. If elected to the board of the student body, I will prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (D&I) efforts to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students.

I will prioritize amplifying the voices of marginalized students, advocating for policies that support underrepresented communities, and creating opportunities for cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary engagement on campus. ASI has a crucial role to play in promoting D&I on campus, and I will work to provide resources and support for underrepresented groups and create a more inclusive and welcoming campus culture.
Together, we can create a more equitable and inclusive campus community. As a POC, I am committed to working towards this goal and ensuring that all students feel welcome and supported at Cal Poly.

Joseph F Thompson – College of Engineering

Major: Aerospace Engineering  | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement:
For the 3 years I have been a student at Cal Poly I have seen a number of facilities in a state of disarray to the point where they seem to be more of a storage shed than anything else. I find this greatly disappointing and feel that running for a seat on the ASI Board of Directors is the best place and try to rectify that. As such my goals are as follows:

Help to bring facilities that have been underutilized back to a state befitting Cal Poly
Help give students access to facilities that are either unknown, in a state where their utilization is difficult, or where excessive bureaucracy stifles ones ability to use them.

Diversity Statement:
Much of my Candidate Statement speaks to my desire to open spaces for students. It is in the very nature of that goal to help students of all walks of life. It would be a part of my goal to make sure that ALL students could access these facilities in equal measure and in turn make the school more inclusive as a whole.

Angela Gutierrez – College of Engineering

Pronoun: She her hers

Major: Biomedical Engineering  | College: College of Engineering

Candidate Statement:
I am a first-generation neurodivergent Latina in stem from Palm Springs California. I’m majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Gender Race Culture Science and Technology. Having lived in Mexico for a part of my childhood and being a minority on campus I understand the challenges of being part of an underrepresents group at cal poly. Throughout college, I have struggled with mental health as well as disability-related issues and racism on campus. This lead me to feel unheard and frustrated with the administration’s choices. It felt hopeless and was often not meant with respect when I raised our concerns. I want to make sure that those people who have felt the way that I did at any point feel respected and understood. If I were elected to the ASI board of directors I would like to raise awareness on campus about these issues.

Diversity Statement:
I will prioritize Diversity and inclusion on campus by bringing awareness to different cultures, and communities on campus. I will also like to create a space where everyone can feel like themselves and celebrate there instead of assimilating into Cal Poly’s predominant culture. During my first year here I worked with the Biomedical Engineering DEI where I raise awareness of different issues within the stem field. I am currently the Diversity chair for the society of women engineers where I am working to create outreach events as well as bring light to different issues that minorities on campus face. I am working to help those underrepresented communities feel more empowered and find their voice on campus. I believe that ASI should hold people accountable as well as create a space where everyone can express themselves. Cal Poly has a history of protecting racist and sexist actions on campus. For example the tortilla throwing during the UCSB soccer game. They called supermarkets to take tortillas off selves, without thinking of the communities that rely on them. Instead, they could have talked about the impact the actions make on Hispanic students on campus and created stricter consequences for them. Especially since cal poly is the only public school in California that is not Hispanic serving. I have made sure bought through organization and on a personal level to always be there to listen to others. Not having an inclusive environment is something I have personally faced and am dedicated to helping solve.

Scott Drouin – College of Liberal Arts

Pronoun: he/they

Major: Journalism  | College: Political Science

Candidate Statement:
Hi Mustangs! I’m Scott Drouin, and I’m a first-year political science major running for a position on the ASI Board of Directors. I’ve grown such a love for Cal Poly, and I want to give back in a way that supports my peers and the university’s faculty and staff. While I am new to ASI, I am not new to student government, and I loved representing my classmates in high school. As a representative for the College of Liberal Arts, I’ll bring my years of student government and advocacy experience that I know will make me a valued member of the ASI Board. But, ultimately, I am here to be a voice. I want to be someone you can rely on with an open ear for any issues, questions, and suggestions.

Diversity Statement:
As a representative on the ASI Board of Directors, I intend to bring diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice to the forefront of my position. Because Cal Poly is a PWI, we still have a way to go when it comes to student belonging. I want to help facilitate the university’s transition into a more welcoming place for students of all backgrounds. To this effect, I believe that ASI should be committed to supporting the growth of Student Diversity and Belonging. In my time at Cal Poly, I’ve seen and been a part of the valuable SDAB programming, and I think it should be a priority of ASI to help build and strengthen the already amazing SDAB centers. ASI should strive to support student comfort to create a positive environment that lends itself to a campus where students don’t have to worry about feeling like they don’t belong. I believe another responsibility ASI should take on is to support student efforts to expand gender-inclusive bathroom signage across campus. I also know that actualizing these ideas is a lot easier said than done. However, in high school, I was a member of a student equity council that worked with administration to implement DEI policies that support historically marginalized students. This experience will be key to my role on the ASI Board as I have learned to work with school administration, advocate for better policy, and collaborate and support fellow students.

Alexander Levine – College of Liberal Arts

Pronoun: He/Him

Major: Journalism  | College: College of Liberal Arts

Candidate Statement:
Hey! I’m from Portland, Oregon, and now here in SLO as a first-year student majoring in Journalism and pursuing a minor in Political Science. I currently serve on the Inner Housing Council.

I’m incredibly excited to be running for the ASI Board of Directors in order to bring accountability, diligence, and compassion to the issues facing our community. Previously, I’ve been heavily involved with my local school board to ensure safe learning environments during the Covid-19 pandemic, increased climate change education inside the classroom, along with standing up for gun reform & violence within our schools. This leads to some of the values that I’ll bring to the board: making sure we have a safe campus for all people, no matter their race, gender, sexual identity, or cultural background. Outside of the classroom, I compete for the CP Triathlon Team & enjoy spending time outdoors, skiing, and flying my drone.

Diversity Statement:
Diversity, Equity, & inclusion are not only important to our campus, but it’s also important aspects of life that our generation must take with us, and that can start now. If elected to the board, I am keenly aware that we are a predominantly white institution, and we must work alongside underrepresented students to create a better, more welcoming community while increasing resources for all that need them. Promoting and lifting up historically marginalized groups increases student success, that’s something that I learned while involved in my high school student government. Making sure that affinity groups and cultural student unions had the funds they needed, to put on events, bring in guest speakers, and launch education campaigns around my high school, bettered the community as a whole. Through my work on the Inner Housing Council, we have strived this year to collaborate with other communities to put on events that lift up culture and promote diversity and inclusion amongst all. I believe ASI and the Board of Directors should look at the policy that comes before them as an opportunity to better campus initiatives through a lens of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, making a change when change is needed, and always advocating for more resources, support, and education for all.

Alyson Engel – College of Liberal Arts

Pronoun: she/her/hers

Major: Political Science  | College: College of Liberal Arts

Candidate Statement:
My name is Alyson Engel, and I am an incoming-second year Political Science major! My hometown is Sacramento, CA, but I have many family ties in SLO County and grew up visiting the area often. I’m currently a member of Cal Poly’s Garden Club and Planned Parenthood GenAction group. I love to explore the earth, cook, and crochet.

As an avid participant in my high school student government, I am looking forward to the opportunity to once again serve my student community and to help strengthen ties between Cal Poly students, the administration, and the SLO community. I am passionate about social justice and the earth. I aim to act as a voice for the underrepresented groups on our campus and improve Cal Poly’s practices to increase sustainability and equity.

Diversity Statement:
Within a leadership role, I will commit to uplifting marginalized groups on campus and making sure every student’s voice is heard. In high school, I served in Student Government and as the co-president of our Feminist Coalition, where I worked to educate our student body on the importance of intersectional feminism and student social justice. Here at Cal Poly, I hope to hold more student forums where anyone can share their opinions with ASI representatives and ensure that their student government has their best interests at heart.

I believe that ASI should be a reliable ambassador of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As the link between the student body and the administration, ASI holds an important role in ensuring every member of the student community is listened to and receives the necessary support. ASI should help educate privileged students on how to be more inclusive and host events that integrate students of all cultures. ASI should also work to foster a safe community within Cal Poly in terms of gender- and power-based violence.

At Cal Poly, I have worked to learn about the different groups that make up our student body. Attending events like the Social Justice Teach-In at the multicultural center and Drag Club’s Winter Wonderland show has given me a glimpse into many cultures on our campus. Attending these events both helps to support marginalized groups and helps me to be aware of my privilege, giving me the tools to be more inclusive in my conversations about Cal Poly.

Maya McClain – College of Liberal Arts

Pronoun: she/her

Major: Political Science  | College: College of Liberal Arts

Candidate Statement:
Hi! My name is Maya McClain I a second year Political Science major from San Francisco, with minors in economics and ethnic studies. I am a member of Cal Poly’s Orchesis Dance Company and the Epsilon Omega Chapter of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. In my free time, I enjoy skiing, doing yoga, making coffee, reading, having dance parties in my living room, and spending time with my friends!

I have served on the Board of Directors for the last academic year as a representative from the College of Liberal Arts. I served as the Club Funding Liaison and as a member of the Business and Finance Committee. Through my last year on the Board I have learned a lot about Cal Poly as a school, the demographics and opinions of the student body, the inner workings of campus administration, and strengthened my skills as an advocate and a leader.

Diversity Statement:
I come from a unique background, having one set of grandparents who are immigrants and one set of grandparents from the US. My mixed family history has allowed for me to grow up with a richer, fuller understanding of diversity within our world. I went to a predominantly white and wealthy high school in San Francisco. I have spent the last year as the President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for my sorority, where I have been able to gain real experience in researching and implementing new DEI procedures and education materials. This experience has really allowed me to grow not just professionally but also on a deeply personal level.

Cal Poly is a predominantly white university, that’s a fact that is incredibly clear. It’s something I am consciously aware of when walking around our campus. I hope that other students of color feel a level of representation within the administration of our community. It’s one thing for our administration to say they are dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive campus, but it’s another for that to be reflected within positions of leadership and through real action.

Kayla Cavazos – College of Liberal Arts

Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

Major: Political Science  | College: College of Liberal Arts

Candidate Statement:
As a Hispanic first-generation college student, I truly hope to be a new welcoming face for our student body. I hope to add more diversity to the Board of Directors to make my peers more comfortable expressing their thoughts and opinions when it comes to campus life. I will strive to be a friendly face that anyone can come to with their comment or concerns. As a political science major, I have learned the importance of interacting with different people and different opinions. Being on the ASI Board is a great opportunity to do just that, and it is one that I feel extremely prepared for. Representing our student body is a challenge and privilege I am ready to take on.

Diversity Statement:
DEi is an important aspect of any organization, especially a college campus. We, the student body, all want to feel as though we belong in the place we choose to spend our first four years of early adulthood. As a Hispanic member of our community, I hope to be able to further diversify the ASI Board through the many different but not exclusive experiences I bring to the table. Growing up with my mom being an immigrant from Mexico, I always heard her first-hand account of feeling othered in the society she lived in, and it has completely shaped the way I view the world. Therefore, I truly understand the responsibility of making everyone feel they belong and are wanted on our campus. I would also love to mention that I am apart of the DEI committee in my sorority. This is something I am extremely proud of. To be able to foster an inclusive society in an organization with stereotypes that say otherwise is something I feel privileged to be a part of. DEI is something that I put at the forefront of everything I do, especially regarding my interactions on this campus. As an ASI Board member, I will continue to have those values and enjoy sharing them in a new way.

Beckett McVoy – College of Liberal Arts

Pronoun: He/Him

Major: Political Science  | College: College of Liberal Arts

Candidate Statement:
About me: I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and have spent the majority of my life outside. Biking and skiing are my true passions and are what I love doing most. Bike racing was the sport I did most throughout my childhood, and I have continued to participate in the sport into college with the Cal Poly Cycling club.

Goals for ASI: My goals, if elected, as an ASI representative is to help improve student wellness. Whether that be physical or mental, I believe that healthier students will not only be happier but also better academically. Along with this, I also wish to improve student mobility as well as potentially hosting activities that will promote community building among students.

Diversity Statement:
As a member of the ASI Student Government, I will prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts by actively listening to the voices and concerns of marginalized communities on campus. This includes collaborating with student organizations and seeking their input on policies and initiatives that will affect them.

One of the best examples of where I was able to promote inclusion in a community was when I was a mountain bike coach. Coaching is a tricky job as the kids I was coaching had differing skill and fitness levels. These diverse ability and fitness levels created friction amongst my group as some kids felt isolated from the group because of their abilities. Because of this, I set up our group so that the slower kids would lead to ensure they were not left behind and felt like they were a part of the group. This method was highly effective, and the performance of the kids who needed the help significantly improved. Because of this, I learned the importance of inclusion and how it can benefit a person.

To support a more inclusive environment for historically marginalized students at Cal Poly, I will work to amplify their voices and advocate for their needs. This includes supporting initiatives that address systemic issues of discrimination and bias on campus and working to create more accessible and inclusive spaces. I will also prioritize recruiting and retaining diverse student leaders and work to ensure their voices are heard and valued within ASI.

Jett Palmer – College of Science and Mathematics

Pronoun: He/Him

Major: Statistics  | College: College of Science and Mathematics

Candidate Statement:
Hi, I’m Jett (like the airplane). I am a statistics student from San Diego, California.
My earnest goal in life is to serve others. As an ASI Director, your happiness and well-being will always be on my mind.

Currently, I serve as Chief Financial Officer and Vice-Chairman of a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Love-Share-Impact. I am versed with the responsibilities and legalities of serving on a board. You can trust my experience.

An interesting fact, I am proficient in sign language and am well connected with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Witnessing how my friends are often disadvantaged, I care deeply about equity and accessibility.

Students, my intentions are true and I want to optimize your experience here at Cal Poly. Thank you for your votes and consideration!

Diversity Statement:
In the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, receiving a name in sign language is a symbol of cultural acceptence; it must be given to hearing individuals by someone who is Deaf. A couple years ago, I was proudly invited into the Deaf world with a name sign, because I demonstrated my commitment to Deaf culture and equity. Whether it be interpreter access, closed captioning services, or employment discrimination, I have seen first-hand how some communities just don’t have the same opportunities as others.

You might feel that some physical attribute or event has set you back in our society–something you cannot even change. I hear you. And I care passionately about the minority voice. I believe that everyone should feel safe and secure in this environment at Cal Poly. As an ASI Director, I will carry these values into my work with utmost attention. I will advocate that every opportunity, event, or service offered by Cal Poly is accessible and everyone-friendly. I firmly believe that this should never be ignored by anyone in a position of leadership. Some cannot find the voice to speak up–I will be your liaison and I will be there for you.

Diversity strengthens teams like nothing else. Varying perspectives and representation is the only true fashion for which progress can be achieved. As a Board Director for ASI, I will seek opinions from outside parties to ensure that students are being collectively represented and ASI grows stronger using the power of diversity.

Joseph Fewel – College of Science and Mathematics

Pronoun: he/him

Major: Biology  | College: College of Science and Mathematics

Candidate Statement:
Hi everyone! My name is Joe Fewel, my pronouns are he/him/his, and I am a first-year biology major with a concentration in anatomy and physiology. I live in tsɨtpxatu in the yakʔitʸutʸu housing community. I was involved in student government in high school, and am excited about the opportunity to be a part of ASI this upcoming year! I currently serve as the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the yakʔitʸutʸu Inter Housing Council and love the role! I would love to join the ASI Board of Directors on behalf of the College of Science and Mathematics and believe I have lots of leadership experience, school spirit, and passion to offer to the Board. I play the piano and clarinet, and love baking, reading, traveling, and any outdoor activities that SLO offers!

Diversity Statement:
As a representative of the College of Science and Mathematics on the ASI Board of Directors, I will prioritize DEI efforts by ensuring that historically underrepresented groups have a voice in the democratic process regarding the school that we love. I want people of all backgrounds to feel like they have a place at the school, especially when marginalized groups often go unheard in the STEM community. I hope to make meaningful strides toward the inclusion and acceptance of all people all over the school. In the future, hopefully as a member of ASI, I want to work in conjunction with the Inter Housing Council, and many other groups on campus, to create a sense of belonging and pride among all students of intersectional identities. Currently, I am the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive for the yakʔitʸutʸu Inter Housing Council, and strive to build community and nurture love. As a member of IHC, I have actively supported a more inclusive environment on campus by hosting events geared toward cultural appreciation and celebration and creating a space where everyone can feel comfortable. Fellow students in my housing community hold differences in sexual orientation, race, nationality, gender, and socioeconomic status, and it is through this diversity that I believe we can all coexist together in a peaceful, productive, and prideful way for all. If elected, I hope to bring this dream to ASI and appreciate any and all opportunities to do so.

Arlein Logrono – College of Science and Mathematics

Pronoun: She/her/hers

Major: Public Health  | College: College of Science and Mathematics

Candidate Statement:
Hello everyone, my name is Arlein Logrono and I am a second-year public health major. Something interesting about myself is I love to go out and explore new places. I am currently a college student who strives to complete a bachelor’s degree in Public Health because I am somebody who wishes for the well-being of people who are in need of medical care and access. I am somebody who can manage my time well by creating calendars and using a planner so I can know when I should start and finish an assignment that needs to be done. My goal is to be able to graduate by the end of my fourth year in 2025 and be able to get a job within 1 year that would make me love going to work.

Diversity Statement:
If I were to be elected for the ASI Student Government, how I will prioritize D&I efforts is by advocating for students who feel that their voice isn’t being heard and will propose a change in a way people can feel more included and find their community here on campus. For example, I would create polls with questions that ask what changes should be made in order for underrepresented students to feel included and also ask what events could be made to add more diversity. I think the responsibilities that ASI should take on when it comes to D&I is to not be neglectful about the students as many of them could create great ideas to improve campus diversity and it is our job to listen to them and take them inot consideration. Another responsibility that I think ASI should take on is to always create new ideas and find events that could include many students so everyone can feel like they belong and do not feel isolated during their time in college. I have yet to join any extracurriculars to support an inclusive environment for historically marginalized students here at Cal Poly, but joining ASI would help me develop as a person in voicing out opinions and also prioritize others in their search for inclusivity and community.

Kelly Pi – College of Science and Mathematics – Write–in Candidate

(write-in candidate)

Major: Biological Sciences | College: College of Science and Mathematics

Alexis Kong – Orfalea College of Business

Pronoun: she/her/hers

Major: Business Administration  | College: Orfalea College of Business

Candidate Statement:
I’m Alexis Kong and I’m a first-year Business Administration major.

I have gained much leadership experience throughout high school in student government where I served as a class officer for three years and ASB Secretary for one year. There, I found my passion for assisting people in all walks of life, whether that be through mental health support, the homeless, or those who just needed some encouragement. I was also involved in many service-based clubs that sought to help the larger community, increasing my passion for being a helping hand to others.

I often bring a unique perspective to the table and prioritize the needs of the student body as I have come to understand the impact of student government on the school environment. I’d love to serve the Cal Poly community using my experience and dedication to serving a larger purpose to represent Cal Poly students and their exigencies.

Diversity Statement:
It is imperative that ASI Student Government prioritize diversity and inclusion to effectively create an inclusive environment in which all students may feel safe and have their voices heard.

In my previous experiences in clubs and student government, I have worked with colleagues to focus our energies on diversity and inclusion by hosting multicultural events to celebrate traditions of various cultures throughout our school. We ensured the voices of those we represented were heard and gave them space to advocate for their needs to disburse accurate information to the students. Our goal was to educate students about other cultures while providing immersive experiences for them to better understand and partake in multicultural celebrations.

As a member of ASI Student Government, I would concentrate on diversity and inclusion throughout all functions by ensuring that historically marginalized groups are advocated for and by providing a space in which the best interests of all students are represented. I aim to be a trusted member who values the concerns of those I would serve by ensuring that a wide variety of perspectives are considered when discussing matters regarding the student body.

As an Asian-American woman, I understand the significance of having one’s community represented and advocated for by people who understand and empathize with the struggles experienced by marginalized groups. If elected to student government, diversity and inclusion would remain at the forefront of my efforts to make Cal Poly a welcoming and safe environment for students of all backgrounds.

Zachary Van Blarcom – Orfalea College of Business – Write–in Candidate

(write-in candidate)

Major: Business Administration | College: Orfalea College of Business

Justin Scullion – Orfalea College of Business – Write–in Candidate

(write-in candidate)

Major: Finance | College: Orfalea College of Business

Chloe Fulton – Orfalea College of Business – Write–in Candidate

(write-in candidate)

Major: Business Administration | College: Orfalea College of Business