• University Student Union Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Over the last few years, the USU Board of Directors (BOD) and its committees have launched popular CSUN student destinations including the Student Recreation Center, Oasis Wellness Center, Pride Center and Veterans Resource Center. In addition, the student-led board increased funding for large-scale events such as Matador Nights, Carnaval and Crunch Time. Then, in Spring 2019, the BOD voted to initiate the successful student referendum to build the transformative “New Heart of Campus renovation and expansion project that is now scheduled to open during the 2022–23 academic year. 

As the student leaders of a non-profit auxiliary of the CSUN campus, the Board of Directors is primarily responsible for developing policy for the USU. The overall purposes and responsibilities of the BOD are to maintain USU buildings and facilities, oversee financial matters, facilitate programs and adopt policies in the best interest of students, in keeping with the policies set forth by the Trustees of the California State University system and CSUN.

Start doing more now for your campus through involvement with the University Student Union Board of Directors.

Are you interested in joining the USU BOD? There are three ways to get involved:

  1. Run for a seat on the BOD in the Spring Elections. Each spring, students run in the AS/USU elections for five of the ten student seats.
  2. Apply for an open seat on the BOD if there are any vacancies. Contact the BOD Assistant to find out about any current vacancies.
  3. Join a USU Board of Directors standing committee to learn about the USU and BOD while developing skills for the future. The standing committees include: the audit committee, the facilities and commercial services committee, the finance committee, and the personnel committee. Students who serve on committees and demonstrate leadership potential are always encouraged to run for a seat on the BOD.

Students who serve on the BOD or a committee must have a minimum cumulative and semester 2.0 GPA, and must have completed at least one semester at California State University, Northridge.


  1. Enhance USU marketing efforts within the USU, and throughout California State University, Northridge while promoting and providing information about the Center on Centers/Cross Cultural Center Initiative.
  2. Create a Mentor Program to help form a stronger relationship with USU faculty, staff and administration in hopes of developing student leader’s professional endeavors.
  3. Collaborate with Associated Students to continue strengthening relations and better support our student body.
  4. Continue to spread inclusivity within the USU and outside the USU while empowering student organizations on our campus by working with them to accomplish their goals.

Board Members

Albert Martinez

Albert Martinez, Chair

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Major: Chicana/o Studies
Involvement: EOP Admissions Outreach Intern, Resilient Scholar and USU Board of Directors

Albert shares a commitment to helping marginalized and underrepresented populations of former foster youth and the formerly incarcerated. He exercises his leadership skills around the campus and also actively participates in outreach to the most underserved communities. He is dedicated to being an advocate and role model not only to those who relate to his experience, but also those who are in pursuit of fulfilling their dreams.

Jacob Akopnik

Jacob Akopnik, Vice Chair
Chair, Retirement Committee

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Major: Political Science



Ayana Galves

Ayana Galves, Student Representative
Co-Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Major: Biology Major/Africana Studies Minor
Involvement: USU Board of Directors

Ayana is a CSUN Freshman and first-generation African American student. She strives to promote community throughout the university while helping the USU become a safe space for all students. One of her main goals is to give all CSUN students a voice within the USU.


Bryant Garcia, Student Representative
Co-Chair, Personnel Committee

Pronouns: He/Him/His





Robert Jacome, Student Representative
Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Pronouns: He/Him/His





Christian Lipton, Student Representative
Chair, Facilities and Operations Committee

Pronouns: He/Him/His





Gisselle Olmedo Torres, Student Representative
Chair, Personnel Committee
Co-Chair, Retirement Committee

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers




Fredy Perez, Student Representative
Co-Chair, Facilities and Operations Committee





Karina Perez, Student Representative
Chair, Finance Committee

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers





Charlie Rodriguez-Salazar, Student Representative
Co-Chair, Finance Committee

Pronouns: He/Him/His




Debra L. Hammond

Debra L. Hammond, Executive Secretary

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers




Dr. Carroll Brown, Alumni Representative

Pronouns: He/Him/His




Benjamin Plotkin, Staff Representative

Pronouns: He/Him/His





Dr. Edith Winterhalter, University Representative

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers



Deion Joseph Turner

Dr. Tadeh Zirakian, Faculty Representative

Pronouns: He/Him/His





Jonathan Hay, Associated Students President*

Pronouns: He/Him/His

*This position serves as a liaison to the Board of Directors and is not eligible to vote.

Meeting Schedule

  • July 19, 2021 (via Zoom; Meeting ID: summfall2021bodmeetings)
  • Aug. 30, 2021 (Grand Salon)
  • Sept. 13, 2021 (Grand Salon)
  • Oct. 25, 2021 (Grand Salon)
  • Nov. 15, 2021 (Grand Salon) [Canceled]
  • Dec. 6, 2021 (Grand Salon)
  • Jan. 24, 2022 (Grand Salon)
  • Feb. 14, 2022 (Grand Salon)
  • March 7, 2022 (Grand Salon)
  • April 11, 2022 (Grand Salon)
  • May 9, 2022 (Grand Salon)
  • June 13, 2022 (Grand Salon)

All meetings are held at 12:30 p.m.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, these meetings may be modified and/or offered virtually.

Other Important BOD Dates

  • July 2020: BOD Summer Retreat*
  • July/Aug. 2020: Committee Chair/Co-Chair Training*
  • Aug. 19, 2020: Student Summit*
  • Aug. 27, 2020: Matafest*
  • Sept. 7, 2020: Holiday — Labor Day
  • Sept. 18, 2020: Matador Nights*
  • Nov. 2020: ACUI Region I Conference*
  • Nov. 11, 2020: Holiday — Veterans Day
  • Nov. 2020: NIRSA Region VI Conference*
  • Nov. 26–27, 2020: Holiday — Thanksgiving
  • Dec. 9–15, 2020: Fall Final Exams
  • Dec. 24, 2020 – Jan. 1, 2021: Winter Break
  • Jan. 21, 2021: Student Summit
  • Jan. 18, 2021: Holiday — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Feb. 2021: NIRSA Annual Conference
  • March 2021: ACUI Annual Conference
  • March 15–21, 2021: Spring Recess
  • March 31, 2021: Holiday — César Chávez Day
  • April 16, 2021: USU Night Marketing
  • May 2021: BOD Year-End Celebration
  • May 15–21, 2021: Spring Final Exams
  • May 31, 2021: Holiday — Memorial Day
  • June 2021: BOD Orientation

*Due to COVID-19, these programs may be modified and/or offered virtually.


More Information

If you would like more information about the BOD or are interested in applying for an open position, please provide your information below and we’ll be in touch soon.