Meet your new ASCWU president: Malik Cantú

Malik Cantú. Photo Courtesy of CWU Publicity

Malik Cantú. Photo Courtesy of CWU Publicity

Anna Fridell, Staff Reporter

ASCWU President Elect Malik Cantú said he is looking forward to being a resource for students with a strong leadership team alongside him going into the 2023-2024 academic year.

“I am so incredibly excited to be working with this team,” Cantú said. “I think that there’s a really good range of experience with ASCWU itself. I think all of us are really passionate leaders.”

ASCWU is working to continue the development of the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) and aims to promote and uplift diverse culture on campus, according to Cantú. 

“[CCI] is to serve diversity on campus, because we are one of the most diverse campuses in Washington, but we’re actually the only public university that does not have a multicultural center on campus,” Cantú said. 

$8 million has been provided by the state legislature for academic seats in the new CCI building, according to Cantú.

“We recently went to lobby at the Capitol and we actually asked the legislature for $6 million and they ended up giving us $8 million, so that’s wonderful,” Cantú said. “We still have a lot more funding that we need to secure but that $8 million just for academic seats in the building is going to be a huge help,” Cantú said.

Senate Speaker Elect Charles Johnson described Cantú’s leadership style as inclusive and collaborative.

“Malik does a very good job of making sure that all the people he’s working with feel heard and understood and welcomed in the spaces that they’re sharing,” Johnson said. 

ASCWU hopes to continue to be a resource for students and a means of communication between students and administration, according to Cantú. 

“Students deserve to be heard on this campus,” Johnson said. “I plan to stick with that and just make sure that students are being put on the forefront of decisions being made on campus.”

Having a strong representation of diversity will benefit the incoming ASCWU board through shared perspectives, according to Cantú.

“People of color have unique [and] particular experiences walking through life,” Cantú said. “Having those shared experiences, every board member is going to be really crucial to having a really strong team and cohesive unit.  

Elected Director of Facilities Gerardo Castillo said it is exciting to see diversity among the team with Hispanic/Latino representation on the board for next year. 

“I think we are all on the same page in terms of wanting to make genuine connections and help out,” Castillo said. “The most exciting thing I’m looking forward to is bringing a little bit of life back to campus after being dismantled a little bit after the pandemic.”

The team is looking forward to combining their skill sets and being a voice for the student body, according to Cantú. 

“We all have very similar goals, the biggest one being the CCI,” Cantú said. “I’m just super excited to blend all of our experiences together and all of their passion and work together.”