New elected students for positions in ASCLU executive cabinet


Photo by Emma Cohen - Reporter

Melanie Masson (left), Zaria Opara (middle) and Greg Pimentel (right) were elected to the ASCLUG cabinet.

Emma Cohen, Reporter

On March 2, 2022, 517 undergraduate students voted to fill the new positions available for the 2022-2023 term in Associated Students of California Lutheran University’s (ASCLU) Executive Cabinet. The results ended in Junior Greg Pimentel elected as ASCLU president, junior Zaria Opara elected as ASCLU Senate director, and sophomore Melanie Masson elected as ASCLU Programs Board director.

Pimentel won with 51.84% in his favor. So far, he has attended multiple meetings and said he is preparing to be the new voice of the students.

“This is a position I’ve been looking forward to since probably my first year here. Seeing other presidents, what they were able to do, and having that kind of impact is what inspired me to run,” Pimentel said. 

While campaigning, he canvased door-to-door, introducing himself and trying to get to know as many students as he could.

His campaign poster included his goals of providing printers in the residence halls, increased lighting and safety on campus, more parking, and a better undergraduate experience.

Pimentel said he aims to pass a resolution that will provide printers in residence halls next semester. He said about 400 students signed the resolution he worked on, and hopes to produce more concrete details that will permit its implementation.

Pimentel said the current ASCLU President, Josh Gatison is a great role model and leader.

“I feel like he’s done a great job representing all of us. He’s had a lot of good initiatives, such as the alcohol policy, so I hope to continue those types of reforms and be a leader for the campus,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel said since he holds multiple roles on campus, he gets to connect and listen to a range of students vocalize their thoughts.

“I’m a student athlete and a resident assistant, so I’m able to see students in many different ways. Whether it’s at the gym or the residence halls, I can hear their concerns and make sure their voices are heard,” Pimentel said.

Opara ran unopposed and won with 85.493% in her favor. As Senate Director, Opara will preside over the meetings and oversee the Senate.

“My biggest goal will be to have at least half of the senators have a project completed by the end of the year, whether it’s just a little project or a big project with a lot of moving parts,” Opara said.

Opara said in order for objectives to be met, she would like to bring more students into the meetings so they can voice their concerns or ideas. She said she wants to encourage the senators to bring up their thoughts because of the high chance that at least one other student has those same thoughts or opinions.

Opara said she does not shy away from difficult conversations or tough projects, and always   finds a way to complete them. She is currently drafting a proposal that involves reducing the cost of homework and textbooks.

“The goal is to tell professors to please consider the students’ finances because a lot of students end up paying for their textbooks out of pocket,” Opara said.

Another project Opara said is important is providing free resources or discounted resources to all students. An example of this is “Testy Tuesdays,” which Opara brought back so that students can receive free testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

Opara said she appreciates how David Bryant, the current ASCLU Senate director, focused on team camaraderie, and she hopes to continue that in Senate.

“I want to be a resource for the senators and make sure that they have the capability to do what they want to do while at the same time making sure everybody feels welcome in this space,” Opara said.

Masson won with 58.41% in her favor. Her general responsibilities as Programs Board director will include acting as the support system for the leaders of each event, using previously gained knowledge to assist members, and serving as a messenger between the representatives and the adviser.

She said she found the campaign process fun as she went canvassing door-to-door to pass out pencils and Dum Dums to students.

“I think going door-to-door and putting a face to the name really helped because I got to create that relationship and get to know people on campus that I’ve never met before,” Masson said.

She said her main goals are to be a good communicator, ensure that members enjoy planning their programs, and reduce their amount of stress during the planning process. Masson said she plans on fulfilling these goals by checking in with the representatives, staying up-to-date on organization, and allocating their budget in a way that allows each event to receive proper attention.

She is currently helping plan Spring Formal and said she looks forward to the possibility of planning Homecoming at an off-campus venue next semester. Masson said she would also like to bring back the therapy dog programs on campus during midterms or finals.

Masson said she praises how Nikki Howell, the current ASCLU Programs Board director, has a great attitude and consistently checks in with her.

“The way that she carries herself and approaches situations is really admirable, and it’s something I hope to keep up,” Masson said.