By Jakob Katchem
Ozzy Hernandez is a fourth-year political science major and performing arts minor currently running for a Student Government senate position as well as the ASI Board Director position.
Hernandez is running on a platform surrounding “Basic Needs” and is maintaining a focus on various issues that he feels negatively affect students. Hernandez has been actively involved in various clubs at CI and is looking to utilize his gained experiences to benefit his fellow students.
“I want to convey that I am one of you,” Hernandez explained. “I want to make higher education more equitable to the best of my ability. There are a lot of shortfalls that I do not want other students to face and the best way for me to do that is in [one of] these positions.”
One of the main issues Hernandez strives to confront is the financial uncertainty that many programs face due to the budget cuts caused by COVID-19, as well as the financial penalties enforced by the school that he feels are too harsh. He plans to provide defensive overviews of program budgets to provide increased protection, as well as contesting late payment fees, “egregious” parking fines and similar penalties through his advocacy for improved dispute systems. Hernandez explains that these dispute systems are the available processes for students to contest any penalties that they may face.
The focus on issues relating to the financing of programs and the push for improved dispute systems for student penalties is an issue personal to Hernandez, as he has seen the negative impact that they have on students. He stated that he understands that there will be uncertainty on the side of the department giving the citations, regarding the loss of money that those citations bring in, but he simply wants to review the budgets to find solutions that do not leave students fronting the bill for these various types of fees.
“I want to make the process for contesting these penalties and citations simpler, more linear, and ensure that the appeals process is more equitable,” Hernandez explained during an interview with The CI View.
Through these efforts, Hernandez hopes to make higher education more equitable and accessible, ensuring the views of students are represented in the many levels of the University’s decision-making processes.