U-SU Board of Directors - Meet The Candidates



José Trinidad Castañeda

Dear Cal State LA family, My name is José Trinidad Castañeda III, and I want you to vote for me to be your next student representative in the University Student Union Board of Directors. Cal State LA is in a critical moment and is ready for historic changes as major issues, such as climate change and socioeconomic inequalities, affect our lives. As a public university, Cal State LA’s leaders must represent diversity, creativity, and ingenuity. As a rising leader, these are all issues which I am ready to take action head-on. I have a range of critical skills and talents that I want to use to give back to students, staff, and faculty on and off campus. I need you to vote for the best candidates with solid work ethic, visionary goals, and can deliver on the promise of change. For the past two years, I have organized with the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, Trans Queer Connection, and Students for a Quality Education. I currently serve as founder and president of the Association of Integrated Research and Education, a student organization that bridges the gap between social and data sciences by providing undergraduate research opportunities. I am committed to fighting climate change, and I do so by volunteering with ASI’s Environmental Policy Committee, as well as running an After-School Sustainability program at Parks Jr. High. If you want to see more of what I can do for you, then VOTE for José Trinidad Castañeda III to be your next student representative on the USU BOD! 
Follow me @castazel

Alain Iglesias  

Alain Iglesias

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time,” I am this person Cal State LA seeks… I will work closely with the student President to implement a 2-5 year plan to increase student involvement. As of right now we have OVER 20,000 students and out of those students only 2% of them are involved within school organizations. Our university is a diamond in the rough, yet the resources we have are not being fully exploited to its maximum potential. The questions I have posed to myself and faculty here on campus are: How do we increase student participation? And how can we utilize this student involvement to make our school more attractive to big companies? This will provide better internship opportunities for our students. After a year being here at Cal State LA I founded an organization called the Society for Advancement of Management. Within 2 weeks I created a fully functional entity that did not exist, but rather a figment of my imagination and above all, a self-sustaining organization that focuses on the development of leadership skills that management students need. I saw how there was a need for an organization aimed at specifically management students. Therefore I am confident that I will increase the quality of student life here on campus. However, in order to implement these necessities I need your votes and your voice and together we can make this campus a stellar university!!!

Nathan Lee

Nathan Lee


I plan to make big changes at Cal State LA; especially regarding parking, class sizes, financial aid, tuition costs, and job-finding. 
1) I will relieve the parking situation (3.5 people/parking space) by expediting the permit process, and promoting mass transit and monthly bus passes, while keeping costs to a minimum.
2) I will make enrollment easier by helping students find classes, by enlarging class sizes and by creating more classes.
3) I will keep tuition as low and make financial aid as readily available as possible.
4) I support job marketing to all students, INCLUDING undocumented immigrants, and promotion through Involvement Fairs and internship fairs.
5) I support new housing, the creation of a campus food pantry, and a “safe room” for homeless students to spend 1-2 days when searching for a place to stay.
6) I support new infrastructure as well as the procurement of state funding.
7) I promote proper advertising, promotion and prompt removal for cancelled events.
8) I advocate for “Cal State LA Spirit”.
With recent events causing hardships for students trying to obtain a high-quality education, it’s clear confidence must be restored in the student government and university. I value students’ opinions, ideas, and concerns when making ANY decisions with students’ time and money. I also have an open ear and honor minority groups in a way that is fair and just for all groups and all people. I am very familiar with this institution and am ready to begin making change for the betterment of our campus, our community, and our future.


Jimmy Merida

My name is Jimmy Merida and I am a fourth year sociology major at Cal State LA. I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles in a low-income neighborhood. Growing up in a low-income neighborhood was tough, but it taught me the value of hard work and the importance of having the support of my family. Without the support of my loved ones, I would not be running for a leadership position in the U- SU Board of Directors. As a first generation college student, there were many challenges I had to overcome when I first applied to college. The lack of resources and not having the right guidance made it hard to succeed in my classes. From my experiences at Cal State LA, being involved in university activities is crucial for a student’s success. Cal State LA is one of the most diverse universities in California that offers many opportunities for students to have a great college experience.< Getting to know people from different backgrounds is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the many cultures that make the United State of America beautiful. Building friendships and reaching out to school faculty are great assets for student success. If elected a member of the Board of Directors, my main goal will be to work hard to achieve the upmost for Cal State LA students. I will strive to obtain the guidance and useful resources that are required for success. Thank you.


Joshua Nolasco

I am an accounting major here at Cal State LA. My personal interests are to one day become a CPA and work as an accountant at one of the top four accounting firms here in Los Angeles. Currently I am in my third year and I am also a part of Greek life on campus. Currently I hold the Vice President chair in my fraternity and I aspire to become the president in the upcoming election. As I get closer to my senior year I look to leave my mark here with no only my fraternity, buy my campus as well. Taking on new challenges is something that I enjoy doing because of the growing experience it has to offer. With every opportunity comes reward for those who work hard for it; is a state of mind that I always strive to be in. I wish to make something of myself by not only being proficient at what I do, but excelling in everything that I attempt. Once I am later into my career, I want to be able to reflect on my time at Cal State LA, or with my time at Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and know that I left it in better shape than when I got here.


Candy Noriega

Hello, my name is Candy Noriega. I am a chemistry and criminal justice double major, as well as minoring in biology and forensic science. I have held student government positions throughout most of school, starting in my early school days. Currently, I hold positions in Alpha Sigma Tau National Sorority – Gamma Upsilon chapter. I was active in school clubs and organizations, like FHA-HERO, a California Affiliate of FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), as well as the Recreational Opportunity Program classes that were offered at my schools. Currently, I am in the Golden Key International Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Tau National Sorority, and Her Campus on campus. I believe that my experience and personality will help me to bring new ideas and offer a different perspective. I am a multitasker, a quick learner, and motivated in anything that I do. I do recognize that although I may have some experience I am always learning. I have always tried to advocate for those around me, an example of this is working with the foster youth liaisons at ELACC during my time there to help improve financial and academic opportunities for foster youth. I was able to make them aware of a book grant opportunity available for only foster youth that wasn't present when I enrolled. I gathered the information and presented it to the financial aid office, and thankfully it was approved. I want to work with the student body and help in any way I can.


Elias Ortega

I would love to run a campaign for the position on the University-Student Union Board because I have a passion for working with people. Given the opportunity to work with people and help Cal State LA students be involved and facilitate their everyday activities will make this opportunity even better. I’m looking forward to being a positive contribution to the team by bringing good spirit every day and by leading by example. I’m also looking to grow in every aspect as a professional; that is being a better leader, taking bigger responsibilities, and having to work with groups.


Will Reyes

I am a hardworking, driven, passionate, and dedicated student. I will bring these traits into the association if elected. I will work hard in bringing more exposure and better ways to reach out to students. I am a great collaborator and want to work to help students meet their academic needs. I will be available for any requests and questions from students. I will make it a major priority to my career as a student to advocate for students. I will give the best that I have from my part in order to get make the most out of the school year. I will collaborate with fellow officers and also fellow clubs and committees. I want to be able to work with other groups to strengthen and unify our campus population. I want to do volunteer in our community and get more volunteers to join us.


Robert Solorio

I am hoping to serve on the USU Board of Directors, because I want to improve student life on campus. Cal State LA has a large community of students, such as myself, who work to support themselves and go to school at the same time; our busy schedules prevent us from dedicating enough time to research resources on campus. I want the resources this campus offers to be more widely accessible and advertised in the Union because I know it is a central hub for student life. I would like to encourage more student involvement on campus. I want to lobby for more academic-based events, such as job fairs and career workshops specific to each major, so that our students may rise to their true potential. I have been volunteering in my community since middle school, attending city council meetings, and going door to door: I am no stranger to hard work and dedication. I know the importance of building a community. I believe that Cal State LA has the ability to be an even stronger community than it is today, and not just be the “commuter campus” many students write it off as. I believe that through the USU Board of Directors, I can be a driving force in implementing the change I want to see at Cal State LA.


Kayla Stamps

As an active student on campus one of my biggest goals for next year is to continue to work as a catalyst ensuring the success of my current and future cohorts. I believe that the building of a students’ network is one significant way to advance a students’ social and professional skills. The University-Student Union is a great resource on campus to ignite self growth through socializing, building awareness, and enjoying the entertainment provided. My experience and prior knowledge of the U-SU will help to adequately assess and carry out new ideas, as well as gain perspectives from students and staff on the further development. It is exciting that we will be embarking on a new school year with opportunity to make more memories and experiences. These are the very things that could resonate with us forever. Inclusiveness is my motto next year, so let’s work together and allow your ideas, passions, and dreams to be the voice of the U-SU’s vision for 2016-2017. YASSSSSS!!!!


Princess Josephine Umayam

Prior to getting admitted to Cal State LA, I had this false impression that due to the fact that I’m going to a ‘commuter school’ I would not enjoy college because the opportunities for getting involved on campus are either limited or seen as apathetic. My view changed when I discovered the leadership programs that CSI offers. I used to be shy in high school and didn’t run for any position in office, but I have come a long way since then. I began my freshman year of college by participating in both LEAP during the fall quarter and The Leader Project in winter. My overall experience and the people I worked with helped me gain more confidence, improve my communication skills, view leadership in a more comprehensive perspective, and most importantly, understand the significance of taking initiative. I believe that my time is now. As a member of the U-SU Board of Directors, I will strive to represent our student body and become the link between ourselves and our university. I will cultivate inclusivity to form a diverse yet harmonious community. And I will eliminate the misconception that I had before by investing myself in school more and encouraging fellow students to do the same.