Guide to ASI Board of Director Candidates

Graphic by Omar Sanchez / Mustang Daily

Graphic by Omar Sanchez / Mustang Daily

In addition to Associated Students Inc. presidential elections, students will vote on Board of Directors candidates on Wednesday and Thursday.
Each college has several representatives on the board that represent the college’s interests within ASI. Students only vote for representatives from their own college. Elections are through each student’s My Cal Poly portal and electronic polls are open from 7 a.m Wednesday to 7 p.m. Thursday.
The following directory offers a brief description of each candidate and his or her qualifications.

College of Business

Joe Jurkovich
business administration junior

Jurkovich decided to run for the position after talking to current board members.

“I’m personable and driven,” Jurkovich said. “I really enjoy getting things done.”

As a board member, Jurkovich said his main priority would be to give back to Cal Poly in his last year and making the day to day easier for all of the students in the OCOB.

Megan Cleary
business junior

Cleary has been on the executive board for the American Marking Association chapter at Cal Poly for two years and a member for three. She also holds a junior executive position for her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. Last year Cleary was also involved with a direct study abroad exchange through OCOB and co-represented Cal Poly in France.

Cleary’s biggest priority would be being able to make all planning and decision making transparent to the student body of the OCOB.

“I think the most important thing is to be communicative to ASI from the students and to the students from ASI,” Cleary said.

Nicole Varvitsiotes
business freshman

Having been active in student government in high school as well as a head coach for her swim team, Varvitsiotes wants to dive into ASI in her second year at Cal Poly.

Varvitsiotes’ main priority next year will be to research how to get students the most out of Cal Poly in the best amount of time, which entails getting students the classes they need to graduate on time by helping to oversee the distribution of possible money from College Based Fees.

“I’m balanced,” she said, “I’m willing to listen and act accordingly.”

Jamie Callahan
international business junior

Callahan is currently the secretary for the business council and the vice president of membership for AMA at Cal Poly. She is also already been apart of ASI and worked for the Recreation Center on campus.

She would like to focus efforts on improving degree progress for students. Callahan would like to make counseling more available to students as well as help them explore different minor opportunities.

Another main focus of her’s would be to make the study abroad program more accessible to students through the OCOB.

Jesse Schwartz
business junior

Schwartz is currently on the board of directors. He has also served as the Treasurer, Fundraising Chairman, Historian and Fall Collection Ambassador for Delta Chi. He has recently beenappointed as the director of finances for the Annual International Career Conference and is a member of the AMA.

He aims to be an active listener and make the communication process between student and board smoother next year. Schwartz would like to institute a monthly newsletter to his college in order to be as transparent as possible to the students of the OCOB.

“I encourage students to come up and talk to me about anything,” he said.

Solomon Reda
industrial technology sophomore

Solomon Reda has been active in various clubs on campus including being a part of Week of Welcome training. As a member of the board of directors, Reda hopes to be able to make life simpler for students ranging from more class availability to better wireless internet on campus during peak times like finals.

“I love to problem solve and make life easier for everyone,” Reda said. Reda hopes to make the board of directors a more accessible entity to students and allow them to be more involved. He aims to make next year unique by taking on new projects and improving student life as a result.

Could not be reached:
Jessica Cooper
business sophomore

College of Liberal Arts

Tricia Rosas
music sophomore

Rosas loves being involved. “I feel passionate about this school and my major,” she said. Last year she was on the Trinity Hall Council as the events and program coordinator. This year she is involved in student government as president of the CLA ambassadors, as a member of the student philanthropy council and as a member of CBF committee in the music department. “I definitely see improvements we can make and I am more than willing to work hard to change them.”

Danielle Tucker
social sciences junior

Tucker was a part of her high school government for four years including as Associated Student Body treasurer. “I want to represent the students of the CLA and improve Cal Poly during my last year.”

Tucker feels the need to improve clarity and communication within board of directors. “I’m not afraid to voice opinions and approach topics that some may not want to,” she said.

Jayne Scuncio
journalism junior

Scuncio was formerly president of the Tenaya Hall Council and secretary for her sorority Alpha Chi Omega. “I love Cal Poly and I want to help anyway I can,” Scuncio said. Her main priority is to move the CLA towards sustainability by primarily going paperless.

She also wants students to be comfortable enough to approach her. “I’m a good leader and (I’ll be) the voice of whatever they need.”

Lauren Babek
English junior

Babek is passionate about her school and wants to be a liaison between the students and their government. Formerly a Week of Welcome leader, Babek is currently a Poly Rep, a college of liberal arts ambassador and vice president of the Cal Poly English club.

Her platform includes making the CLA more visible. “Being a polytechnic university I feel that often times liberal arts is underscored whereas it’s one of the biggest colleges on campus.” Babek believes that it’s important for students to have a voice especially with the CBFs still being in question.

Joe Ciesinski
communications senior

Ciesinski is running for board of directors in hopes of putting his previous experience at Cal Poly to a greater role. Last year he was president of the communication studies club. This year he is currently the CLA representative and vice-chair on the University Union Advisory Board. His main priority is to be an outlet for all students “I want to bring more visibility to our college and I also want to be seen as a resource for any student out there … and represent our college in a whole new way.”

College of Science and Math

Jessica Patton
education senior

Patton is currently on the CLA board of directors. Because the education program is moving to the college of science and mathematics, Patton is running for the position under her new college for next year. She is working toward her teaching credential and has been involved with greek life on campus as well as student life and leadership. Patton co-founded the Cal Poly Women’s Council.

Patton is currently working with the CLA and COSAM deans to make the transition a smooth one. Patton said she wants to look into lowering textbook prices and making the student outreach program more effective.

Russell Noe
kinesiology junior

Noe is currently the Social Chair for the Delta Chi fraternity. “There are 80 Delta Chi members,” Noe said, “I’m trained to decide what is good for a large group of people.”
Noe said that his main priority would be to focus on the allocation of the CBFs. Class availability and the professor to student ratio are other concerns.
Noe said he would be good at listening to students and communicating their needs to administration and the rest of ASI.

Katie Berger
biological science junior

Berger has been involved with Poly Reps since she was a freshman and is also the vice president of her sorority.
Berger says that as a board member it would be up to her to maintain the “up and coming” reputation of the COSAM. She wants to be a strong advocate for the student body.

“I have no problem standing up to administration and asking them to come down and really explain everything to the students,” Berger said.
Berger said she is ready be a voice for the students of the COSAM.

Nick Dindio

biochemistry and microbiology junior

Dindio says he is a natural leader whose main focus as a member of the board of directors would be to focus on the allocation of possible CBF money and make sure that class availability is a priority to the college.

“I want students to know I’m serious,” Dindio said. “When I commit to something I make it my priority and get it done.”

Dindio hopes to make up for the last two years he has spent at Cuesta by being a voice for the student body at Cal Poly to the board, college and ASI in general.

Joshua Lazarus
kinesiology senior

Lazarus is up for re-election to the board of director for next year. His main focus will be to improve upon the student-board relationship.
Lazarus hopes to work towards ensuring that each student gets all they can out of their college experience.

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

James Choi
construction management junior

Choi has been involved in many clubs including his position as group coordinator and vice-president of Asian American Christian Fellowship Club on campus.
Choi wants to see improved communication between the government and the student body. “(I) want to bridge that gap between the student government and fellow students,”he said.

“Something that’s really important for me is having good relations with fellow peers and students and being able to use that in trying to make the best decisions for our college.”

Chris DeHaan
construction management junior

DeHaan has been a part of numerous clubs on campus including president of the Cal Poly national association of Home Builders where he led the team to a third place finish in international builders exposition this past January in Las Vegas. DeHaan thinks that his numerous ventures into different clubs involving the CAED gives him an advantage of interconnectivity that other candidates don’t have. “I want to use my last year to give back and represent the college that I am a part of.” DeHann’s primary goal is to improve financial accountability within the college.

Tyler Hartrich
city and regional planning senior

Hartrich is currently on the executive cabinet for the associated students as the sustainability officer. Also vice-president of the Empower Poly Coalition; Hartrich wants to focus his efforts to make the campus more green. He is presently trying to secure green initiative funds for his college. “That’s really applicable to students in architecture just because there’s a lot of sustainability projects that can come out of there.”

Justin Leveque
city and regional planning junior

Leveque is currently a board member on the Empower Poly Coalition and wants to focus some of his efforts to make Cal Poly a more sustainable campus. Leveque thinks his experience on the Empower Poly Coalition will translate into being an effective director in the CAED. “Being the connection between students, administrators and staff (I) will try and promote the stuff students want.” Leveque also wants to open up the communication between the student government and students by starting up a blog as a new forum for direct communication. “It’ll keep the students up to date on ASI and connect a link so they can voice their opinions to me.”

Lindsey Newman
architecture sophomore

Newman thinks that despite being the youngest candidate, she will be able to best serve on the board of directors while understanding student’s concerns. “The decision I would be making would directly influence me as a second year student … instead of being a fourth year student and graduating. I would be more interested and involved in decisions.” Newman wants to improve the visibility of her college as well as the rest of the colleges at Cal Poly. “I want to increase the schools all throughout Cal Poly so that people everywhere are hearing about other people … so they know about the great things that everybody is doing.”

Donald Nielsen
city and regional planning junior

Nielsen thinks his communication skills will help push his idea of making the student government stable and more transparent. “My main priority would be to ensure our financial and economic stability … but I’m really here to represent the students.” Nielsen, who has been on the dean’s list every quarter since he transferred here, is vice president of the on campus club Associated Students in Planning, which is for city and regional planning students.

Ryan Santillan
city and regional planning junior

Santillan is also a part of Associated Students in Planning and currently serves as an officer. A self-characterized hard worker, Santillan wants to serve as a direct link for students to access their government. Santillan wants to prioritize college funding and student representation. “Considering the current state of the economy it’s pretty self-evident why (funding) is an important issue especially for the college of architecture.” Santillian stresses that if the CBFs do get approved he would work with the board of directors and the student council to make sure that the administration stays accountable for the money.

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Kelsey Rugani

agricultural science sophomore
Rugani is currently a board member for ASI and served as the Bylaws and Policy Review Committee Chair. She is also a member of Alpha Zeta. Rugani wants to improve the relationship between students and the board and educate students on how they can get involved. She thinks her experience makes her a good candidate. “I have a strong passion for serving the students and contributing to the success of ASI. With a full year of knowledge under my belt, I understand how the Corporation operates and how we can reach out to the students even more,” she said.

Wesley Carlson

agricultural business senior

Carlson has been very active during his years on campus. Besides his current position on the ASI board of directors, Carlson has also served as student council treasurer, Ag Council Rep for Ag Ambassadors and will serve as the Ag student council president. “I would like the Board to play a larger role as student advocates on issues affecting the students,” he said. He also wants to see a committee for student advocacy formed to benefit students in issues of registration, fees and class availability.

Kody Kester

agricultural business sophomore

Kester is currently CAFES council representative for the Agriculture Ambassadors as well as an officer for the local Young Cattlemen’s Club and a state officer on its committee. His main priority as board member would be to improve Cal Poly for all students.

Benjamin Scott

agriculural communications sophomore

Scott was class president and a member of student government in high school for three years. He says he is willing to listen to all students and accept new ideas in order to improve campus.

“I’m not shy and will not be easily swayed but at the same time I don’t know everything and I’ll be ready to learn,” he said.

College of Engineering

Spencer Chin

mechanical engineering sophomore

Chin wants to represent the Cal Poly student body and be involved in making decisions to impact students. He says he is not afraid to voice his opinions and will make sure that students’ needs and concerns are heard and addressed by the school. Due to the recent budget cuts, he thinks the main priority is making sure that student fees are used effectively. If the fee increase passes, he wants to make sure that extra money is put to good use.

Robert Welsh

biomedical engineering sophomore

Welsh, as the current president of Tenaya Hall, says he will be willing to speak out against the administration using possible CBFs for anything besides student education. His main priorities as a board member would be to increase awareness of activities and events for engineers and vote to keep class sizes down and the quality of our education high.

Cammie Schlemer

industrial engineering senior

Schlemer is on the Executive Board of the CENG Ambassadors and has been a member of the organization for two years. She is the current chair of the IME department student fee committee and has been a member for three years. Her main priorities as a board member will be interacting with members of administration to reach feasible solutions, with transparency and durability, and to be aware of the challenges the college is facing and be a liaison between the students and administration and to strengthen the college and university.

Kaitlin Spak

mechanical engineering senior

Spak is currently serving on the ASI Board of Directors. Her priorities as a board member are making sure students understand what’s going on and voting “no” when proposals don’t favor the students.

Marcus Foley

biomedical engineering senior

Foley was elected to the Kern County Leadership Program and has helped organize the last several Cal Poly Flash Mobs. He says he is responsible and eager to learn and will always keep a level head in stressful situations and will not be satisfied until he has found the strongest and most innovative solution to a problem. Foley claims he can solve a Rubik’s cube in less than 30 seconds.

Garrett Offerman

biomedical engineering sophomore

Offerman says he enjoys taking on leadership positions and understands organization is key, an aspect he has applied since freshman year. Over the past quarter, he has been employed in addition to school, which he says has taught him to budget his time wisely. “I want every engineer to be able to voice their opinions and want to represent the engineering student body,” he said.

Could not be reached:

Tanner Bennett

Lindsey Davison

Stephen Grider

Stephen Murphy

Stephen Snitowsky

Matt Teresi

Sean Walker