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A.S. president plans new programs to leave her mark

Kristina Martinez

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Incoming Associated Students president Deanna Jarquin plans to focus on alternative weekend events, diversity and sexual assault during her term in the 2015-16 academic year. Photo credit: George Johnston

As Taylor Herren’s time as the Associated Students president comes to an end, it’s Deanna Jarquin’s time to step into the leadership role.

Herren still plans to work in leadership, but out of A.S. Government affairs. Jarquin will take on Herren’s role of advocating for students at the university level.

Jarquin plans to work on alternatives to notorious party weekends in Chico through weekend programming. Jarquin will also be working with the Town and Gown Committee, where she will act as the student voice for the community.

Jarquin wants to focus on who is running events, where resources are coming from and what the vision is in order to help create activities that will continue in the future. Herren was helpful in starting these events, Jarquin said.

“Something I’m really blessed with is that Taylor’s done a lot of groundwork for me,” Jarquin said. “So when it comes to the alternative weekends, when it comes to talking about diversity, when it comes to working with the city, what I’m really doing is the sustainability and institutionalization of those programs.”

A big issue Jarquin plans to touch on is advocating for diversity at the university level through the incorporation of new programs.

Starting a great program takes time, even years, and although Jarquin feels she may not be A.S. president while these programs continue to flourish and become reoccurring, she looks forward to seeing the student voice being incorporated at different levels.

“Deanna gets to move forward with Wildcat Way,” Herren said. “She gets to move forward with student Academic Senate ,and she gets to move forward with Town and Gown, which, when I came into my job, were basically nonexistent.”

The Town and Gown Committee is the officially recognized coalition comprised of representatives of Butte College, Chico State and the city. The A.S. president and vice president of student affairs from both campuses, administrators, city staff and City Council members all sit on the board.

The group serves as a way to focus specifically on the issues, initiatives and ideas that involve the university and downtown, Herren said.

“That’s where a lot of that movement happened,” Jarquin said.

Herren said she hopes to see more involvement and recognition as a group for the Student Academic Senate during Jarquin’s time as president, as well as continued efforts to help plans for the Wildcat statue, another project that will fall into Jarquin’s lap.

Another important issue Jarquin plans to tackle is sexual assault. Jarquin wants to look into how sexual consent is being communicated on campus, the training provided to students and increasing bystander workshops put on for Greeks by making the workshops more interactive.

“If you look back, a lot of people have a project, and they do it successfully for a year,” Herren said. “But then it doesn’t carry on because how does it? If you don’t have someone who very genuinely is like, ‘I value this, and I’m experienced enough to do this,’ then there’s nobody to keep it alive. Staff don’t keep things alive until you get things embedded into the fabric, into the university, which comes in the form of dollars in a budget.”

Herren and Jarquin have worked together on multiple issues on campus and in the community for years. Both feel they each have a genuine vision behind issues and similar viewpoints on how to go about tackling issues for students.

“It comes from this value within myself on wanting to have students on the forefront of our conversations about safety and violence and diversity,” Jarquin said.

Kristina Martinez can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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A.S. president plans new programs to leave her mark