The ninety-third session of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada is approaching and Empower Nevada is a campaign run by two individuals hoping to empower students to be their own leaders.
Boris Carpio Guerra, presidential candidate, and Hannah Alquiza, vice presidential candidate, are running as a duo for the 2023 to 2024 academic year.
Both Carpio Guerra and Alquiza are currently involved in the association: Carpio Guerra as the director of campus wellness and Alquiza as the assistant director for marketing and interns. Alquiza started with ASUN as an intern in 2020.
The Empower campaign deeply resonates with Alquiza because she says Carpio Guerra is the one who empowered her when she first arrived at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“I was a little shy Asian girl who didn’t feel empowered enough to speak out and speak up,” Alquiza explained, “I want to be the voice that Boris was to me in terms of empowering students to make them feel like they have a voice to do anything that they want to do.”
Carpio Guerra on the other hand has felt empowered since his freshman year. He said he has been visiting the university for 12 years now as part of the Dean’s Future Scholars Program; he has visited the campus every year since sixth grade.
“I felt like this was actually home so that when I came here, I didn’t feel discouraged,” Carpio Guerra stated. “I already felt empowered by all the resources that were available, and all the programs that helped me find my voice, my leadership skills, and all that good stuff.”
Carpio Guerra hopes the campaign will lead students to discover the university’s opportunities and resources to use them at their fullest potential.
Additionally, the impact of COVID-19 made Carpio Guerra and Alquiza feel like they lost their way in terms of leadership. Alquiza explained she lost the confidence to go and speak out because COVID-19 halted everything for a whole year; Carpio Guerra also felt discouraged.
“When I applied for ASUN, so last minute like a day before the deadline because I felt discouraged just because of the situation we were in, which is no one’s fault,” Carpio Guerra said. “But I’m glad I did it. I found my own little community out of all the many communities that I found, and I think it kind of helped relieve all the pain that COVID brought.”
Another aspect of Empower Nevada is to uplift the voices of underrepresented students.
“We [underrepresented identities] can make the change and we don’t have to abide by others’ norms or like other stuff that has already been done. We can make a difference,” Carpio Guerra said.
Since Carpio Guerra’s freshman year at UNR, he knew he wanted to eventually run for president at ASUN. During the summer 2022 is when he asked if Alquiza wanted to run with him Alquiza runs her own department of interns and he saw how much she’s empowered them with having them find their voice.
“I see that as VP she’s able to do that in a much higher level and a much more level of impact on larger audiences,” Carpio Guerra explained.
ASUN elections start on March 15 at 8 a.m. to March 16 at 5 p.m. on Pack Life where students can vote for presidential, vice presidential and senatorial candidates, as well as ballot questions.
Lizette Ramirez can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.