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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Aishwarya Gowda runs for director of social justice and equity

Voting for the 2024 AS general elections will open on April 4 at 8 a.m. and will close on April 5 at 8 a.m.

Aishwarya Gowda is running for director of social justice and equity in the 2024 Associated Students general election. To read more about each candidate, see below.

Aishwarya Gowda is running for director of social justice and equity in the 2024 Associated Students general election. Courtesy: Aishwarya Gowda

Aishwarya Gowda

International student Aishwarya Gowda is a junior majoring in business information with a minor in computer science. She is running for director of social justice and equity. 

She grew up in India, two hours outside of Mumbai, so when Gowda arrived at Chico State she said the international office of education and global engagement became her home away from home. 

“I used to get involved because as I was away from home I wanted [to be in an environment] where the students get involved, meet other students or clubs and organizations,” Gowda said. “That was when I started roaming around and started volunteering as a global ally for international students …” 

After being a global ally, she moved on to become the culture program coordinator for the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center

Gowda was inspired to run for the position after she realized there are not enough multicultural events or events in general happening on campus. She also noticed the events that were occurring did not receive enough attention or the attendance they should. 

“This is going to be our home for four years and if we don’t have these activities, people don’t feel connected right? So, that’s why all of these things started to inspire me and I started joining various positions and various leadership positions …” she said. 

Gowda has been very involved since day one of her time at the university. However, when she first arrived, Gowda struggled because English wasn’t her first language and all her peers and teachers had a hard time understanding her. 

Although she had a hard time at first, this did not stop Gowda from wanting to make a difference and influence change, which is why she has held her positions and would like to keep furthering her leadership as director. 

“I ideally want different people to embrace their culture, but come under one roof as a united Chico State family,” Gowda said. 

She believes that everyone should have a place on campus where they feel comfortable and united as a community. If she becomes director, Gowda wants to work toward building an environment where everyone feels they belong, their voices are heard and all cultures are celebrated. 

Gowda wants to do mixers in the future for every cultural group represented on campus as well as celebrate culture year-round instead of only during a specific month. She also wants to advocate to celebrate for not only Black, Latinx and AAPI students, but other cultures represented on campus as well, such as Native Americans, Pakistani and Middle Easterners.

“One of the main things I have to do towards Chico State is bringing equity,” Gowda said. “I say it’s not only about culture, it’s also about everything, gender, sexuality, disability and neurodiverse students. I don’t believe that everyone is different, we are all the same, it is just the backgrounds that make us different.” 

Gowda is excited for the opportunities that this position would present her with to influence the changes she wants to make, but also scared because it is such a big responsibility to take on. 

Although she enjoys her time here, as an international student Gowda only gets to see her family twice in her four years of school, so she believes more than most in creating a sense of community and belonging. This is truly what drives her to make Chico State a place for everyone.

“… that is the best part of Chico State, that I feel that Chico is my home,” Gowda said. 

For information on Gowda and her campaign, go here or here.

To learn more about the director of social justice and equity duties, go here.

Voting for the 2024 AS general elections will open on April 4 at 8 a.m. and will close on April 5 at 8 a.m.

A link will be sent out to all Chico State students via school emails when voting opens.

Jenna McMahon can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jenna McMahon, Opinion Editor
Jenna McMahon transferred to Chico State in fall 2023 from Santa Barbara City College and is in her third-year as a journalism major as well as having added a global studies minor this year. This will be her first year on The Orion as the opinion editor having had past experience on The Channels at SBCC. After graduating she hopes to become a traveling journalist and hopefully work for National Geographic. In her free time she plays soccer for the club team at Chico State and loves to read, travel and anything to do with nature.

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