ASI president-elect and vice president-elect share their experiences leading up to their new leadership positions

In Campus News, News
courtesyofAustinHenryWallace_std
Courtesy of Austin Henry Wallace

Before their recent victories, Associated Students, Inc. President-elect Yanitza Berrios and Vice President-elect Alexandra Beltran had many inspiring people and moments in their lives that led them to their positions at Cal State Fullerton.

Beltran attended Bishop Amat Memorial High School and was heavily involved in a number of school activities, such as playing on the volleyball team for three years and the swim team for four years. She was also captain of the dive team and campaign manager for ASB.

Beltran, a fourth-year communications major with a concentration in advertising, became involved with ASI by joining the street team her freshman year.

“ASI is always something I wanted to be a part of coming in, whether it was student life, orientation, or ‘Welcome to CSUF Day.’ It made me want to come here and be a part of ASI,” Beltran said.

Sophomore year, Beltran became a Camp Titan counselor and Titan ambassador, and joined the intercollegiate debate team. Junior year, she became the Tusk Force event coordinator and was part of the Titan Spirit staff.

Senior year, she became the Titan Tusk Force administrative director and an information specialist.

Being part of ASI helped Beltran develop her leadership skills and taught her how to communicate with certain groups of people, as well as how to educate students on what ASI is and how to become a leader.

Berrios is a fourth-year biology major with a concentration in developmental biology, along with a minor in Spanish. She said that being elected the new ASI president felt intimidating, but at the same time she felt excited to be representing as the head of the student body.

“There’s a lot of things that we’re both hoping to accomplish in getting students more involved, more aware and educated about ASI and where their fees are being allocated for all the great opportunities and services offered by ASI,” Berrios said.

Berrios attended Arcadia High School, where she was on her school’s cross country team. In her senior year, she joined the water polo team. Berrios never joined any clubs or organizations until her senior year of high school.

“That was one of my biggest regrets,” Berrios said. “I wish I had gotten involved sooner.”

Once she arrived at CSUF, Berrios made sure to join a club or organization right away. She joined ASI her freshman year by attending street team meetings; however, she wasn’t fully involved until her junior year when she joined the Titan Student Center’s governing board as the student at-large.

Now, in her senior year, Berrios oversees the services in the TSU.

Berrios has a passion for traveling and aspires to become a physician and eventually work with the humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders. This goal combines her passions for traveling and the medical field to help underserved communities. In particular, she’d like to help Latin-American communities because of her Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage.

Berrios and Beltran took a unique approach and reached out to past presidents and vice-presidents of ASI for advice and tactics. Berrios and Beltran used the input they received as inspiration for their campaign.

The marketing aspect of the campaign to get students to vote was huge. Berrios and Beltran used social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to do outreach to clubs and organizations.

“Because we are a commuter school, it’s difficult to get 100 percent of the population out to vote,” Berrios said. “So we tried different avenues, whether it be going to classrooms, so people who only come to class and go home can still maybe catch our platform.”

Both Beltran and Berrios give credit to those who supported them along the way, such as the photographers who took their campaign photos, those who helped out with the graphic design and printing of their campaign shirts, their supporters who helped them by going out to classrooms and setting up tables for them and the students who voted for them.

Beltran and Berrios want to leave a structure and footprint for the years to come. Their goal is to enhance everything that ASI has accomplished already, and to make ASI more known to the students and have them be more aware and use what ASI has to offer.

“Our goal is to make things consistent for future leaders, so that they know the core values that ASI sits on,” Berrios said.

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