Fresno State students elect Karen Carrillo as ASI president for the 2023-24 school year


Diego Vargas/The Collegian

James Martinez, director of operations for Associated Students Inc., announces Karen Carrillo as ASI president for the 2023-24 school year.

By Jiselle Cardenas, News Editor

The sound of subtle sighs and sniffles filled Room 207 of the Resnick Student Union as Karen Carrillo couldn’t hold back her tears of joy anymore after James Martinez, director of operations for Associated Students Inc., announced Carrillo as ASI president for the 2023-24 school year.

Karen Carrillo, a 4th year Chicano Studies major, was elected as Associated Students Inc. President for the 2023-24 school year on March 23. (Courtesy of Karen Carrillo)

“It’s honestly a very overwhelming feeling. I think me as a candidate and also my opposing candidate ran a very healthy and clean campaign. I am very proud of the work he also put in. I’m very excited to see what the future holds,” Carrillo told The Collegian.

On Thursday, March 23 voting for ASI elections closed at noon and results were announced at 1 p.m. in the RSU. The results were also live streamed via ASI facebook.

Two presidential candidates ran for this election: Carrillo and Sami Natafji. The candidates began campaigning in February and debated against each other last Thursday, March 16 before the election.

“For president of ASI for the next cohorts in 2023-2024, we have Karen Carrillo with 849 votes, representing 58.55% of the vote and Sami Natafji with 582 votes, representing 40.14%,” Martinez said.

Carrillo said she hopes to push the initiatives she’s been advocating for during her campaign, like a food voucher campaign, within her first 100 days as ASI President.

Natafji also expressed his respective feelings about the election results to The Collegian.

“Definitely going to try again and run for the next year. It wasn’t the results I was expecting, but I respect the people’s decision,” Natafji said.

This was the first year since the pandemic that in-person voting booths were provided, alongside online voting. Martinez highlighted the large student voter turnout, comparing it to previous elections.

“Throughout the two and a half day period, a total of 1,474 students voted online, representing a steady increase in student participation and voter turnout from last year’s election of 1,299 students,” Martinez said in his welcoming remarks before announcing the election results.

Martinez began with elected executive office results, announcing Caroline Alvarez as vice president of external affairs with 1,017 votes, Gabriel Parra as vice president of finance with 1,296 votes and finished with announcing Carrillo as president.

Zachary Ortiz is elected as one of the senators at large by students. (Diego Vargas/The Collegian)

Following executive offices, the top 10 senators at large were announced as David Klein, Frederick Lisitsa, Ingeborg Kisbye, Luis Manzo, Marcos Mendez-Reyes, Miguel Perez, Monica Herrera, Rebecca Perez, Valerie Jimenez and Zachary Ortiz.

“I ran for a second term as senator at large. I’m hoping that our [executive vice president] votes me back in for senator of athletics, which most likely will happen. I want to congratulate the athletes for voting this year because they had a big help in that step,” Ortiz told The Collegian on being elected.

To end off, Martinez announced the elected senators of the eight colleges on campus:


  • Faith Van Hoven for the College of Arts and Humanities.
  • Elisa Guerrera for the College of Health and Human Services.
  • Ivan Trujillo for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
  • Victor Munvine Rodriguez for the Lyles College of Engineering.
  • Ojas Deshmukh for the College of Science and Mathematics.
  • Marco Florez for the College of Social Sciences.
  • Alysa Garaygordobil for the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.

Van Hoven told The Collegian she wants to serve as a “communication highway” for students.

“One of my goals in getting this elected position is actually to create a universal and communal space for the College of Arts and Humanities,” Van Hoven said. “I think in order for us to move forward and help engage in student involvement, we should create a space that’s accessible to those students.”

Van Hoven mentioned departments in the College of Arts and Humanities lacking a place for department meetings, explaining how English and creative writing departments meet in the Peters Business Building.

Martinez was very content about the high voter turnout, mentioning the efforts of tabling, sending out reminders, advertising on social media, promotion at kiosks, restarting the Bulldog Blog and promoting at student unions.

“[Now] just looking to off board this current cohort and then also bring back the returners. Essentially what we do is we’re going to host a transition dinner with the university president, so that the outgoing cohort can say goodbye and the new members can get to know him and become affiliated with ASI,” Martinez told The Collegian.