Zack Gianino: Tritons United

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My 3+ years of lobbying experience is derived from my time at the Grossmont-Cuyamaca community college district here in San Diego. Being the Student Trustee on the district Governing Board, I was able to have the privilege and honor of being able to travel to the state capital of Sacramento and the US Capitol in Washington DC to advocate for the diverse population of San Diego county. I was confronted and presented with issues that had nothing to do with the background and experiences I grew up with. This difference of upbringing did not stop my attempts to constantly expose myself to these communities in order to better wrap my mind around the life that they experienced.

Coming from a low income single-parent household, I have always been passionate about inspiring, educating and mobilizing students and citizens for a higher cause. When it comes to Higher Education I believe very strongly that education is our national defense in the United States. Education has given me so much and the least I can do is ensure that education continues to outreach to historically underrepresented populations. Being a part of Tritons United has shown me how passionate students are at this institution. Although each one of our members represents a completely different community, we all collectively work together, remembering that we all want to see a healthier student body.

The Tritons United slate stands on a platform of F.I.G.H.T.; Fair Fees, Inclusion, Good mental health, Housing and Transportation. Our platform is designed to touch on key issues that students at UCSD are confronted with. Each one of our senators and executives stand on a platform that intertwines with these five pillars. Collectively as a unit we address each of these issues with comprehensive tangible solutions, each approaching from different angles. My platform in particular addresses the pillar of inclusion. Inclusion to our slate does not just mean political correctness but actual physical inclusion from all populations. Listening to all sides of the spectrum ensures that lobbying can effectively take the shape of the entire populace and mirror UC San Diego’s interests.

When it comes to lobbying for UCSD students, the populations that are represented and advocated for are the ones who speak out on issues. This, as powerful as it may be, does not encompass the entire spectrum of our campus population; the silent should be fought for as well. As your future Vice President of External Affairs I am focused on pulling from communities across the entire range of students in order to fill in the way I lobby abroad. It can become easy to get caught up in personal interests and specific motives that one in this position may pursue. As Vice President of External Affairs I will lobby for not just what I think is right but what the population at UC San Diego collectively agrees is the right direction. Including as much of the campus population as possible will allow a more cohesive and encompassing understanding for how bills should be voted on or stances taken.

A couple of the communities that I plan to pull from include The Greek community, The Black Student Union, Triton Athletics, The KP community, MEChA de UCSD, utilize all 6 of the college councils, Multi-Asian Student Association and many more. In order to do this I will hold monthly Socratic Seminar Town Hall meetings that accomplish a couple of things. This Town hall will provide the student body with the exact bills that are going to be affecting their experience at UCSD while providing a forum for discussion and debate on these issues. These Town Hall’s will be interactive and engaging for the student body. I will also present the UCSD administration budget and relevant budgets to the UCSD student population, so that students know where their money is going.

It’s time to strengthen the Triton voice by submerging students into a forum that actually impacts their experience at UC San Diego. While students are at this forum I will provide tabling for registering to vote through SOVAC (Student Organized Voter Access Committee). Student voter registration is one of my top priorities this year. The powers that be have no interest in gathering our votes, so we must pull our own in order to become a collective unit NOT TO MESS WITH.

Remember that Gold and Blue WILL FIGHT FOR YOU! #TritonsUnited #ZackHasYourBack

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