ASI President Anjelica de Leon anticipating CSUEB’s transition back to campus

Maha Sanad, Social Media Editor

“When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.” This is California State University, East Bay’s president Anjelica de Leon’s favorite quote and philosophy for this upcoming school year.
Anjelica de Leon, or “Aj” as her friends call her, was officially elected as President/CEO of CSUEB’s Associated Students Inc. (ASI) earlier this year. Being in the midst of a worldwide pandemic for the past year and a half has definitely forced change into how CSUEB functions.
Now that CSUEB is gradually transitioning back to on-campus classes this fall, de Leon has many plans for what she hopes the ASI board is able to accomplish. De Leon emphasized the importance of student outreach in this transition period and that every student has a “Seat at the table and that their voices are heard.”
This upcoming fall, de Leon hopes to push her fellow board members to engage with students as much as possible. Whether that be hosting town halls with deans or having one-on-one meetings with students for any questions and feedback they might have.
One initiative that de Leon hopes to have underway soon is a student leader outreach program. This program would include monthly meetings with student leaders in student-serving organizations on campus, meeting with them, and ensuring that “students know they can come to use if there are any issues.”
In the ASI board’s yearly policy agenda, which laid out the overall vision and goals to reach by the end of the school year, de Leon highlighted student success and pioneer pride as the two main pillars. She also acknowledged the precautionary measures that will be taken into consideration when trying to fulfill the two pillars with Covid-19 still around.
“Obviously we are going to be following anything the university says and the CDC guidelines but we actually are planning for both in-person and online events,” she said.
To be as inclusive as possible for both students who will be back on campus and those who will remain online, events for the fall semester will range from in-person tabling and giveaways to online community-building and events. De Leon’s hope is that these events will bring back that community-building that ASI wants to focus on this year.
A look a little further into the future of the fall semester, de Leon teased exciting Halloween events and re-introducing signature president events like “Coffee with the President” in a Covid-friendly way.
Safety is one of de Leon’s focuses in this transition period back to campus. “In terms of repopulation, we want to make sure it’s as safe, accessible, and comforting for students as possible.”
De Leon shared her gratitude for the role that CSUEB allows her and the rest of ASI’s board to have a monthly meeting with the university’s president, Dr. Cathy Sandeen. In these monthly meetings, de Leon and the ASI board have been able to use student feedback they have gathered, along with sharing their concerns for repopulation of the campus from the students’ perspective and voice that to President Sandeen.
Since getting elected, de Leon has used her “Passion for leadership and for serving students” to ensure that the ASI board is as cohesive as possible in order to provide that resource for students. De Leon recognized how crucial her support system has been during this transition period and commends her passionate board who are eager to take on their roles.
De Leon also acknowledged the importance of mental health, “everyone is going through something different and everyone’s capacity is different.” While she is still constantly growing as a leader, de Leon does her best to recognize those differences in people’s mental health situations and giving them space and down weeks whenever necessary.
One of the biggest changes that came out of the pandemic was the loss of human interaction. Along with the various community-building initiatives and upcoming events, one way that de Leon hopes to counteract this loss of interaction is by recognizing students throughout the year for everything they have done, accomplished, and advocated for during the pandemic.
De Leon is hopeful that this year, she and ASI will be able to figure out “What seats we’re missing” and make sure every single student has a seat at that figurative table in her favorite quote.
With a president who not only places emphasis on student success and mental health awareness but also the importance of diverse resources and community-building, CSUEB students are in good hands when it comes to their President/CEO, ‘Aj’ de Leon.
To read more about de Leon’s background, click here.