ASI elections kick off with coffee

Vu Chau

The 2016 Associated Students, Inc. elections kick-started with a social event where students were given an opportunity to chat with candidates who are running for office for the 2016-17 school year.

One purpose of the “Coffee and Candidates” event on Monday was to allow students to learn about candidates’ positions and how they hope to make changes once elected. The order in which the candidates’ names will appear on ballots on election days was also chosen at the event.

Heather Henry, ASI student government event coordinator, said hosting the event inside the University Union attracts more students to participate and socialize with candidates who will be representing them in this upcoming school year.

“When students see the commotion, they will want to come and see what’s going on,” Henry said. “That is how we can kind of get students who aren’t specifically government majors and students who wouldn’t have time to come to government events to be more involved with student government.”

Henry also said the event should encourage students to ask questions about what each candidate hopes to accomplish in their time in the ASI board of directors and how they will effectively address students’ feedback.

“My hope is that students would make educated votes and familiarize themselves with all the candidates so they know exactly what they will be voting for,” Henry said.

Freshmnn criminal justice major Moncerrat Garibay and freshman government major Johan Cardenas said when it comes to voting, they are looking for honesty and determination within each candidate.

“We asked one of the candidates about the process of how they can [achieve] what they said they’re going to fight for in their campaign,” Garibay said.

Garibay also said she thinks that this social event has helped raise the awareness of this year’s election to a much broader scope of students on campus.

Being an African-American student, Veronica Williams, a senior ethnic studies major, said she focused her questions posed to several candidates on the topic of campus diversity.

“I’m compassionate about social justice and diversity among our candidates and students,” Williams said. “Sacramento is one of the most diverse cities here in California, but [diversity] is not being represented as well here at Sac State. So, I really want to see what the candidates … are going to do for that.”

The majority of the total 30 candidates were present at the event to socialize with students. One of them was Patrick Dorsey, who is running uncontested for the position of ASI President.

Dorsey said this event provided him and other candidates a wonderful opportunity to talk to students about their concerns, to answer their questions, and to get to know them one-on-one.

For Williams, she said her questions and concerns were clearly heard at the event.

“These candidates are very informed and very inspired for changes,” Williams said. “I did get the majority of my questions cleared up, and I can’t wait to see if they do get elected, what they will do for the university.”