WORDS BY: JOHN BROADWAY
PHOTOS BY: STEFFANIE PADILLA
Marvin Flores, CSULB's new Associated Students Inc. (ASI) president for the 2016-17 school year, is a history major who arrived on campus out of high school in Anaheim. Originally pursuing a degree in Kinesiology in hopes of becoming a physical therapist, Flores found his calling in the field of teaching. Below is a Q&A, conducted by contributor John Broadway in May 2016, with the new prez detailing some of his hobbies and interests.
JB: So, what made you want to be a history major?
MF: I really want to teach, so I’ll start out at the high school level and then eventually reach collegiate– community college and then hopefully university.
JB: How do you feel your major relates to ASI leadership?
MF: In regards to history, one thing they always tell us is to look at all the facts and then make a thesis on what actually happened in the situation. In ASI, we get all the facts first and see how we can best benefit the students while here at Long Beach.
JB: What inspired you to run for ASI president?
MF: Seeing the difference that ASI could do for our campus. Last year as a senator at large, I would do a lot of things for the betterment of our students, and I feel that ASI gives you a voice to advocate for the students and better their experience here at Long Beach.
JB: What do you feel are your biggest qualifications that make you ready for this job?
MF: Very compassionate, love listening to stories and I want to hear everyone’s story. I want to see why they want to be here and what I can do to make their experience better. Last one– I’m very courageous. I’m not afraid to speak my mind and stand up for what is right.
JB: What are some of the biggest problems facing [CSULB] students today and how do you plan to help alleviate them?
MF: Definitely raising transparency. One of my goals is to put more student advocates on more committees. Apparently there are a bunch of committees that student’s don’t sit on which really affect us. So, trying to raise more student awareness and having more students at large on these committees so we can say students are there and actually have a voice and our voice is being heard on the university level.
JB: So, transparency [is a problem] and the way you plan on alleviating that is more student involvement?
JB: Do you have any other specific goals that you plan to accomplish during your tenure and could you explain to me how you plan to achieve them?
MF: (Logan Vournas, ASI vice president) and I both have a variety of goals. One of our goals next year is to create a food pantry here on campus. Currently, right now, we’re going to open a food pantry in the fall. We want to get more produce, though... Students who are going hungry every day can go there, get food and take off. Another goal we want to accomplish is improving parking on campus. Currently, we’re talking with this group called Park Finder and the (Parking Advisory Committee) to find ways to make parking easier instead of students having to drive around and drive aimlessly looking for a spot for 20 or 30 minutes.
JB: Best of luck to you with that; I would really like to see that happen.
MF: Thank you.
JB: If another situation like the knife incident occurs (in which a student was present on the CSULB campus with a pocket knife last March), and many students are voicing their concern, how do you plan to meets students’ needs, and what do you think your role would be in a situation like that?
MF: I would definitely support the students in regards to seeing what they want done. This year we have a lot of things that the students want to do… A coalition is very powerful, and if all students were to be behind this movement, I would be behind them and help make their voice heard. Obviously, they’ve done a lot of things like talk to President (Jane) Conoley and Vice President (Carmen) Taylor in order to implement these things a lot better. So, being there and being able to be the mediator between the students and the university and support our students above anything else– because this is our campus, and it’s our job to take care of our own campus and make sure we feel safe and make the university see that we have concerns that we want heard.
JB: Looking back at your tenure, what do you want your legacy to be?
MF: That’s a tough question (cracks a smile).
JB: We always have the hardest questions last.
MF: Well, for sure, I want my legacy to be someone that is very hard working and is for the students above anything else. I’m here, I was elected by the students, and If I am able to be known as someone who was for the students and helped raise their voices, then I will feel like that will be completed and I will have done my justice.