Associated Students Presidential candidate Ben Delbick
March 6, 2017
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Name: Ben Delbick
1. Why did you decide to run for A.S President?
I decided to run for A.S. president because my family literally bleeds black and red. My father went here in the 1980’s and my younger brother actually just committed to going here this upcoming fall so I really wanted to make a positive impact, give back to the community and really create a lot of positive changes on this campus. One of the things I want to do is try to add as much value to our degree as possible and see A.S. step into a different realm, especially for professional development and graduate school preparation.
One of the things administration, students, prospective students and alumni can all agree is they want to maximize the value of our degree, and make sure that piece of paper we get in four or five years, however long it takes, is as valuable as ever that says San Diego State. A.S. has so many resources available, and one of the things I want to do differently is try to invest as many resources in professional development and networking events, and set up programs for graduate school preparation. If you want to go to graduate school, law school or medical school, studying for these tests is very expensive and a hard process. Even applications for graduate school are really expensive — so figuring out ways to create programs which have test prep available for students on-campus, either subsidized or free, whether it be setting up scholarships with alumni for students to be able to afford to apply to different grad schools and programs to make sure Aztecs on this campus find out exactly what they’re passionate about, what kind of field to get into and make sure they get the right job after they graduate is one of my goals.
2. What are the first three things you would do on the job if elected for this position?
As A.S. president, the first thing I would is get the five of my executives in a room, sit down and try to create as common of a goal and vision as possible, and make sure that all our values are aligned so we’re able to work together as a team and get ready for the upcoming year. The next thing I would do is meet with the administration, sit down out line that goals and visions and see what’s possible and what kind of positive changes that we make. The third thing is start implementing the different initiatives that I have already planned, like the graduate school and professional development on campus, making SDSU a safer place creating a safer Aztec experience meeting with SDSUPD and San Diego Police. Students don’t necessarily feel safe on campus anymore so before we do everything, I really want to make sure this is a safe atmosphere and put it on the table and try to make this community as safe as possible for student.
Students should feel safe emotionally and physically, so creating as inclusive of an atmosphere as possible and really just being able to walk on campus and you know, just not being afraid you to go back to being home. One of the biggest things is walking in that alleyway by Olmeca and Maya Hall, behind Jack In The Box. It’s gotten pretty sketchy, or even over by the trolley station, stuff like that. Making sure students feel safe walking at day and night, and really just advocating for student voices and seeing what we need to do to create a truly safe space at SDSU.
3. What areas does SDSU need to improve on most?
I already talked about graduate school professional development, and creating a safer atmosphere on campus. The other thing I really want to do is advocate for all students voices, and really the way to do that is to make sure all students know exactly what kind of services A.S. can provide on campus, and using those resources to help students with whatever they need, whether it be their clubs or if they want to travel to get to conferences. The other thing really is bringing back shared governance to the students and administration. I’d like to see A.S. and administration have a very close working relationship, and work towards a common goal of creating the best for SDSU that we can possibly create.
4. How would you make sure students know about resources?
The first thing I would do is probably some sort of campaign. Last fall they did a ‘Your Voice Matters’ campaign, which I thought was great, but just broadening the outreach as much as possible. This is not just walking around the organizations and everything, but having such a tremendous population very diverse population, too– so we have students who live on campus, students who live off-campus, and a huge commuter population. One of the ways I would try to do that is try to do outreach faculty, and have our faculty support A.S. as much as possible, whether it takes five minutes in their lecture to go over a little bit about the different types of services, like study abroad scholarships or free legal services that A.S. provides so students get some sort of idea that A.S. is an open place. It’s inclusive and what makes A.S. so great is whatever any students are interested in, there’s a place for them to be. If you’re interested in sustainability we have A.S. Greenlove and Greenfest; if you’re interested in finance we have a Financial Affairs Committee, if it’s just supporting students there a Student Support Commission, if it’s putting on different sort of events there’s ASUB. There’s such a tremendous, wide variety of things A.S. can offer, and different organizations that we sponsor that there really are home for every student at SDSU.
5. Why do you think you can understand SDSU students more than other candidates?
I have a huge diversity and wide variety of organizations that I’ve been a part of. I’m currently president of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity; I was on the interfraternity council executive board; I’m an active member of the Jewish Student Union and Students Supporting Israel. I was a founding-member of the Interdisciplinary Business Society, and I’m currently the College of Business representative. As well as serving on the Financial Affairs Committee, I was part of the Aztec Game Experience, (and) I’ve sat on the Student Diversity Commission External Relations Board, so I’ve seen how A.S. works on both the inside and outside. One of the things that I’ve also noticed is how hard it is to originally get involved in A.S.
The first time I wanted to get involved in A.S., I was a freshman and applied to be a board of director, and I had no clue what being a board of director was. I got called in for this really formal interview, and I was just hit with a lot of questions from everywhere, and I was overwhelmed and I was afraid to be a part of A.S so all it would have taken was for one person to say ‘Hey, I know you’re a freshman, this is very overwhelming, but good for you for applying, good for you for trying to get involved.’ No one said that to me, so I felt like I was not really being encouraged to join A.S., and I kind of shied away from it. And then fortunately I got brought back in from starting the Interdisciplinary Business Society, and sitting on the College of Business Council through that, and seeing just how kind and friendly everyone in A.S. is, but one of the biggest things is outreach. When someone wants to get involved, just saying ‘Hey that’s great, what are you interested in? Let me sit down and find you what sort of committee or club or organization that you’re going to be involved in,’ because that’s very intimidating especially if you’re coming in as either a freshman or a transfer student with such a huge campus and finding your group and finding things that you like. So being friendly is the biggest thing.
6. If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what did we achieve together?
I think we achieved having a safer campus by making everyone feel like this is their home and everyone finding a place in their home, or as many students as possible finding a place in their home, whether it’s just sitting on different committees or finding different organizations. But the biggest thing is just educating students, educating them on the resources available, educating them on the events that are happening on this campus and just offering as many resources as possible. Especially since everyone’s here so they can eventually graduate and get a job, and so helping them towards that goal and finding something that they’re passionate about and finding the right job. The Assistant Dean of the College of Business Tita Gray was talking to me about one of the biggest problems freshman and sophomores have through their GEs and different classes, like that they’re not exactly sure what they want to go into and what major they want to join. One of the things that really helped me was getting involved in the Interdisciplinary Business Society, which specifically is supposed to go over all the different types of disciplines in the College of Business, and I knew I wanted to be a business major, but I wasn’t sure exactly what so we brought in people from every different department in the college, and I personally fell in love with finance, and that’s why I’m a finance major to this day.