It’s voting time at Chico State, and here’s your primer on the top races
As excitement over the presidential race sweeps the nation, Chico State students are faced with an important vote that will affect them just as much as, if not more than, the future president of the United States. At least in their day-to-day lives.
In less than a week, students will be casting votes for Associated Students officers and policies. There are four candidates for president—Dan Alexander, Ryan Bast, Nick Boles and Jesse Eller—and two for executive vice president—Stephannie Depa and Julie Wright.
Polls open on Tuesday (April 22) and close on Thursday, April 24. With such little time to brush up on the candidates, the News & Review has put together this little primer.
Alexander is a third-year student majoring in environmental statistics, a special major he created. He has been involved in the AS for three years and is currently the director of university affairs. His campaign is focusing on three issues: sustainability, diversity through the Cross Culture Leadership Center, and affordability of a Chico State education.
“The president allows for a lot of action and voices to be heard,” Alexander said. “I believe in accountability for elected officers and an open line of communication for students to come to those elected officers.”
Bast is a third-year organizational-communication major with a minor in managing diversity in organizations. He has volunteered in CAVE (Community Action Volunteers in Education) and is serving his first semester as the president of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Bast’s campaign focuses on continued excellence in sustainability and improvement in areas including diversity and alumni relations.
“When I came to Chico, I didn’t know what to expect, but through all its programs I feel I’ve flourished as a student,” Bast said. “Chico State is bigger than me, and I expect nothing more of myself than to give back to it for all it has done for me.”
Boles is a fourth-year student double majoring in international economics and international relations with a minor in Spanish. This is his first year working with the AS, and he recently started working with CAVE, where he does after-school activities with local Hispanic children. His campaign is specifically focusing on sustainability, increasing school spirit and pride, and giving more campus jobs to students.
“When I was a freshman I didn’t even know what the Associated Students was,” Boles said. “The Associated Students need a leader to unite them and get them all to work together.”
Eller is a fourth-year student majoring in agriculture business who has worked the last two semesters at the Cross Culture Leadership Center. Eller said his campaign stresses the power of teamwork and bringing all of Chico State together. His four-part platform focuses on raising student awareness of the AS, assisting student organizations, sustainability, and building bridges between students through the recently revived Cross Culture Leadership Center.
“The president has a unique role,” Eller said. “You can paint it with two very different pictures. On the one hand there is a bull rider, desperately trying to hang on and control the bull for the full eight seconds. Or you can have an orchestra conductor, who knows how to use all the different instruments and sounds together.”
Depa is a second-year journalism student. She became involved in the AS her freshmen year and was elected last year as the vice-chairwoman of the Activity Fee Council, which helps student organizations request money for group events. She said her platform stresses making the AS a more “active and apparent” part of student life.
“Students might look into CAVE, but not make the connection to the Associated Students, which the program is a part of,” Depa said. “We need to come together to show that all these programs are together and all of Chico State’s students are together.”
Wright is currently the commissioner for the AS Environmental Affairs Council as well as being the “Resident Policy Nerd,” helping the council write resolutions for the organization to recognize. Her latest policy involves Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, which rates products for sustainability. She is a second-year student double majoring in sustainability and organizations and political-science legal studies. Her platform focuses on increasing Chico State’s sustainability, diversity (through the Cross Culture Leadership Center) and student involvement in the AS.
“Not a lot of students know that they are the Associated Students,” Wright said. “They paid for it in their tuition and are like its board of directors. They decide by voting what we need to do.”