Associated Students of Oregon State University Presidential Candidate Isabel Nuñez Pérez and Vice Presidential Candidate Metzin Rodriguez are running their campaign under the name “DAMunited,” on the pillars of accountability, community advocacy and transparency, which they’ve shortened to the hashtag #ACTNow.
“I’m running for president because I believe a lot in the power of ASOSU, but I also believe there’s a lot that needs to change about ASOSU regarding transparency, community advocacy and how we speak to students, especially how we function with regard to the administration,” Nuñez Pérez said.
Nuñez Pérez is from Healdsburg, Calif. and works for Community Engagement and Leadership, who helps organize days of service and community aid events on or near campus. She is also a member of 3-D, a dance group for women of color at OSU.
Rodriguez went to Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, Ore., where she participated in cross country, where she said she was inspired by her coach to “add legacy to everything you do.” Rodriguez worked as an intern in the Senate in Washington D.C. last summer, where she said she gained experience in the political process. She is also an ambassador for the College of Agricultural Science at OSU.
According to Nuñez Pérez and Rodriguez, their campaign hopes to make students of all cultures and backgrounds feel safe on campus, and they’ve visited student organizations including Here to Stay, an organization that seeks to protect immigrant youth, Alpha Epsilon Pi, a traditionally Jewish fraternity, the Black Student Union, Waste Watchers, and both democratic and republican student clubs, among others.
“One of the reasons I’m running for ASOSU vice president is because I would like to have more student voices at the table from different backgrounds and experiences, because I believe that each experience is unique. Some students for example can be from different cultures, different organizations and clubs, and they are all really valuable because we are in college for so long and we would like to create a platform for them to grow wherever they need to, and provide them the resources they need,” Rodriguez said.
One of Nuñez Pérez’s primary goals in this campaign is to increase communication and advocacy between student-athletes on campus and ASOSU, a cause she said she became interested in after her experience as a senator during the student fee-setting process earlier this year, when a fee-decrease towards Athletics was proposed.
“I’m most concerned at OSU about the culture of Athletics, how students view Athletics and how especially athletics students don’t feel connected with ASOSU,” Nuñez Pérez said. “Part of our community advocacy platform is building stronger connections and relationships with student-athletes and the department as a whole, because it’s so important, and because they’re such a disenfranchised group that’s so removed. Everyone wants to see student-athletes but not a lot of them get to talk to them, and in the conversations I’ve had with student-athletes they feel very removed from the general student body,” Nuñez Pérez said.
Both Nuñez Pérez and Rodriguez are senators with experience in working on legislative initiatives and organizing lobby days, and both said they hope to see more students involved in the collegiate government process.
“It’s important to get different people and different groups of people involved in student government to try to change the culture,” Nuñez Pérez said. “Our platform is community based, it’s by students, for students, so we like to say that when we’re in office, you’re in office. Communication doesn’t end at campaigning for the election, the communication’s going to keep going forward, we’re going to be visible for the students, and we’re going to try our best to maintain that communication and build strong relationships with the student groups that we’ve already come in contact with and the student groups that we will be in contact with.”