ASI presidential candidates voice their priorities ahead of election

Voting for 2023-2024 begins April 12


Alyssa Branum

Presidential candidates in The State Hornet Broadcast Studio Friday, March 31, 2023 voicing their priorities before the ASI elections begin on April 12. Candidates discussed who they are, their backgrounds, majors along with their priorities if they were to be elected during their interviews with The State Hornet. (Graphic by Alyssa Branum)

Peyton Sorosinski

President and executive vice president candidates from the Associated Student Inc. spoke to The State Hornet about their priorities and strategies ahead of the April 12, ASI elections. 

Students can vote for the six candidates in person outside of the University Union, near the ATMs, on April 12-13 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. They can also vote on the ASI website starting at 8 a.m April 12, until 7:30 p.m. April 13. 

Adoreil Ayoubgoulan and Christopher Gill 

Adoreil Ayoubgoulan is a third-year journalism student running for ASI president alongside Christopher Gill, a third-year political science and journalism major. 

Ayoubgoulan is the current Director for the College of Arts and Letters where he said he focuses on improving communication between staff and faculty on campus. Ayoubgoulan said his previous job as a student assistant for Student Health and Counseling Services has made him passionate about advocating for mental health.  

If elected, he said he wants to prioritize awareness of mental health resources for students.

“I like to keep an open conversation with students,” Ayoubgoulan said. “I am always on social media doing a day in the life of a director. I am keeping up to date with my constituents and letting them see what I am doing so they don’t feel out of the loop — so they do truly feel like there is someone representing them.”

Christopher Gill is the Residential Hall Association President, where he said he advocates for student needs in Hornet Commons and North Village. Gill said he has previously worked as a canvasser on two campaigns for district attorney and the Senate seat for the 2020 elections. 

In addition, he said he also served as a voter rights protection coordinator for the Missouri Democrat during the 2022 midterm elections. Gill said his political experiences helped him learn how to connect with voters and understand the election process.

If elected, Ayoubgoulan and Gill said they want to address campus police by working with Community Service Officers to develop more patrols in light of recent sexual assaults on and nearby campus and advocate for additional training for officers. 

“They don’t patrol enough and, much like many police departments, they are more reactive than de-escalative,” Gill said. “So if we win, I would love to work with the police department to enact more sensitivity training and anti-racism training and hold them up to what they say. If elected, I would love to work with both CSOs and campus PD to understand the problem of why this is happening.

Nataly Andrade-Dominguez and Veronica Boulos 

Nataly Andrade-Dominguez is a third-year political science major running for ASI president with  Veronica Boulos, a third-year political science student, who is running for executive vice president. 

Andrade-Dominguez is a first-generation college student and current ASI vice president of academic affairs, where she said she helped improve the Finish in Four Graduation Initiative by helping students who face barriers with graduating. 

She is also a chair for the Student Academic Senate, where she leads conversations on improving academic policy.

Veronica Boulos, also a first generation college student, said she has been involved in lobby corps and city ambassadors since joining ASI her freshman year, where she advocated for diversity, inclusion and issues affecting higher education for Sac State. Previously, she served as ASI director of social sciences and interdisciplinary studies.

If elected, Andrade-Dominguez and Boulos said they want to address campus safety following the recent surge of sexual assaults at Sac State and work to provide more resources for students. They also said they want to push for better academic registration times and improve orientation for transfer students. 

“About 50% of Sac State is transfer students,” Andrade-Dominguez said. “Our transfer students need to feel a part [of campus] and they don’t. We want to fix the transfer system to help them transfer into college a little bit easier. A lot of them come from different backgrounds and perspectives so it is difficult to come to campus to try to find resources when you don’t know where anything is.” 

Boulos said they want to continue addressing equity gaps between students, faculty and administration by working closely with the Committee on Diversity and Equity to ensure diverse students feel “welcomed, celebrated and loved.” 

“We both come from very diverse backgrounds and that’s been a huge part of our lives in amazing ways,” Boulos said. “We are one of the more diverse campuses and we don’t really feel that our staff, faculty and administration reflect that diversity.”

Emilie Jocson and Bashaar Allathkani 

Emilie Jocson is a third-year international relations major running for ASI president alongside Bashaar Allathkani, a third-year international relations student running for executive vice president. 

Jocson said she was a youth advocate in her community in Bacolod City in the Philippines, where she worked in a student-led non-profit organization advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. Jocson said her experience in the Model United Nations Program at Sac State taught her leadership skills and how to compromise with other delegates. 

Jocson said, if elected and as an international student, she wants to focus on improving resources for international students, as well as emphasizing accessibility and inclusivity for all students. 

“I want to be able to streamline the transfer process in terms of resource relay,” Jocson said. “But I want to make sure that students are academically set up in order to accomplish whatever goals they have. It is really important to me, if president, that the student body succeed and thrive.” 

Allathkani said his experience in politics and policy come from being head delegate of the team representing Sac State in the Model UN Program. Allathkani said he also has extensive experience in public speaking and mock trials. 

One way Allathkani and Jocson said they want to stand out from their running-mates is by focusing on engaging students on campus through clubs, athletics, student government and other extracurriculars. Allathkani said student engagement has decreased since COVID-19 and, if elected, they want to work on closing the digital divide for students commuting to campus from rural areas and provide more mental health support to students. 

“I want to get students more engaged and focused on campus so they learn to love it as much as we do,” Allathkani said. “We want to really support the demographics on campus like our student parents who are the majority of our transfer students. I want to make sure our students are being represented and taken care of and not left behind.” 

Other Candidates

Other candidates include the following: Iulia Tarasova, EJ Shinh, Vasiliy Derebenskiy, Shachee Baraiya and Garima Sharma for vice president of finance. 

Candidates Alec Tong, Colton C. Carvalho, Alexandra Estrella and Sidra Nawaz for vice president of university affairs. 

Bertha Castellanos, Leslee Choate and Heamandeep Kaur Kahlon for vice president of academic affairs. 

Nikita Akhumov, Isabelle Jimenez, Lillian Weese and Rebeca Cervantes for director of social sciences and interdisciplinary studies. 

Dip Patel and Hashem Jaber for the director of engineering and computer science. 

Candidates running unopposed include: Christian Hunter for director of arts and letters, Belen Torres for director of business, Nadia Lobo for director of health and human services, Tinkal Ambaliya for director of undeclared students and Hisham Hussain for director of graduate studies. Currently, director of natural sciences and mathematics and director of education is vacant.