Campus, News

ASI commissioner to create pregnant and parenting student support programs

The Associated Students Inc. confirmed Elisa Arquieta as the new ASI Commissioner for Pregnant and Parenting Students during the ASI Senate meeting on Wednesday.

As a single mother of three and a transfer student, Arquieta aims to establish better support groups, resources and representation for pregnant and parenting students who want to continue their higher education at Long Beach State.

“One of my goals is that I would like to start my own program in which I can give resources and guidance to pregnant and parenting students,” Arquieta said. “This position really aligns with those goals.”

After being accepted to CSULB, Arquieta enrolled her children at Isabel Patterson’s Child Development Center, a program under ASI that provides early care and education programs for children ages six months to second grade.

Although she expressed appreciation for the center’s methods of raising the children as competent leaders, she noticed that a lot of the parents sending their kids are not actually students.

Arquieta said that she grew curious and further discovered the lack of parenting groups, clubs and student involvement on campus.

The Pregnant and Parenting Student Association, was inactive since spring 2021.

“So when I saw that the commissioner position for the pregnant and parenting students is also vacant, I felt like I could make a difference in connecting all of the resources, and as well as becoming a voice for the students that are in my situation,” she said.

Arquieta is a public relations major and a member of Beach Team which provides leadership and outreach opportunities during campus events for students who want to get involved in the student government.

ASI Senator at-large Fidel Vasquez asked Arquieta at the meeting how she aims to use her major for the role’s responsibilities and to help with ASI Senate in future operations.

Arquieta said that a public relations process she can apply in her new goals is RPIE, which stands for research, planning, implementation and evaluation.

She said she feels as though the “research” part has already started, after she already looked into the situations of different parenting services on campus and the lack student involvement.

“The planning is how we want to activate those students to become involved and have them participate in the CSULB activities,” Arquieta said. “For them to not just have pride of CSULB within themselves, but also pass it along to their children because they’re the future.”

One of the upcoming events for pregnant and parenting students is the “A Life on the Balance” event on Nov. 16, by the Women’s & Gender Equity Center and Counseling and Psychological Services.

The event will be led by therapist Abby Bradecich to facilitate conversations around unique challenges in parenthood and pregnanthood in a safe space.

“You guys are making such a great difference in our community,” Arquieta told the ASI senate members. “One of the reasons that I wanted to be part of the ASI student body is because I also want to make a difference in my community.”

The ASI Senators urged Arquieta to work with Valerie Ramos, ASI Commissioner for Women and Gender Equity.

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