Meet the ASCWU Director for Equity & Multicultural Affairs candidates


Left to right: Jacob Robles, Leilani Salu

Mariah Valles, Orientation Editor and Photo Editor

Note: All candidates were asked the same questions. Answers are placed in alphabetical order and have been transcribed from audio interviews. 

Candidates: Jacob Robles, Leilani Salu


What makes you a strong candidate for this position?

Jacob: I’ve been working with [the Equity and Services Council] for the past three years, for the last two years, I’ve worked under the office directly and then for four years here at Central Washington University. I’ve been involved with the [organizations] I’ve seen both sides of this from working in the office and working with organizations on campus. And logistically, I get to see both sides of how to navigate universities but also meet the needs of the organization.

Leilani:  I currently work at the DEC also known as the diversity and equity center as the Education and Training Coordinator. So I do a lot of programming  around training, and workshops that address current issues or topics that the students feel are either prevalent on Central’s campus or things that are just happening today in general. I also am a transfer student. So I’ve worked previously at my previous institution in a diversity center similar to the DEC, doing more programmatic things, such as planning events that encompass diversity and social justice. Just in general, [organizations] have been a really big thing to me, they’ve been like my second home away from home because I am a transfer student and I’m coming from out of state. The first thing that I [tried] to gravitate towards was trying to find a place on campus where either I could find community or people who look like me. One of those first [organizations] was  PolyCentral, and then following was [the Black Student Union]. [Organizations] have become something more personal to me, because that’s where I’ve really found my place of belonging where I feel like Central is the place for me. 


If elected, what would be your biggest goal?

Jacob: Some of my biggest goals will be like to remove some red tape that the [organizations] are facing. I brought up yesterday during ESC that one of the issues is dealing with [CWU] Dining, dining wants to submit a document to us to understand fundraising and selling food in the SURC. And yet we haven’t seen no action from dining. With dining going through so many changes, there’s still no transparency with what they want. As well as they are not meeting the student need. There’s still a lack of transparency as well as getting an undocumented advisor on campus that knows how to deal with undocumented resources. As of right now, there’s no one on campus really, that undocumented and go to to use resources. If you go to the document page on the school’s website, it’s literally financial aid office and like an organization on campus. Other than that, there’s just links to websites. That’s not necessarily any help on campus.

Leilani: My biggest goal would be try to create a more foundational setting for the [organizations] in general in terms of having a network of resources. What I’ve seen as being a student member so far this year is that the [organizations] don’t necessarily have resources to build, not only their recruitment, but better events that they want to host or be more active in the community here in Ellensburg. Really fostering a set network of resources for them to utilize and for once, not only just be an [organization], but to stay wanting to be an [organization]. 


What is something you stand by?

Jacob: Lately something I’ve been standing by that has been reflected upon by other students is visibility. I think lately, that’s been the most powerful thing, especially on campus, is finding people on campus that look like me, that have came from similar experiences that other marginalized students come from. So I think visibility is something that I stand by and I wish that more admin would stand by.

Leilani: There’s a Samoan proverb, it’s more like a quote that I live by. It says, “O le ala I le pule o le tautua,” which translates in English is, “the path to success is through leadership and service.” Being involved on campus, not only as a student and through [organizations], but also being involved as a student leader, has been something that has been very meaningful to me, because I feel like in order for me to really succeed in life, the first thing I have to do, which is something that we talk about my family a lot is always that action of giving back. For me, I’m giving back to my community, through the talents and skills that I have gained over the years, in various ways is what’s most meaningful to me and what I want to do throughout the rest of my life. Just being a student leader and just being a support system for my friends, my family and also my peers here at CWU.


Vote in the ASCWU primary May 9-12 at