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Student Government Elections: Candidates seek Forum presidency

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by Simon W. Bouie
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Elections for next year’s Associated Students Federation (ASF) Forum will be held Monday and Tuesday. The Campus Times interviewed the declared candidates — juniors Amy Attiyah and Justin Jones-Rodriguez — to ask the following questions.

These candidates were profiled because, as of yesterday afternoon, they were the only two who had expressed interest in the presidency. The Campus Times does not take a position of endorsement on the candidacy for neither Attiyah nor Jones-Rodriguez. This piece advocates awareness of the potential ASF leader to the student body. The Times encourages students to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming elections; if additional candidates exist, they were omitted because of a lack of knowledge with regard to their candidacy.


Amy Attiyah

Amy Attiyah

Amy Attiyah is a 20-year-old junior business administration and math major who has attended La Verne since her freshman year.

She currently serves as the ASF vice president and was recently elected as the vice president of administration for the Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity. Among her other activities, she is a member of Alpha Chi and works with the College Connection, an honors program that allows college students to develop a program taught to third and fourth graders.

Q: What do you think the responsibilities of the ASF President are?

Attiyah (AA): I think the ASF president has to be multi-tasked. He is not only a spokesperson, he is also the person that everyone relies on to lead. He provides support and knowledge when needed. He is an official liaison and spokesperson on behalf of the students-the person that everyone relies on if they need advice.

Q: How do you think that ASF currently affects students?

AA: ASF is a program-oriented institution. Currently, ASF is in the change mode where we try to be advocates for students.

Q: How do you think that ASF should impact students?

AA: I think that ASF not only has to be responsible for entertainment activities, but ASF needs to inform students on issues that affect them. We need to be a voice for students. Sometimes on this campus, people are too protected to things that they should know about. ASF needs to plan entertainment as well as educational events.

Q: What is your platform?

AA: I’m running on the basis that I have the experience and the qualifications to do the job. I have it in my soul; ASF is a part of me. I have done it so long that it is second nature to me. I hope that I can provide my experience and knowledge to ASF.

Q: If elected, what legacy do you want to work toward?

AA: I would like to build long-term impressions. A 24-hour study room is something that I think is needed. I would like to work on this because it will affect people long term.

Q: How do you feel about spending ASF funds on things other than entertainment based projects?

AA: I think that ASF funds should be spent on things other than entertainment-based activities, but I don’t think that entertainment activities should be totally excluded … maybe spending money on some well-known speakers. A recycling program is something ASF should work on.

Q: What should ASF do to increase spirit among the student body?

AA: If we expose more of what ULV has to offer, this can increase student spirit. We need to have activities that encourage and expose that. Installing the mind set of what can I do for La Verne and not what can La Verne do for me is part of a leaders responsibilities.

Q: What will ASF do to increase thought among the student body?

AA: Events and speakers or panel discussions about environmental, political, international relations and business topics, to list a few, raises thought. ASF needs to issue press releases stating that ASF feels certain ways on certain topics. Sometimes controversy is a good way of provoking thought and causing discussion. Sometimes we need this to get students’ thoughts.

Q: How do you think that the new Forum design will affect ASF’s ability to function properly?

AA: I think it will help ASF be more efficient and effective. Having people work on advocacy and not just events allows people to focus on ASF and not just events. I strongly believe in this format and think that it will work.

Q: What is your plan to work as a liaison between students and the board of trustees?

AA: All of the duties of board of trustees representative will now be the responsibilities and duties of the president. The president will report discussions of the board to the students, as well as express student concerns to the board.

Q: How do you plan to communicate with students?

AA: By having open discussions and forums as well as reaching out to clubs and organizations more. In reaching the average student, we have to be a little more inventive. The publicity director and all of ASF must be more inventive. This should be improved because the publicity director will focus on just that next year.

Q: What are the key issues facing ASF in the immediate future?

AA: 1) writing up and finishing the by laws for the new constitution that was ratified a few weeks ago. We must establish the infrastructure of the new constitution.

2) The 24-hour study room.

3) The resolution to no longer allow students to paint the rock that ASF drafted this week. We feel that ULV students are aware of environmental issues and that they will eventually be able to accept it.

4) To lessen our workload in organizing Homecoming by having clubs and departments help.

Q: Why do you deserve the vote of students?

AA: Because I am willing to serve ASF in a way that I feel I can be the most dedicated to ASF. I feel that I have done enough on ASF to be qualified. I will not only talk the talk, I will walk the walk. I just don’t put out propaganda, campaigns and promises, I feel that I actually do the work. I think that the students should vote for the person who they feel to be most qualified and I feel that person is me.


Justin Jones-Rodriguez

Justin Jones-Rodriguez

Justin Jones-Rodriguez is a 22-year-old junior political science major who, as a transfer from Southwestern Oregon College, in Oregon, is currently in his first year at the University of La Verne.

He is an ASF Forum member this semester, as well as the president of the debate team. While in Oregon, he was one of the founding members of the Southern Oregon Youth Association (SOYA), an organization designed to help teens who are questioning their sexuality find answers.

Q: What do you think the responsibilities of the ASF President are?

Jones-Rodriguez (JJR): Making sure that student government is accessible to all students on campus and not being afraid to challenge administration for something that students want. That is the primary function of student government, to make sure that students needs are addressed to administration.

Q: How do you think that ASF currently affects students?

JJR: ASF organizes activities that a small percent of students benefit from. We give money to people who ask for it and do not try to foresee how it should be spent, which limits our ability to be effective.

Q: How do you think that ASF should impact students?

JJR: ASF should make students aware that students are ASF.

We should notify students about what is happening politically. They should know where their money goes. We are on the way because of the constitutional changes. We are on the brink of something great. I hope that next year’s forum does something great.

Q: What is your platform?

JJR: Making sure that every student can be actively involved in the decision making process of not only ASF but also within the University as a whole. To make the student body realize just how powerful their voice is.

Q: If elected ,what legacy do you want to work toward?

JJR: When I leave this campus, I want every student to know that, if they do not like something, they can say something about it. I want to eradicate the complacency among the student body. People here are destructive and not constructive of political opposition here.

Q: How do you feel about spending ASF funds on things other than entertainment based projects?

JJR: I think that we have a moral imperative to do so. As an educational institution we are obligated to promote critical thinking. People complain about the food in Davenport yet no one does anything about it. It is one of the easier things to change. Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living.

Q: What should ASF do to increase spirit among the student body?

JJR: A block of time set aside where there are no classes at least once a week. A time where students could gather together in solidarity.

We can have political speakers, bands or just hang out. I want to see an ASF newsletter. Right now nothing is being done to increase spirit.

Q: What will ASF do to increase thought among the student body?

JJR: Take a stand … on anything.

Q: How do you think that the new Forum design will affect ASF’s ability to function properly?

JJR: We are on the brink of something great. It will do nothing but good. I would say that student government did not exist before these changes. We were not functioning. How would we look at our national government if all it did was organize fairs and made people smile? If you are going to lead students you must be willing to step into the fire.

Q: What is your plan to work as a liaison between students and the board of trustees?

JJR: I want to publish the minutes of every board of trustees meeting and to let students know that they can attend these meetings at any given time.

Students don’t know that they are getting ready to pay for parking spots next year and that faculty and staff are not. Students have the right to fight this.

Q: How do you plan to communicate with students?

JJR: Sign language and spanish. We need to increase the circulation of the ASF newsletter as well as change the times of the ASF meetings to make them more publically accessible. I plan to address the students more often.

I’m here to raise hell and show people what leadership is about, whether I win this election or not. All of the major revolutions in this century have started on college campuses. What can La Verne say that it has contributed to the marketplace of ideas?

Q: What are the key issues facing ASF in the immediate future?

JJR: 1) How to integrate political issues in the Forum.

2) Addressing student payment for parking.

3) The constitutional changes.

4) The Rock.

You see the beginning of small political issues currently in ASF. These small ones can turn into larger ones.

One of my pet projects next year will be itemizing just exactly where students tuition goes.

Q: Why do you deserve the vote of students?

JJR: Because I am a student, because I believe in them. People think that they should get elected because people believe in them. I think it is the other way around.

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