ASI executive candidates debate football, scholarships

Associated Students Inc. executive candidates discussed the main issues concerning ASI, including improving outreach, maximizing efficiency and the fight against budget cuts during the ASI debate Thursday.

The debate was moderated by the Daily 49er at the University Student Union Ballrooms from 1-2:30 p.m.

Presidential candidate James Suazo  suggested doing a self-assessment of ASI to figure out the most efficient way to run the auxiliary organization. 

Although some candidates’ main concern was budget cuts, presidential candidate Elizabeth Gamboa suggested bringing back a football team. Gamboa also proposed changing Cal State Long Beach’s name to Long Beach State University and changing the university mascot to the Tongva rebels.

All other presidential candidates disagreed with Gamboa’s proposals. 

“I can’t imagine spending the amount of time that it will take, the amount of administrative meetings it will take to change the name, when we have such huge issues on the line for our students,” ASI presidential candidate Stephen Thomas said.

Suazo agreed, noting that the changes would be too expensive.

“We’re talking about name changes, changing the mascot and now football, I just think that sounds like a very, very expensive administration that I don’t know if I would ever support,” Suazo said.

The candidates for vice president debated about if it was important to elect a vice president with ASI experience.

Although two of the candidates argued that the experience is not necessary, current ASI Senator Diana Phan argued that having the experience has allowed her to see all students’ perspectives.

Jorge Soriano, who served on the Senate for the past two years, suggested that ASI cannot wait for students to come to them like “moths to a flame,” and that ASI should begin getting the information out to students.

The vice presidents also disagreed about Jonathon Bolin’s proposal to have a new scholarship that would cut 33 percent of his salary to provide more money to students.

“I think that cutting 33 percent off our paycheck and stuff is more of a publicity thing,” said Priscilla Covarrubias, a vice presidential candidate. “It’s not gonna make much of a difference. ASI’s budget is $15 million so a few thousand ain’t gonna make a difference to the whole school population so I don’t see the big importance of it.”

Covarrubias’ response stirred a heated debate over Bolin’s proposal.

“For you to say that a student would not want a $1,000 scholarship, or a $500 scholarship, or even $100 for textbooks, I think is very ignorant,” Bolin said in response. “Obviously, you’re not in touch with the student population here. No amount of scholarships is enough until every single student can pay for their own education.”

Covarrubias said Bolin’s cut to his paycheck was a publicity stunt and wouldn’t affect many students.

Phan disagreed, saying Bolin’s proposal was noble.

“I think helping any student is a big deal,” Phan said. “By you excluding, by saying helping a couple students isn’t a big deal, I think every student counts as a big deal.”

One Comment

  1. Ms. Gamboa should not be considered a serious candidate as she is clearly not in tune with the issues that students are facing. We are amidst ridiculous fee hikes and yet she wants to cost the students more with all the propositions she is making. If she has a 2.2 GPA as a junior, maybe she should focus on balancing on the load she already has so that she can improve it. I don’t know her circumstances, however I do know many students who are in challenging majors, work to support themselves, take an average of 15 units per semester, are active on campus AND STILL have a GPA above 3.5.

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