If you don’t know him, Julian Herrera is a fifth-year communication major with an emphasis in public relations; he enjoys food, dogs and volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club. If that doesn’t ring any bells, you might just know him as our 2015-16 Associated Students Inc. (ASI) president. Sound familiar now?
With his studies and presidential duties keeping him busy, Herrera is always on the move. Fortunately, we had the chance to sit down with him one-on-one and get to know Mr. President himself!
How did you get involved with Student Government?
I actually never thought of running for ASI president. I was running for Multicultural Council (MCC) president, and a friend (now current ASI vice president) Diana Ascencio asked me if I was running for ASI president. I told her no and thought, There’s no way I could handle that. But I thought about it and I finally asked myself, ”Why not?” From there, I started having meetings with past senators and the former president and vice president to talk about how I could get involved and what my duties would be. I haven’t looked back since.
What is your favorite thing about being a student leader?
The fact that a student can come in to the office and ask for something as small as help navigating the Bronco Student Center, information on how to get involved, or answers for questions they have about events and whatnot, and I can assist them. I don’t need acknowledgment to do this job, but it feels nice when a student comes in, calls or even emails just to thank you for your help. I love knowing that I’ve helped even just one student out in any way possible.
If you could change one thing about Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) and it was sure to be approved, what would it be?
I would definitely make it so that every student would graduate in four years. I get that it’s hard these days to graduate on time, but I’d love to see students receive the education they need and use it to better our society as soon as possible. We’re called a four-year university for a reason. I’d do everything in my power to make sure each and every student got the classes they needed and got out of here on time.
You’re ruler of the world. What is the first thing you do?
Oh jeez, I don’t know. I’d probably just make sure every person across each nation had food before anything. I love food, and I don’t think there’s any reason someone in a third-world country shouldn’t be enjoying the food I get to eat. Ah, food—definitely food.
Dogs or cats and why?
Oh, definitely dogs. I’ve had three dogs since I was little. Two of them were named Goofy and one Princess, and I just love them. Dogs love you so unconditionally, and when they hear the key in the door, they’re automatically right there, just so happy to see you home.
And then cats are kind of just like, “Oh? You’re home? Make yourself useful and feed me.” Then they just walk away. I just feel like dogs really, really love you and cats just tolerate your presence.
Favorite places to be on campus?
There are a lot… I love being around food. I love being in Center Court and at the Campus Marketplace. It just always smells like food… and I love food. But I do love being on that green hill by the horse stables; it’s really relaxing seeing the CLA and the horse pastures in one view. I also really love driving down Kellogg because of the trees and the horses galloping—it’s very scenic. And this is kind of funny, but I love driving by the swine and cow units because the smell reminds me of my grandparents’ ranch back in Mexico, and I had some pretty awesome memories there.
If you could meet anyone (dead or alive, famous or not), who would it be and why?
I can’t really name anyone, but I would want to meet someone who truly wants to do good by others. I want to meet someone I’d feel obligated to follow around with a pencil and a piece of paper just because everything he or she says can be life-changing. They have to be innovative and good. I can’t really think of someone who fits into all of these characteristics, but I guess I would like to meet the founders of the non-profit organization, Together We Rise. They lend their help to foster kids in need, and I love kids. I mentor and volunteer at Boys & Girls Club often, and I think no one deserves better than the kids.
What are some short-term and long-term goals Student Government has this year?
A short term goal we have is simply increasing school spirit and getting the word out about campus events and involvement. Every student here is a part of ASI, and we want to make them feel that way. A few long term goals we have include assisting the university in any way regarding transportation and parking issues; it’s a big problem that will take a lot of time, and ASI is trying to help in any way possible. Also, we are pushing for an Undocumented Resource Center. The cultural centers on campus are great, but we feel like this is a problem that really needs attention. The population of undocumented students enrolled at CPP is growing, and we don’t want them to feel like they don’t have a safe place to go to for information and guidance. We’re also aiming to increase voter turnout because we want students to know that we really are serving them. “Students serving students.” We can’t help them if they won’t help us!
Do you have advice for students who want to get involved?
Don’t get discouraged. There are a lot of things and people who will make you feel like you can’t do this, but it’s better to say you tried and failed than to look at yourself in the mirror and realize you didn’t do anything at all. If you’re thinking about getting involved, just take the dive and do it.
And that’s your little inside look on our ASI president! You can catch President Julian Herrera in his office in the Bronco Student Center (BSC, Bldg. 35-1339) for questions regarding campus business, involvement or his love for food.
For more information on how to get involved with Student Government, visit our website or call (909) 869-3638 to find out how you can make a difference today!