First of six student government candidate forums kick off at Sac State

Christine Kittle

Five candidates for the spring 2015 Associated Students Inc. elections informed voters of their personal platforms and objectives at the Summit room in the University Union at Sacramento State.

The Monday forum was the first of six candidate forums that will be offered to Sac State Students. This first forum was for the positions of director of education, director of graduate students, and director of undeclared students.

Felicia Vasquez, who is running for director of undeclared students, said she would like to improve outreach to them.

“It can be difficult to reach out to undeclared students,” said Vasquez. “To get the input from my particular college I will go to first year seminars, present to them the learning communities, connect to the peer mentors, the career center, those are the people who know where the undeclared students are, who they are so I can connect with them and figure out what their concerns are and I can share what my concerns are and we can collaborate on that.”

The other candidate for undeclared students, Mia Kagianas, hopes to address class impaction at Sac State and give students without a declared major more of a voice at the administrative level.

“What I’ve notice is that there isn’t enough funding for certain programs at our school which causes students to have more of a difficult time getting into their specific college which creates impaction,” said Kagianas.

John Houser , the sole candidate for the director of education wants to be available to every member of his college.

“So in the past I have felt that my voice wasn’t as heard and that my opinions did not matter,” said Houser. “I am very adamant about hearing from all the students in my college and hearing their concerns so that I can help them and empower them. I hope to utilize social media to help connect and unite all the students in my fragmented college. I will also be holding office hours and would encourage everyone to come talk to me.”

John Meidinger, one of three candidates for the college of graduate studies, would like to get input from his wide-ranging college in a formal way through an advisory council.

“As the next director of graduates studies, I will make it my number one priority to follow through with the establishment of a graduate students advisory committee,” said Meidinger. “A committee of 10 to 12 students that represent each of the colleges within the graduate studies program here on campus. that will give me valuable insight into the problems and issues facing all graduate students and I will take that to the board and make sure and work like hell to get our voices heard on the ASI board.”

The advisory committee is something that Demariye Smith, another of the three candidates for the position of director of graduate studies, would like to see be a reality.

“We have to identify leaders in each college and get them to meet maybe once a month,” said Smith. “I believe that representational leadership is the lowest form of leadership. People follow you because they have to not because they want to. So one of the things I would want to do is establish that relationship with students of the colleges, create that advisory committee. Some of the things I want to do as far as creating initiatives is I wanna solicit help from other graduate students. Again, some of them might not have the time to come to the ASI board meetings but a lot of them do want to have input on subcommittee and small projects.”

The candidates answered pre-written questions as well as a couple questions from the audience. These questions were about who they are as leaders, what they hope to do with ASI, and what their favorite ASI service or program is.

Keith Ellis, third candidate for the position of director of graduate studies was not present.