On April 19, 2023, the Scarlet & Gray Free Press released an article titled “CSUN: Join at Your Own Risk.”
The basis of the article was that the Consolidated Students of UNLV (CSUN) has a toxic environment that is filled with drama and an unbearable workload. Despite this article coming out, Makayla Franklin, Morgan Dunbar, and Samara Woolfolk ran unopposed as the “Empow3red” ticket for the 53rd session of student body government.
The three women are all members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority on campus and were sworn into office on May 1, 2023. This day is considered “Delta Day” on campus because all three members of the executive branch are women of color who are proud sorority members, making history on campus.
President Makayla Franklin is no stranger to involvement. She has been in CSUN since her freshman year and has seen it develop and change during her time. When she read the newspaper article last semester, it empowered her to want to do better for the students and work to change their reputation, one that she didn’t even create.
When asked what her favorite thing about being in the organization is, she stated, “Giving people a voice on campus and putting their words into action. It is great getting to walk home at night knowing I impacted a specific amount of people that day.”
The Empow3red ticket came to life because people wanted to see more diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. Franklin is the only person from the ticket who had prior experience in CSUN, and she said she recruited new people to run with her because “CSUN has a reputation where they hire the same people and are in a circle with no change. Samara and Morgan being new to the organization can call for a new outlook on things and be the change people really want to see.”
This executive branch also advocates for more campus connections and student safety.
Franklin claims that it was a little difficult to recruit students to be on her board after the newspaper article came out. She said, “We had to change the perspective that students have of CSUN. I had a lot of conversations and meetings about how we are inflicting this change.”
When asked about her feelings about the article that was published, she claimed, “I think there are aspects to all Registered Student Organizations that bring drama, there are a lot of big personalities that CSUN has, so sometimes people butt heads and forget the end goal. It was hard to read the article because it changes the perspectives of students, but it gives us the opportunity to prove that we are here to help the students and not to help ourselves.”
To make a change this year, Empow3red is going to start having safety initiatives like creating Buddy RSOs and having safety bags at specific events. They also plan to send out a CSUN resource newsletter because all students pay for CSUN in their tuition, and therefore, they deserve to know what exactly they offer. Lastly, they are utilizing new hiring practices to find newer and diverse voices across campus.
Mia Hernandez, a senior at UNLV, joined CSUN for the first time as the director of marketing and social media for this term. Franklin, Dunbar, and Woolfolk’s work and effort to change has definitely paid off early on because she states, “I have truly been loving my time at CSUN, everyone is so friendly and so far I have had a very positive experience. I cannot wait to see all the fun and creative things we will come up with!”
If anybody is interested in becoming involved in CSUN, Legislative elections are coming up in November for new and returning senators. As for now, they are looking for an associate justice for their team that makes a $1,500 stipend over the term.
Another way to get involved with CSUN this year is to become an intern. There is an interest form for this on the UNLV website. The interns get to learn and experience all three branches of CSUN while still getting to promote their own ideas and impact the students. It is almost a direct way to a higher position in the organization as your college career continues. Franklin wants to let readers know that, “Before people make assumptions about us, visit a CSUN event or reach out to me personally at email@example.com. The Empow3red ticket is asking for grace and patience to make this year the best year yet.”