Student government offering new internship program at SF State

Long an enigma to most students, Associated Students Inc., is offering a new way to get students involved with the organization through a student internship program called Project Connect.

Requiring a brief application and availability on Monday afternoons, 10 interns will be selected for this pilot semester.

“We want to spread the word and be more visible and transparent to our students,” said Yesenia Martinez, the senior representative for ASI.

The idea for the program was introduced in May. Members of ASI heard that a lot of other California State Universities offered internship programs and thought it would be a good way to increase student involvement. ASI has based the program off successful models from other schools, said Regie De Los Santos, behavioral and social sciences representative.

De Los Santos said the goal of the internship is to show students what student government actually does and to offer hands-on experience working with other student organizations.

“One goal would be for students to run for student government and also foster student leaders,” De Los Santos said.

De Los Santos said the group hopes the program will lead to the interns running for ASI next year but the interns are not required to do so.

As part of their duties, interns for ASI will shadow elected representatives, sit in on standing committees, attend leadership workshops, sit in on board meetings and learn more about CSU advocacy issues.

The application includes a few simple questions such as availability, major and a designated area to fill in extracurricular activities and volunteer work. A four-member panel of current ASI members will then rate the applicants on a 1 to 4 scale based on previous involvement in leadership programs and likelihood to succeed.

Although it is a simple application, Martinez believes the level of interest will be reflected in the tone and attention to detail applicants spend describing previous involvement.

Freshman Danielle Wright, 17, heard about the internship at Welcome Days and decided to apply. She was already looking for a way to get involved and decided to ask her roommate, who is already a part of ASI, for more details about what the internship entailed.

“The application took five minutes. It was a simple, basic, general question,” Wright said. “I think it was perfect length, especially for Welcome Days. It was just enough to realize it’s serious but not too tedious.”

The ten students who complete the internship will each receive a $300 book voucher, valid at the campus bookstore.

The vouchers will be paid for from fees that students pay each semester.

Although the syllabus is still being prepared on a week-by-week guide of the activities, the pilot program has already been approved by the ASI Board of Directors. If students want to receive course credit for the internship, they would be considered for it on case by case basis.

So far, ASI has received more than 70 applications, but is continuing to accept them until Friday, Sept. 16. Interviews begin Monday and the internship is set to start Sept. 27.

Update: Project Connect is not the proprietor of the internship program. It is its own separate program.