Graphic by Elise Bechtel
By Nicole Toccalino
Lisa Marie Ruiz, fourth-year Chicana/o studies and psychology double major, is running for an ASI Student Government senator position for the 2023-24 academic year. She is double majoring with the intent to attend law school. In her current position as Student Government Senator of Veterans and Non-traditional Students, she advocates for their concerns, voices and issues they feel need to be addressed.
Ruiz decided to run for senator because, as a current senator, she strives to accurately represent and advocate for the needs and desires of students and enjoys being a voice for student concerns. If she is elected, two important things she would like to see happen are, “transparency across campus and accountability between all departments regarding decisions made on behalf of the students.”
For example, students were caught off guard to changes made to the spring semester courses. Ruiz said, “Some of the classes were cut that impacted seniors that aren’t able to graduate this semester because their classes weren’t offered.” She added that we are in jeopardy of losing some professors due to class cuts – one of her favorite professors was affected and had to instruct classes at California Lutheran University in addition to classes at CI.
Ruiz plans to represent the student body at senate meetings through prioritizing student concerns on the agenda, as well as attending as many events as possible as a senator. “I am persistent because I really want to make sure … (Student Government is) making decisions that are important for the students,” she said. “I am an advocate for inclusivity.”
Ruiz believes that we need to constantly make sure all students know they are welcome in all clubs, student events and organizations. She stated, “I wholeheartedly support and encourage equity, diversity and inclusion, and feel like CI is doing a good job regarding this. Although, there should be more collaboration between all the clubs in some way to encourage more participation in events for all clubs and organizations. Some people don’t understand that all the organizations are open to everybody and say, ‘Well, I’m not this, I’m not that.’ But no, all the clubs are for everybody. We want to share the culture; we don’t want to close it off.”
It is important to Ruiz that all clubs have diversity and encourage that amongst students and the school. Her main idea of how to improve equity, diversity and inclusion on campus is transparency, accountability, accessibility and sustainability. One way she plans to improve upon the previous Student Government administration is to have important topics discussed as soon as possible, and expedite the process of getting a resolution and following through with it. She noted that some issues brought to senate in the past have taken longer than expected to reach action.
Lastly, Ruiz was asked why she is the best person to vote for and she responded, “I’m the best person because I have experience as the current Senator of Veterans and Non-Traditional Students, and also as an older student, I have real-life experience that can benefit all students … I will be the best voice to try to get things done to make change for the best.”
Students can vote electronically in the ASI Elections through the online CI Sync portal. The ballot opens at 8:00 a.m. on April 11 and will close at 5:00 p.m. on April 12. To vote in person, students can attend the Channel Your Vote events on the Student Union Lawn, April 11 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and April 12 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.