Ana Aldazabal, the former vice president of Associated Students Inc. is now officially the new ASI president and CEO, after Joshua Borjas’ resignation earlier this semester.
Aldazabal is a fifth-year communications major with a minor in political science who has advocated for marginalized students in Cal State Fullerton by volunteering with the California Dream Network and Lobby Corps at CSUF.
When she was 6 years old, Aldazabal immigrated from Peru to California with her family. She explained the hardships that came with moving so that she could have a better education.
“The fact that my parents support me so much, not only to get an education, but to be in this role in ASI just means the world,” said Aldazabal.
She said receiving in-state tuition and state grants helped her realize the privileges she has as a California resident. She now works to represent marginalized groups that may not have those benefits, a platform that she and Borjas ran on and one that she advocated for in her time as president of the CSUF Diversity Resilience Education Access Movement Co-Operation.
Being a DACA recipient and undocumented immigrant, I really have seen how the most marginalized get treated in these institutions. That’s what really drives my passion in trying to help the most marginalized and trying to bring resources to them, Ana Aldazabal
Aldazabal said she realized she needed help from a bigger on-campus organization after her advocacy work in nonprofit organizations.
“ASI could always do more for these communities. I felt that I needed to run for vice president at the time to make sure that those voices and those communities were being represented,” Aldazabal said.
When Aldazabal previously received the vice president position, she said she split the responsibilities with the former president of ASI, and took part in the role of ASI’s policy and the structure.
Kaetlyn Hernandez, ASI’s chief communications officer, said it was hard to believe that Borjas would no longer be a part of their team.
“It was shocking. I literally found out after I walked out a movie at night and was like, ‘Oh, okay.’ It took a while for processing; it didn’t hit me right away,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez said Aldazabal was very adaptable because her and Josh were on the same page and ran the same goals together.
“It’s all been rather smooth. I’ve had no difference in my role, I’ve been able to do my job exactly how I did my job last semester,” Hernandez said.
Meghan Waymire, ASI’s chief governmental officer, said that Aldazabal’s transition and resilience has made her trust in her team more.
“She’s good with any challenge she faces. She knows how to look at it, access it and then figure out what she needs to do next,” said Waymire.
Aldazabal said it means a lot when students feel represented and can trust the institution that they pay so much money to each year.
“When some students from D.R.E.A.M. Co-Op or some of my friends have told me that they’re really happy that I’m here. That someone like me has a voice finally. It’s probably my favorite memory,” said Aldazabal.
Aldazabal is working to introduce a fourth position, named the diversity officer, to sit on ASI’s board of directors.
“I realized that there’s really a need for an institutional support for social justice and diversity and inclusion for students within ASI,” said Aldazabal .
She said she hopes that ASI stays on the path of advocating for marginalized groups and working to close the equity gap after she graduates from CSUF.
Aldazabal said her perception of the world has driven her commitment to the vice president and now-president role.
“I’m literally here for you,” said Aldazabal. “I’m here to serve you and whatever you need, email me and I’ll try to help you in however I can.”