Agribusiness Senior and ASI President Owen Schwaegerle
As ASI President, agribusiness senior Owen Schwaegerle’s goal is to fulfill the promises he made to students when running his campaign, which focused on student fees, student safety, school spirit, and helping students find their anchor.
Schwaegerle is lobbying the state government for more funding through the California State Student Association. One bill successfully lobbied in October 2015 was Assembly Bill 798, the Affordable Textbook Act. State advocacy is more effective when students are registering and actively participating in the democratic process, said Schwaegerle. ASI utilized Turbovote, an online registration software, during the Flex Your Right campaign in 2015 to register nearly 2,000 students to vote. Schwaegerle also co-sponsored a debate of the 24th District congressional candidates at Cal Poly to help students become informed prior to the election.
Student Safety is a part of his platform Schwaegerle has become increasingly passionate about. One of the ways he has lobbied to improve safety on campus is through the use of a phone app called Tapshield, which allows students to share information about incidents and identify and communicate potential threats quickly. The ASI executive cabinet is also working on a Mental Health Awareness week in the month of May.
“School spirit is something we need in the midst of these divided and chaotic times worldwide,” Schwaegerle said. His cabinet supported athletics with an ASI tailgate before the Homecoming football game as well as a pregame BBQ before the Fresno State doubleheader basketball game at the end of fall. Schwaegerle also helped ASI sponsor an event in the fall called Good Neighbor Day, where nearly 80 students participated in a trash pickup in nearby neighborhoods.
Riley Nilsen, secretary of student responsibility and fellow CAFES student, promoted academics and school spirit through a week-long Be Present Challenge where 600 students downloaded the app PocketPoints, which rewards students for not using their phone during class. Schwaegerle's cabinet also improved ASI’s visibility by recruiting an average of 30 students a week to attend the Green Team, a passionate group of students who help put on the executive cabinet’s projects.
“We at Cal Poly have much to be proud of and much to be grateful for. Serving the students as ASI President has been a time of growth and humility, and there are many plans yet to come,” he said. Schwaegerle and his cabinet hope to plan a neighborhood clean-up and barbecue, a spirit week, and a mental health awareness week before the end of the school year. “I am excited for the times ahead, and honored to serve,” he said.