AS presidential candidates put diversity at forefront of campaign

Ricardo Llamas (left) and Dylan Gray (right) Photo credit: Allison Clark

Ricardo Llamas (left) and Dylan Gray (right) Photo credit: Allison Clark

Candidates for this year’s Associated Students election participated in a forum on April 10 to discuss their platforms in front of a live audience. Below are the presidential candidate responses. Both candidates stressed the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Ricardo Llamas

What will be your top priority in office if you are elected and what do you see as your greatest challenge?

“My top priority in office is really pushing what the students’ agenda is. My panel is created of voices of the students, promoting student pride in the university, the progressive image of Chico State and the representation of diversity. I think the biggest challenge is the representation of diversity.

“Although we have many student organizations and a diverse student body, what we need to do as student organizations is be collaborative, informative and aware of other organizations.”

At CSSA, how do you think you would do representing the students on our campus and be able to present a professional image of Chico State?

“That lies on my reputation if elected as president. My agenda is to work with students to contribute to that progressive image. What image do the people within this university want of my image when I sit at that CSSA meeting.”

Ricardo Llamas Photo credit: Allison Clark

What you’ve taken away from your communication with AS President Michael Pratt that you are going to utilize for next year?

“I’ve been looking at the administrative side because I honestly don’t have the experience of an AS employee. But that tells of my drive of meeting with David Buckley and seven other directors on campus as to how I’m going to acclimate in the position if I am elected and really knowing that back work of to who I would report to, who would be my right-hand man or woman on the board of directors, how my role plays in advocating for students and working with the administration.”

Dylan Gray:

What will be your top priority in office if you are elected and what do you see as your greatest challenge?

“My main priority in the presidency would be increasing the numbers of students of color and students from diverse populations in leadership positions. Me running for president is doing so.

“The main priority would be that sometimes being in Chico, we can feel like we’re disconnected from our hometowns and that can be a challenge, getting students out there. I do have a plan called Energize Chico State week in which we partner with student leaders and that administration in which we invite motivational speakers to engage with our students about ways we can bridge that gap.”

Dylan Gray Photo credit: Allison Clark

Bringing in keynote speakers takes resources and money. How would you attain funds in light of keeping costs to a minimum because of the tuition increase?

“The president gets a budget which I plan on working with the Wildcat Leadership Institute to pour resources into them from my personal budget so that we can have it and bridge that gap.”

What could cause you to fail as president and what could you do to prevent it?

“The only thing that could cause me to fail is myself. Coming from Inglewood, California, they say those odds are stacked against us. But through preparation, training, studying, hard work and dedication we can advance the agenda of the students we are representing.”

Bianca Quilantan can be reached at [email protected] or @biancaquilan on Twitter.