A.S. Election: Meet the Candidates


Photo credit: Melissa Joseph

Chico State’s A.S student government election for the 2019-2020 school year has begun in full stride.

The main positions being run for are:

  • President
  • Executive Vice President
  • Vice President of Business and Finance
  • Vice President of Facilities and Service
  • Director of Legislative Affairs
  • Director of University Affairs
  • Commissioner of Diversity Affairs
  • Commissioner of Student Organizations and Resources
  • Commissioner of Sustainability Affairs
  • Commissioner of Community Affairs


Some of the candidates are running unopposed, however, write-in candidates are still accepted.

Students will also get the chance to vote for their respective college’s senator. The role of a senator is to attend faculty meetings for their college and allocate funding to different areas that the students of the college want. Students can also pick up to two student organizations to allocate up to $15 just by voting ($7.50 each if two organizations are chosen, or $15 to one organization.)

Some of the candidates running for the various positions have shared their stories and statements.

Candidates for A.S. President:

Gustavo Martir

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Gustavo Martir came to Chico State six years ago as a first-generation student, , and is running for A.S. President. Through his experiences with being depressed, isolated and feeling worthless academically, he realizes that there is great power in the Chico community experience.

“I have worked my way through the tough jobs on campus from collecting trash to mopping floors. I learned a lot from my experience at the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center, my three years as a writing tutor a the Student Learning Center, and my current position as a Peer Coach at TRIO.”

Martir is interested in focusing on what the students of Chico State need to feel confident about their college career. He wants to increase the effectiveness of student safety on and around campus. He plans to expand the locations of blue light emergency telephones, and have UPD walk beats around campus and not just be in patrol cars. Martir also wants to make sure that the tuition money that we pay is not being misallocated and put it towards the services that students need to be successful. He also plans to strengthen the relationship between students and faculty by introducing socials and meet-and-greets that “bridge the cultural and worldview gap.”

“As your president, I will motivate and inspire students to become the best version of themselves.”

Alfonso Caldera

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Alfonso Caldera is running for the A.S. President position. Caldera talked about his love for Chico State and how it has lead him to be involved in some of the leadership positions on campus such as Leaders Educating for the Advancement of Dreamers and Freshman Leadership Opportunity. Caldera also spoke on some of the actions he would take if to be elected. One area Caldera wanted to address was student safety, a recent concern for Chico State students. Caldera said if elected, he would try and meet with the Chico chief of police to discuss plans to improve campus safety and student safety on the more crazy party weekends. Caldera also spoke on how he wanted to fund more clubs on campus from the A.S. budget. Caldera talked about how his campaign is based on the celebration of diversity and opportunity Chico State has to offer.

“Essentially Chico State has given me lots of opportunity. Where I come from, there is not a lot of opportunity and I want to give back for the opportunities I’ve gotten.”

Trevor Guthrie

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Guthrie is a Chico State junior running for the position of A.S. president. He has held positions on campus that have helped him connect with and understand students on campus to carry out the duties of A.S. President.

In Guthrie’s freshman year he was the President of the Residence Halls Association. His sophomore year he was elected to be the President of the InterFraternity Council and was re-elected again his junior year for that position. Guthrie was also appointed and still serves as the Director of Legislative Affairs.

“I want to Amplify A.S. in three distinct ways: First, I want to amplify our shared governance by appointing students at large to sit on important university committees. I also want to amplify our advocacy at the California State Student Association. Lastly, I would like to amplify our culture of caring by helping students to feel heard and relaying their needs directly to university administration.”

Guthrie also has lots of experience lobbying for legislation that impacts students the most. He is currently lobbying with the federal government in Washington D.C. and also was just with the state legislator where he was advocating for a Cal Grant expansion.

“I think I have the ability to keep my finger on the pulse of campus climate and understand the necessary ropes of A.S. and the university in order to push initiatives.”

Candidate for A.S. Vice President:

Anthony Ruiz

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Anthony Ruiz is a junior Chico State student double majoring in sociology and social science. In Associated Students, he is currently working with Student Organization and Resources as well as the Freshman Leadership Opportunity program. Ruiz is running for A.S. Executive Vice President for next year and he wants his candidacy and potential term as vice president to be centered on diversity and representation.

“Because I am Mexican, I want more representation in A.S. I didn’t run for two years because I didn’t know if people would be inclusive to people of color.”

In addition, Ruiz wants more transparency with the A.S. office. He states that not a lot of people know what happens in the A.S. office, and not a lot of their events are promoted or attended. If elected, Ruiz plans on changing the way people view A.S.

“I never saw myself as a leader. In high school I was not involved in this. In college, it’s a chance to reinvent myself. Being here, I have had so many amazing opportunities that I have taken advantage of. I do have a passion for working with students.”

Candidates for Vice President of Business and Finance:

Leilani Gigena

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Leilani Gigena is a current Chico State junior student majoring in accounting. She is currently running for the Vice President of Business and Finance. Previously, she was in a leadership position in the Butte College Accounting Club. She has also run for Business Director at Butte College in the past before enrolling at Chico State. To Gigena, running for office is a way to give back to the community who has inspired and motivated her.

“I have a bit of a backstory. Four years ago, I hit rock bottom and was working a 15-hour graveyard shift at a packing factory. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life or how I was going to provide for my children. Choosing to go back to school was the toughest decision I have ever had to make because I knew it was the right decision.”

Gigena stated that if elected, she would devote herself to the university and would be proud to represent the college of business and finance. She wants to make responsible financial decisions for the university and make sure that the concerns of students are heard. She stated that she will work with the board to see what improvements need to be made.

“I have an immense gratitude for my Wildcat community. I want to be a leader.”

Chris Taverrite

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Christopher Taverrite is a current Chico State junior student who is majoring in business management with a minor in economics. He is currently A.S. senator for the College of Business and is running for the Vice President of Business and Finance for next year. Taverrite emphasized that, if elected, he wants to bring more affordable and branded food to the Marketplace Café, including Panera Bread and Panda Express.

“There are a lot of students who are food insecure on campus so we want to make it a realistic option for students to get to.”

In addition, he stated that throughout his job as senator, he got a good feel for the way things work within A.S. and has come to be passionate about student government. He is grateful for his role as A.S. Senator for the College of Business and likes all of the people he has met during his term. Taverrite encourages students to be open with him and his performance and he hopes that he can continue his passion for student government into the next year.

“I think that if I can do my part to make good things happen, why wouldn’t I? I’m passionate and open. I want to be continually kept in check by the constituents of Chico State.”

Candidates for Vice President of Facilities and Service:

Gracie Pachie

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Gracie Pachie is a junior at Chico state running for Vice President of Facilities and services. Her freshman year, she served as the Director of Administration for the Residence Hall Association which is the governing board for the dorms.

Pachie studied international law abroad last fall in Hague, Netherlands and plans on going to law school after her time at Chico State.

She is currently the Vice President of the Alpha Gamma Delta Residence Hall Association. Pachie also sits on both the Bell Memorial Union Committee and Sustainability Funding Allocation Committee which are directly aligned with the Facilities and Services position she is running for.

One of her main goals is to show how important this position is to Chico State and be very transparent with all of the funds that the Sustainability Funding Allocation Committee uses.

If Pachie is elected, she would like to focus on the Bell Memorial Union Wellness Center and include things such as sleeping pods, massage chairs, more yoga classes and art therapy. The goal would be to create an inclusive, centralized space for students to get away from stressors and relax while also allowing students to be proactive with their mental health.

Kaylee Biedermann

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Kaylee is a sophomore health administration major running for Vice President of Facilities and Services. Her slogan is “Stay worry free with sustainable fees.”

Bierdmann is the coordinator for the Non Time and Afterschool Activities program at CAVE and a volunteer and group leader for the Love Your Melon campaign. The campaign helps spread awareness for kids with cancer and gives half of its proceeds to support nonprofit organizations in their fight against cancer.

Bierdmann is also a student ambassador for the Student Philanthropy Council, a representative on the Community Affairs Council, involved in the Health Administration Club and works in the Chico State Call Center.

If elected, Bierdmann’s ultimate goal would be to make sure the student body and its administration are connected, create a safe space for students and to make sure the student’s money is being used in the best way possible.

Candidate for Director of Legislative Affairs:

Bre Holbert: Holbert could not be reached for comment.

Candidate for Director of University Affairs:

Alejandro Alfaro Ramirez

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Alejandro Alfaro Ramirez is running for Director of University Affairs on the platform of transparency and accountability. He believes that the A.S. Government needs someone at the table who’s not afraid to point out when they aren’t putting students first.

“The A.S. is a student union, but lately it’s become corporatized. In the last few years, it hasn’t done much to better things for the student community. We need people in A.S. who are willing to call that out.”

Ramirez has experience as a student leader already, helping run Chico’s Students for Quality Education and he knows the ropes already when it comes to working with A.S. student leaders and hopes to make it easier for all students to work with A.S. leaders.

On the issue of transparency, Ramirez wants to see everything the A.S. does publicized and posted online rather than stored in some office where students don’t know to find it.

“The first thing I would do if elected is communicate with the rest of A.S. leaders that I will hold them accountable”

Candidate for Commissioner of Diversity Affairs:

Guadalupe Santana

Courtesy A.S. Office

Running for the position of Commissioner of Diversity Affairs, Guadalupe Santana wants to see if Chico State is holding up one it’s core values: diversity. A third year majoring in sociology, this is the first time she is running for an Associated Student position.

“I want to see more representation of all our clubs being fully recognized on our campus. I feel like the only place that students of color actually genuinely feel safe going to is our Cross Cultural Leadership Center.”

She currently holds position of Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Service for the Panhellenic Council, she also sits on the student advisory board for Campus Climate, something she would like to incorporate if she gets elected.

“I really wanna build a breakfast club,” said Santana. “I want to have monthly meetings where every student on this campus will be invited to come and express their concerns, like freely speak about what they are feeling.”

She wants to expand on diversity in general, expanding on other cultures and incorporate it on campus, not just with the CCLC.

Candidate for Commissioner of Student Organizations and Resources:


Sydney Puccetti

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Sydney Puccetti is a first-year student to Chico State. She is majoring in psychology with a minor in criminal justice. Puccetti is involved with Freshman Leadership Opportunity, is the vice president of Community Council for University Housing, a member of the Student Learning Fee Committee and the Wildcat Leadership Institute. Puccetti is currently running for the Commissioner of Student Organizations and Resources.

“As commissioner, I hope to amplify the voice of students where everyone feels connected and heard.”

Puccetti aims to improve campus involvement as well as maintain Chico State principles such as freedom of expression. She is also committed to maintaining a safe environment in which students feel comfortable pursuing their education. Puccetti also wants to improve incoming students’ experiences with Chico State because coming in as a freshman from Southern California, Puccetti needed to do her own research to know what organizations to participate in and what resources were available to her. She wants to not only be a resource for students, but a friend and ally as well.

“Let’s work together to make this campus a community where people can call Chico State their home.”

Edgar Hernandez

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Edgar Hernandez is running for Commissioner of Student Organizations and Resources because he has a passion for service and giving back to the student community.

Hernandez has been deeply involved with student clubs and organizations like Advancement via Individual Determination and FFA since his first year of high school, eventually taking on leadership positions for both, and wants to see his love of campus club involvement spread to other students on campus.

For Hernandez, it’s all about the student experience, which he says is broadened and elevated when students get involved with campus clubs. This in turn connects students more to their campus, causes them to care more about their education and ultimately provides a deeper college experience.

“It gives more meaning to your education to be more involved on campus, and it’s not as fun to just come to class for a few hours and go home. It’s a lot more meaningful and fun to connect to other students in a club and connect more to the campus.”

In order to go about getting more students into clubs, Hernandez hopes to expand on Clubtacular, a yearly event where clubs showcase themselves across campus for a day, and make it last multiple days instead of just having one event in the Fall semester.

Candidate for Commissioner of Sustainability Affairs:

Jared Geiser

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, who worked as Vice President for AS in the past year, could not be reached for an interview.

Candidates for Commissioner of Community Affairs:

Christian Weaver

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Christian Weaver is running for Commissioner of Community Affairs in the A.S. student government election. Weaver shared how he came to Chico State because of the many great things he heard about it from friends and family and says he hasn’t been disappointed. Weaver has worked for the Community Legal Information Center, an organization within the A.S. body that provides legal help to both Chico State students and the community. Weaver stated that if elected, he plans on meeting with city officials and sharing student voices and opinions at city council meetings.

Weaver also talked about sitting down with the Chico Chief of Police to discuss plans to better keep students safe, a topic in which Weaver has heard many students talk about on campus. Weaver also expressed how he wants to be a voice for the students of Chico State because of the importance the university has to the town.

“Our voice should matter. Sometimes I feel that people forget that we are a big part of the community. It’s our town too, let them hear our roar.”

Allyah Perez

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Courtesy A.S. Office

Allyah Perez is running for Commissioner of Community Affairs and has constantly been involved in her community since high school.

She wants to make students feel safer on and off campus. She attended the recent safety forum on Friday, hearing students voice their concerns.

“I just really wanted to bridge that gap between administration and the students,” Perez said.

Perez is a junior, majoring in agriculture education. Since her freshman year, she’s participated with campus organizations.

She was on the freshman leadership opportunity where she worked with Associated Students. During her time at Chico she has been involved in the College of Agriculture and her sorority Sigma Alpha serving as the president.

Being a current resident advisor with two years of experience hearing out first-year students discuss what their concerns where is what made her want to be the voice for students on campus.

She wants there to be a relation between the community and the college, to be more than just a college town.

“I want us all to be heavily involved in the community.”

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