Author Archives: Lorena

About Lorena

I'm a San Diego native and a proud two-time alumna of the San Diego State University School of Journalism and Media Studies. I currently work as the marketing and communications manager for the Associated Students of SDSU.

Rock the Vote

As several political races begin to heat up, 2011-12 Associated Students Vice President of External Affairs Krista Parker, who will receive her bachelor’s degree in political science this Friday, blogs about the importance of students voting in June and November.

After many visits to local, state and federal legislators’ offices over the past three years at SDSU, I have heard one common message: students don’t vote. After awhile, I really got sick of hearing that and when I took office in May 2011, one of my main initiatives was registering students to vote.

Rock the Vote at SDSU is a campaign that really encompasses the importance of the youth vote. Students have been known not to vote in the past simply because they don’t know why their vote matters. The campaign really focuses on the issues that directly impact students and educates them on the candidates running for office.

With June 5 and Nov. 6 elections quickly approaching, the importance of registering to vote is increasing. It really is easy! Go online to, head over to the Associated Students Government Affairs Office in the Alumni Center or visit the San Diego County Registrar of Voters to fill out a form to register (in San Diego, voters must register at least 15 days in advance of an election).

However, the most important part is to make sure and vote. There’s even a polling place on campus to make it easy Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view, download Adobe Acrobat Reader. (7 a.m. to 8 p.m., June 5, Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center)!

So back to the original question: why vote? First, let’s prove those legislators wrong and show that students do vote and, second — and most importantly — this is the perfect way to begin the process of getting your opinions heard!


Filed under College Community, Events, Greater Good, Students

Celebrating Spring with GreenFest

No matter when you attended San Diego State, in recent years, one of the highlights of the spring semester is the annual festival put on by Associated Students. When I was an undergraduate student, it was called Spring Fiesta and AzFest.

Fast-forward to 2012 and that festival has morphed into GreenFest, a week of events celebrating sustainability — a core value of Associated Students — and Aztec pride. Associated Students has worked hard to green its facilities and promote programs that espouse an eco-friendly lifestyle in recent years, and GreenFest is no exception.

This year’s GreenFest — which takes place April 22 – 28 — will host several events, including:

  • Earth Day 5k and Kids’ Fun Run
  • E-waste Drive
  • SDSU Takes Over the Ballpark
  • GreenFest Festival

To learn more about Associated Students’ sustainability efforts, visit or the GreenFest website, “like” Green Love and GreenFest on Facebook or follow GreenFest on Twitter.

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Filed under College Community, Events, Greater Good, Prospective Students, Students

March Madness

students camp out on Campanile Walkway for prime campaign signage spots

Students camped out on Campanile Walkway for prime campaign signage spots.

While many attribute the madness of March to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, many SDSU student leaders deal with another, more personal, version of it, as well.

Just last week, SDSU students elected a new group of executives and college representatives for Associated Students for the 2012-13 academic year.

And it’s no “simple” election — as part of the process, students sit through orientation meetings, sleep outside overnight to stake prime campaigning sites and debate their opponents in an open forum. Even then, the slim margin between victory and defeat can be as thin as a dozen votes.

This is outside of their normal lives as students, too. There’s still midterms, part-time jobs, volunteering during Explore SDSU, and cheering on men’s and women’s basketball.

But, that’s what makes these students leaders — their commitment to campus, their classmates and the San Diego community is what sets them apart. They’re advocating on behalf of students, overseeing the many facilities and services students enjoy, and partnering with other organizations to help the San Diego community.

If the “madness” of students’ busy lives seems a bit much, just remember the end of March is just around the corner — and spring break along with it.

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Filed under College Community, Greater Good, Prospective Students, Students, University News


Associated Students logoIt’s only been a week, but it feels like I’ve been with Associated Students of San Diego State University much longer (and not just because I’ve had a sweet name tag since day one).

Part of that affinity is due to the warm welcome I’ve received, and part of it is due to my work with many of the auxiliary non-profit’s staff members and student government executives during my six years with the SDSU Department of Marketing and Communications. In my former positions as media relations specialist and editor of new media, I developed and told stories that affected a wide range of Aztecs – from faculty and staff to alumni and community members.

In my new role as Associated Students’ marketing and communications manager, I focus on the issues that affect students and the on-campus organization that serves them. Whether it’s upcoming student, local and national elections, highlighting student-led sustainability efforts, construction of Aztec Student Union or A is for Art, I will tell the AS story and the folks who – so often – work behind the scenes to provide the services and maintain the facilities students enjoy and expect.

Of course, it isn’t all about students – community members will get an “education” on AS, too. Whether it’s connecting the dots between our organization and facilities like Viejas Arena and the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, I want San Diego to know that AS, in its own way, can serve them, too.

So, you’ve been forewarned – the next time you see me on campus, I’ll still be in my customary red and black, but I’ll have a snazzy little AS badge, too!

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Inspired by King

Image“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
  – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Monday, the SDSU campus was closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Throughout the country, people provided a public service and volunteered in their local communities to celebrate the Civil Rights leader.

At SDSU, honoring King’s legacy isn’t a once-a-year opportunity. Sure, we march in the annual MLK Parade, hold an on-campus luncheon in his honor and fondly recall his visit to campus.

But, we also work in and with the community every day. We – from students and employees to local alumni – regularly ask ourselves that question King raised so many decades ago.

Whether it’s collecting donations for the local food bank, raising money for worthy causes like Light the Night, or using elbow grease to help improve a home for a community member, Aztecs are helping their neighbors most in need.

Honestly, it’s simply who we are — as the oldest and largest university in the region, we can’t help but shape San Diego and be engaged with its residents. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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The Sprint to the Finish

It’s that time of year again – no, not the holiday season – but the end of the fall semester.

It’s a flurry of paper grading, cramming and test-taking.


That's not me -- there's no way I could run in heels -- but you get the idea!

When the semester began, it was a marathon of finding classes, meeting new colleagues and classmates, and finding somewhere to eat lunch since Aztec Center closed. But, nearing the semester’s end is a sprint, especially with finals week looming ahead.

This is a big time of year for me particularly – it’s where I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Daily and weekly deadlines aren’t for the faint of heart – every day, I publish new content to the news website that details all things SDSU and, each Tuesday, I create the SDSU NewsCenter e-newsletter that goes out to thousands of readers. It highlights the best of SDSU news, whether it’s a major research award, student or faculty achievement, or a noteworthy ranking. (Shameless plug: sign up for the weekly e-mail here.)

Besides my duties as editor of SDSU NewsCenter, I have other projects to finish up before the year’s end — whether it’s writing stories or blog posts (like this one), shooting video, profiling faculty and staff members, or just clearing off my desk so I can get a fresh start in January. At times, it almost seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

But, come finals week, things slow down substantially across campus. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t news to read – we have a few good stories left up our sleeves as we shut down 2011.

So, while it may be physically quiet on campus, be sure to check SDSU NewsCenter every now and again for the latest and greatest SDSU news. At the very least, don’t let my sprint go to waste!

What does your last-minute ‘sprint’ consist of?

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Filed under College Community, Events, Students, Uncategorized

Keeping Comments Courteous

There was a time when you could get your “daily dose of crazy” from the comments section of (or so said a colleague). But, those days may be numbered as the online arm of the San Diego Union-Tribune moved to Facebook comments earlier this week.

bronze figure with loudspeaker

Sharing your opinion is one thing...

The UT explained in an article that they hope the move away from anonymous comments will lead to “more civil and constructive” dialogue between readers. While it’s too early to tell if this has happened, several other newspapers have already instituted Facebook comments, like the Los Angeles Times, or are in the process of doing so, like USA Today, who is rolling it out on their online blogs in the coming week. And others, like the New York Times and Washington Post, are considering it.

Prior to the change, reading through comments on any SignOnSanDiego article often required the mental equivalent of a flak jacket. Because of the facelessness of the commenting system, things got ugly (and off-topic) quickly. Unsurprisingly, the media sees censorship as anathema, so comments were rarely censored.

But, by putting a face to a real name, newspapers and other media organization hope people will think twice about what they say — just like they do in real life — and employ a little self-censorship. Would uglycommenter78 still say the same thing if he was instead listed as John Smith and had his picture posted next to his name? It’s an interesting exercise and one that will be played out in the (online) court of opinion for some time.

All of this examination basically leads up to the policy we employ on SDSU NewsCenter — which can be found here and is linked to from every story on the site (see “Comments Policy” in the footer).

We have a few guiding principles that we use in moderating comments both on SDSU NewsCenter and on the university’s Facebook page.  We don’t mind disagreement or frustration. We dislike spam (who doesn’t?) and have zero tolerance for hate speech.  Still, we rarely delete comments.

Maybe that’s because we’re lucky, that we’re all Aztecs or maybe it’s because of the system we employ, DISQUS, which lets users create profiles anonymously or based on existing social networking profiles. Either way, we’ll keep an eye on things.

So, read, comment and get a (courteous) conversation going.


Filed under New Media