Giovanni Guerrero makes his case for the Associated Students presidency
Born and raised in southern California, Giovanni Guerrero is an openly gay, first-generation Latinx student. Coming to the end of his junior year, this is Guerrero’s first time running for a position with Associated Students, and he’s aiming straight for the top—the presidency.
While Guerrero lacks a background with AS, he might make up for with a background working with the Federal Government. Last summer, he attended an internship with the Bureau of Land Management Eastern States division in Washington D.C. The division is an office of the BLM, a branch of the Department of the Interior. He spent time working with fellow interns in a geospatial segment of the Eastern States division—work that involved collaborating on several projects simultaneously.
As an environmental science major, Guerrero brings preservation into the discussion as the foundation of his platform.
“We have some terrific resources on this campus, but over the next two years we’re gonna be facing $20 million in budget reductions, and that’s a big, scary number,” Guerrero said. “Those reductions will probably come in the form of student interests. So, it’s very important that we recognize the challenges that we’re gonna face, and we’re very vocal about it so that we can protect important resources.”
Humboldt State University is home to many students in need, including those facing housing and food insecurities, as well as mental health issues.
“We have resources on this campus that help those students,” Guerrero said. “And I think it’s very essential that we prioritize those resources and make sure that those resources aren’t seeing drastic reductions.”
Guerrero advocates for more energy to be spent on the promotion of these resources. One idea is to feature a ‘program of the week’ on the HSU homepage because the current navigation system does little to support them.
“I really wanna focus on promoting what Humboldt State has to offer,” Guerrero said. “Because our resources can’t serve the students that they’re meant to serve if they don’t know they exist.”
As the only upcoming senior running for the position, Guerrero has the most respective experience on the HSU campus and the challenges faced by its students.
“I’ve been very fortunate to experience different areas around campus,” Guerrero said. “It’s really opened up my perception to how diligently students are working.”
As well as working for Recreation Sports on campus, Guerrero also worked at the J. He’s also involved in several student clubs including the running, climbing and debate clubs.
Aaron Donaldson, coach of the debate team, praised Guerrero as a genuine, sympathetic listener.
“I would describe Gio as thoughtful, careful as an advocate and a good student,” Donaldson said. “I think he would be a great leader because he understands the complexities in debates, that sometimes we have to find productive ways to maintain arguments we can’t end, and because he is so eager to make HSU a better place for students who feel left out.”
If elected president, Guerrero intends to improve HSU’s social media. That way students interested in attending the university will know what the campus has to offer. He advocated that all students take advantage of the opportunities at hand, especially clubs.
“Clubs have really helped me to connect with other people, and I think they’re really essential to building community on campus,” Guerrero said. “That leads to retention as well. If you feel connected to your campus and where you live and where you study, then you’re more likely to stay.”
One of Guerrero’s bosses at Recreation Sports, Katherine Earle, spoke highly of his performance.
“Gio has already proven himself to be an effective leader while working for Rec Sports at HSU,” Earle said. “His ability to anticipate, plan for and respond to issues in dynamic and creative ways makes him an asset to any group or team he chooses to be a part of.”
Another priority for Guerrero, as president, would be to ensure the security of student jobs.
“A lot of students depend on those jobs and I think the more opportunities we have on campus, the more attraction we will get at HSU, and more retention,” Guerrero said.
One of the biggest short-comings of AS, according to Guerrero, is active student engagement.
“You could probably go up to any student on this campus and ask them, ‘Do you know what an Associated Student does or who they are?’ And they’ll probably tell you ‘No, I have no idea.’”
Guerrero wants to create avenues to engage with the student body and inform them on what’s going on at an administrative level and within AS.
Guerrero said this will help prioritize what students want from AS. If he wins, Guerrero is aware he has his work cut out for him, and he said he’s up for the task.
“I’ve faced a lot of different barriers and a lot of different challenges, and just in general, it’s really helped me to be a resilient person,” Guerrero said. “And I think that’s the key to success. Cause you’re gonna face a lot of obstacles throughout life, and have to learn how to handle those obstacles.”