Associated Students Inc. (ASI) can do virtually anything it wants and most will never know. ASI has gone from being a respected nonpartisan organization that represents CSU Fullerton students to an established partisan group for the Cal State Student Association.
As a candidate for ASI President last spring, awareness was raised about some of the issues going on in ASI—not because it was anything personal, but because the system favors the culture of cronyism.
Current ASI Chief Administrative Officer, Sam Morales, is the fraternity brother of ASI President Dwayne Mason. He was responsible in running the ASI election operations last spring and was the debate moderator between the ASI presidential candidates.
In the real world, this would be considered a conflict of interest and would result in Morales stepping down from his post. Instead, Morales was appointed by Mason to his current position. Despite minimal resistance from the Board of Directors, he was confirmed, which means the Board of Directors is the establishment as well. The Board of Directors cooperate so easily with the Executive Branch because it has been stacked with establishment cronies.
Non-establishment students don’t bother running for Board of Directors because a lot of them think these are faculty positions. In most CSUs across the state, this group would be called the AS Senate so that students know it’s a non-faculty board.
It’s tied to the same reason why there is only 5 percent turnout in ASI elections. Unlike other CSU schools, students purposely aren’t given notifications or ballots through e-mail about ASI elections, which depresses turnout. Also, unlike these other CSUs, presidential candidates are required to run with a VP partner, which discourages non-establishment students from running.
This allows the establishment to control the whole process.
Not only is the establishment powerful in ASI, it is carrying out a radical agenda that is not in the interest of the students. The local OC Register is not one of the papers made available on campus in favor of unpopular bankrupt newspapers like the NY/LA Times. This is due to a survey that only the establishment knew about.
Their appointments of students like Brenda Lopez to the Titan Student Centers Governing Board Vice Chair (because of her immigration status) have become too political. The establishment also participated in the CSSA’s agenda of trying to pass Prop 30 through the registration of students who they know will register Democrat. The ASI VP Katie Ayala is politically linked with CSU Long Beach’s ASI President John Haberstroh who has vowed to run for a second term, which means the establishment candidate for this year could be Ayala once again.
The solution is to peacefully raise awareness of corruption that continues to goes on. Unfortunately most students will never know this because they don’t care, and rightfully so. I urge students to share any grievances at the Board of Director (Senate) meetings and urge Senators to stand up to the establishment in ASI.
Senior Political Science Major
President of CSUF College Republicans