Students meet ASI candidates over coffee

Matt Harrington

To kick off student government elections week, Associated Students Inc. on Wednesday invited Sacramento State students to meet candidates running for ASI student body positions for the next school year in the University Union Lobby.

“Coffee and Candidates” allowed students and ASI candidates to ask questions and get to know each other. Free drinks and pastries were provided.

Organizing member Mercedes Tyler, junior film production major, said it is vital for members of the campus community to know whom they are electing.

“These events are important because we are going to have a new board elected for next school (year).” Tyler said. “So, the goal of this event is to give students the opportunity to meet the candidates that are running for the ASI board and get to know them. This also gives the candidates the opportunity to explain to the campus community what they stand for and what they are all about.”

Student reaction to the event was favorable, Tyler said. She said having food at the event makes a difference.

“Having food at our information tables helps us to engage the student because when we ask if they know what ASI is, they will say no. So it gives us a chance to inform the student and help them connect more with their campus,” Tyler said.

ASI’s A-Team, which is in charge of planning activities and events, is hosting other similar events for student government officials and the campus community in an effort to reach out to the greater student community.

“We try to hold these types of event two times per semester,” Tyler said. “We call them, ‘Coffee and Conversation’ and students get to meet their current ASI board. So since we are going to have a new board elected for next school, we called it ‘Coffee and Candidates.’”

Mingling among those at the event was senior public relations major Elise Fider. She said she enjoys having access to government officials as it allows for the exchange of knowledge.

“I love these kinds of events. It is a great opportunity for the campus community to meet those individuals that are running for an elected office,” Fider said. “It is a great way to find out what the students are thinking and want from their campus, instead of our elected officials hiding in their offices and talking to the community.”

Senior psychology major Liz Redford is running for vice president of University Affairs and said she is prepared to organize the public for action.

“I have been involved with many events on campus that focused on recruiting students and getting information out to the campus community,” Redford said. “I have also been involved with helping students and the public become registered to vote no matter the political party.”

Redford said her goal is to help students become aware of student government services.

If elected, Redford would like to bring more awareness to the many committees students can sit on in ASI.

“If elected, I would like to design an event called ‘Committee Carnival’ and have the A-Team help in planning the event,” Redford said. “The purpose of this event would bring all the committees together and have the chairs talk with the students about what their committees do and the impact they have on the campus.”

She said it is necessary to get more students involved in campus life at Sac State.

“A lot of students do not know what ASI is,” Redford said. “And like the current marketing says, ‘28,000 students complained, only 2,500 voted,’ I feel it is important to counter the lack of education on campus. The job of the VP of University Affairs is to get more students involved.”

The next chance to meet the candidates running for ASI board positions will be at noon on Monday in the Capital Room of the Union.