ASCWU Elect looks to students for expansions


Xander Fu

Edith Rojas, candidate for ASCWU President.

Matt Escamilla, Staff Reporter

Newly elected student president Edith Rojas understands that not being heard on important issues is frustrating for students.  Rojas is determined to make sure student voices are heard while still staying the course that her predecessor ASCWU President Giovanni Severino has set.

Rojas’ tenure as president will begin on June 16 of this year and end June 15, 2019; a whole academic year.

It’s a bittersweet moment for the departing president.

“I’ve had a fun time here in student government it’s helped me help others. That’s what I like to do,” Severino said.

Even if Severino had the opportunity to run for re-election, he said that he wouldn’t.

“You go into an organization and you give your input, [but] you also have to be aware that you can’t hold everything forever,” Severino said.

Rojas was voted into student government last year as vice president of Academic Affairs, which will ease the transition as she prepares for her term as president.

“Having that built up already in advance is only going to benefit me next year as president because I already have those relationships there,” Rojas said.  “If I ever need anything or any type of resources, I can be a phone call away and I know exactly who to look for.”

Student fees are one of the main concerns for Rojas.

“We have a couple of expansions and new renovations going on on campus that are going to require student fee increases next year,” Rojas said. “I want to get a list of all those fees. What are some areas that we could potentially cut back on?”

She also wants to focus on student parking and have a series of open forums with faculty, administration and students to deal with the issue.

Rojas was hesitant to run for president because of the standards and responsibility that come with the position.

“I don’t want to let anyone down,” Rojas said. “Students look at you and they know you’re the face of the students. There’s a standard students hold you to.”

Severino is happy with Rojas’ appointment because while the agenda might be tweaked, the core beliefs will remain the same, he said.

Both Severino and Rojas believe in the same purpose. At the end of the day, the students are the priority of ASCWU.

The expansion of the SURC and the addition of a multicultural center is something both presidents are passionate about.

“The SURC is student space. We have to make sure the student voice is 100 percent on that,” Rojas said.

She mentioned that surveys will eventually be available to students, asking them what they want out of the expansion.

  “What we’re pushing for is diversity in this university,” said Jonathan Reynolds, administrative assistant in the student government. “If we’re pushing for diversity and inclusion, including everyone and including a multicultural center would be key.”

Reynolds also said Rojas has earned the opportunity to be president.

“She has dedicated so much of her time in order to be successful in the position she’s in now,” Reynolds said. “I guarantee you within her next position with her presidency she will grind there and put all that she has into the position.”