Alejandro Alfaro Ramirez
Major: Multicultural Gender Studies & Latinx Studies
Hometown: Chico, CA
Program Position/Job Title: Director of University Affairs
“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them” – Assata Shakur
How did you first get connected with AS Government ?
I got involved with AS when I was asked to sit on Student Academic Senate (SAS) as the Diversity Liaison my sophomore year. Because of the fee increases happening Spring 2018, I started attending all the Government Affairs Council (GAC) meetings because I recognized that AS student government has a lot of social capital on campus, as well as direct access to administrators and other decision making bodies. I realized that we need to demand more from our student reps and get people to understand the power AS government has.
How would you describe your role as Director of University Affairs?
I sit on GAC and the AS Board of Directors, and I also chair SAS. For university committees, I sit on the Academic Senate, which is the main decision making group of Chico State. I also got involved with multiple student orgs. Overall, my role is to report back to AS on the issues that are happening on campus and take actions on them.
What does working for AS Government do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
It allows me to open up about AS to a lot of student who haven’t felt welcomed in the space before. A lot of marginalized students and student activist haven’t always had the confidence to get involved with AS, and I feel that the team we have this year is working hard to change that.
What do YOU bring to the table in your role as Director of University Affairs?
Through my position, I bring forward a lot of grassroots organizing experience. I’ve always been on the “outside” of a lot of institutions up until now, and I feel that now I have a duty to reflect the needs of marginalized students within my role. I want to make AS more social justice oriented again. Student governments started as activist organizations back in the 60’s, and in the 80’s were co-opted into cooperation. I cannot change the status of AS as a cooperation within my term, but I can start to make our interests as AS more oriented towards marginalized students. I do feel that the AS staff across all the departments have genuine concern for the student’s well being, and they all have very good hearts. I want to work with my fellow student reps and with staff to go back to the drawing board to see how we can do things differently.
What are your career plans and how does your role with the Associated Students prepare you for that path?
I would like to work for a union, or an organization that works towards prison abolition. I feel like this position is one of many things I am doing that will help me learn how to navigate both activist and non-profit spaces.