Introducing Student Government President Atticus Reyes and Vice President Raul Perez

By Zoe Lance

To Atticus Reyes and Raul Perez, leading CSUCI’s Student Government is more than a job — it’s about helping their peers be the best people they can be.

Atticus Reyes and Raul Perez“We’re really try to break down barriers and just make students feel like they are a part of this community,” Reyes said. “College is really such a formative and pivotal time in people’s lives. You’re not just learning about the areas that you think will help you in your professional career, but also how to be a productive member of society. We’re trying to find the best ways to help students do that.”

Reyes, a fourth-year History student, and Perez, a fourth-year Environmental Science & Resource Management student, are the 2018-19 president and vice president. In Student Government, they work with a team of student senators and officers to advocate for CSUCI students, at both the campus and state levels.

Throughout the year, Perez and Reyes want to increase civic engagement on campus, promote sustainability efforts and connect more students to University resources. During the recent Civic Engagement Week, Student Government participated in the statewide California College and University Ballot Bowl and helped over 600 students register to vote. They’ve also had compelling conversations around student access to basic needs resources, such as the Dolphin Food Pantry.

“Being involved on campus definitely exposes you to smaller communities within the University,” Perez said. “One of the things we’ve learned about is a lack of connection between students and Student Government. One of the biggest things that we’re trying to do is to let students know that we’re here for them.”

Reyes and Perez took different paths to their Student Government positions. Perez, a Downey native, had been involved in Student Government since his first year. After learning about the organization through Alexis Mumford, the 2017-18 vice president, he held positions as an intern and as the senator of sustainability and technology. Last spring, he was considering a run for a top position and needed a partner.

Reyes commutes to Camarillo from Ojai, and initially wasn’t interested in Student Government. But after two formative experiences — becoming a teaching assistant for a public speaking class and working on Capitol Hill in the Panetta Institute’s Congressional Internship Program — he wanted to branch out at CSUCI.

“Raul approached me because he heard of all the things that I’ve been doing and told me he was looking for a candidate to run as president,” Reyes said. “I’d heard about Student Government but didn’t know much about it. After hearing more about what it can do, it was a perfect match.”

Both Reyes and Perez are graduating in spring 2019. Reyes is contemplating studying law, while Perez is considering a career in urban planning.

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© Fall 2018 / Volume 22 /Number 02 / Bi-annual

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