On May 1, California Lutheran University students will have a new student body president when Junior Senator John Basmajian is sworn into office.
Basmajian has been part of the Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government since he was a sophomore. He said he has a strong passion for Cal Lutheran and hopes to implement reforms in response to events of this past semester. Basmajian’s win in the March 5 runoff election followed the removal of former President Nick Steinwender on Feb. 25.
“A lot of things I want to do…are more of an atmosphere change. I want to change the perspective of gov. One thing I ran on was transparency, so I really want to change that. I want to change the mentality of the boards,” Basmajian said.
Basmajian grew up in Northridge, not far from Thousand Oaks. He is a business major with an emphasis in management, and is involved in clubs on campus including Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity and Fishing Through Christ.
Programs Board Director Heather Hooker said Basmajian is a very detailed-oriented person, and in terms of time management, he is always ahead of his work and willing to jump in when needed.
“He has a very strong work ethic even in his everyday life…He’s a big working out person. He won’t eat carbs after 6 p.m. because he’s like ‘I don’t move enough to do that.’ So that’s the kind of person he is,” Hooker said.
Basmajian recently passed two different Senate projects. One of the projects was introducing new machines, dumbbells and cloth resistance bands into the gym, and there will soon be a new pickleball court on campus as well.
Senate Director Kimberly Lee said Basmajian is always willing to work with others and take others into consideration. She said she has enjoyed working with him so far, and she is looking forward to next year.
“He’s very hard working and dedicated. I think that his love for Cal Lutheran really shows, and the fact that he was willing to take on such a big role as president and be a representative to even the Board of Regents of our school… I think he will fit seamlessly into the position,” Lee said.
Basmajian is unique from past presidents because he has experience on both Programs Board and Senate, Lee said.
“I don’t think you always get people like that. He just likes gov. in general. At the end of the day, he wants to serve the student body and do what’s right for them. He’s always willing to listen to the student body and understanding the works of everything else. I think that makes him a perfect fit for the position,” Hooker said.
Lee said she has hopes that Basmajian will take charge in his leadership role this year. She said she is excited to see what changes, because ASCLUG had the same president for almost two years.
“I think after everything that’s happened this past year it’s been a huge wake-up call. We need to start looking at our constitution and the way we run things, and just reform. I think that with him as our leader I think we’ll be able to do that, and make better improvements for the next school year,” Lee said.
Another change Basmajian said he wants to make is improving food options on campus, specifically at Ullman Dining.
Basmajian said he spoke with Cal Lutheran President Chris Kimball last year, and they discussed the upcoming changes to Centrum Café. Centrum Café will be replaced with a Habit Burger Grill sometime in the next year. Basmajian said he would love to be part of that process.
Basmajian also said he hopes to work on resolving parking issues.
“I know myself and how much I want to work for this and how much I want to assist, and I think for this year it’s really focusing on what the students want. Because that’s what we’re here for, that’s what I was elected for,” Basmajian said.