Students unsure of student government despite marketing efforts

Cesar Alexander

Associated Students Inc. is Sacramento State’s governing body of students that works towards expanding the overall college experience by connecting students with shared interests.

Every student is required to pay an ASI fee, yet not everyone is familiar with the impact ASI has on campus, who serves on its Board of Directors or how to get more involved with the student government.

Although Peak Adventures, Farmers Market, Children’s Center, Aquatics Center, Safe Rides and KSSU Radio are all programs ASI oversees, they also try to work with clubs and organizations on campus to provide benefits for students in the form of scholarships and grants.

Krista White, 24, is a graduate student in the music department who serves as the active president of the Jazz Club. Her knowledge of ASI is limited to the interactions through the club.

“I’m aware that ASI helps us with funds for projects that we’re doing and stuff like that,” White said. “I think the greatest benefit is being a club and getting [Dollars for Clubs and Organizations] funding. We’ve been able to do projects that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.”

Like White, some students know about ASI mostly due to the funding they provide to certain clubs and organizations.

ASI Marketing Manager Reuben Greenwald has been working for the past two years towards getting more student interaction.

“A lot of the students are commuting in to come to class and may not be hanging out after class,” Greenwald said. “So we’ve shifted our focus to online.”

Greenwald said the launch of their new website last year has been getting a good turn out and ASI’s Facebook page has garnered a thousand new likes in the last year alone.

“Our goal is to really reach out to students,” Greenwald said. “We realize that they’re already on social media so if they just see these events, or these articles, or these videos pop up they might be more likely to read them because they’re already utilizing it.”

Greenwald said students can find Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and videos on YouTube and Vimeo that provide all the information on scholarships and grants, and how to get involved in the different programs. There are also contests, trivia and surveys that give back to the students.

“Students pay fees every year to ASI and a lot of these services are here for them to utilize and we just want to make sure that they know about them and that they can get the most use out of them while they’re here,” Greenwald said.

Bryan Stroh is working on his master’s degree for orchestral conducting and said he was familiar with ASI as an undergraduate and even voted in the elections. But as a graduate student, he does not have the time to pay attention to ASI.

“It seemed a lot like student body elections in junior high school. Like ‘if you make me president we’re going to get soda machines,’” Stroh said. “You’d see these people making these grand promises of ‘oh, x, y and z’ and then what actually happens, well tuition gets raised again and there’s still no soda machines. So no I don’t really know what they do. I don’t really understand why it’s here per se. I understand that it gives some students a voice within the university and what’s going on but I don’t think it represents all.”

Greenwald and his marketing team understand the task.

“It’s challenging with a campus of 28,000 students,” Greenwald said. “We try to table around once a week and just try to get out there and meet students and talk to them about the programs and services that ASI provides.”

Greenwald said it takes time to build the relationship between students and ASI, but it is something they are attempting to improve.

“Once they know they end up graduating and then we work with a new group of students, so they try to do a fair amount with the orientation process,” Greenwald said.

But some new students, including undeclared freshman Tommy Manyavanh, are left speechless when asked about ASI.

“I have no clue what ASI is,” Manyavanh said.

ASI week in the beginning of the school year is a big part of trying to reach out to students.

As the year progresses, new information and opportunity arises for students to be more involved. Cesar Chavez Community Service Day and ASI Elections are two major events for the spring semester that Greenwald encourages students to look forward to.

“We are here for the students, if it wasn’t for the students we wouldn’t be here,” Greenwald said.

For more information or to get more involved with ASI you can visit their website at