Two Seats of Office, One Cal Poly Humboldt Student

Cal Poly student runs for a seat for both Arcata City Council and Student President of Associated Students

Cal Poly Humboldt student Chase Marcum has made his bid for a seat on the Arcata City Council and as student president of Associated Students. 

If elected to Arcata City Council on June 7, Marcum, age 39, would be tasked with the duties of policy making, budget decisions in the community and deciding strategic objectives, according to a Eureka City Council Member. As an Associated Student President, Marcum would be responsible for managing the A.S. organization and being the main advocate for student voices. 

“I think we need more people like myself from non-traditional backgrounds that have experienced great diversities throughout life to step into these roles. The people that have never been given the opportunity to lift themselves to a certain level, we need more people such as that to enter into leadership, politics, governance like it does not always have to be a purebred politician that goes into these roles,” Marcum said. 

On March 28, El Leñador interviewed Marcum about running for city council and he did not disclose his decision to run for president of Associated Students. 

Marcum is from Sonoma, California. He is double majoring in anthropology and international studies with a minor in scientific diving at Cal Poly Humboldt.

Currently he is the Administrative Affairs Vice President of Associated Students on campus and has served in the sub-committee of finance, sub-committee on funded programs, the Instructionally related activities committee and the student fee advisory. Additionally, he has also been a Cypress residential advisor and a peer mentor for the anthropology department. 

“This semester in his role as V.P. on the A.S. board he has always been a cheerful face and very helpful. He is one of the friendliest people I’ve met on Board and I do have high hopes for his ability on the City Council should he win,” Zeen Vincent, Environmental Sustainability Officer said. 

According to City Clerk Bridget Dory, it is unknown if Marcum is the first Cal Poly Humboldt student to run for Arcata City Council as there are no records kept in previous years.

“For Arcata City Council I 110% stand behind him just because I think it is imperative to get the perspective of a Cal Poly Humboldt student onto the City Council as we have such a big presence and impact financially as well in the City of Arcata and I think it makes so much sense for Chase to be there,” Juan Guerrero, legislative vice president  said. “In terms of A.S President that’s a whole different route and I’m really interested in looking at his qualifications and I hope that the student body will be able to assess based on the campaigns happening soon.” 

Guerrero is also running for A.S student president this election. After the interview in a follow up statement Guerrero emailed an additional statement. 

“I wanted to clarify a statement I made earlier. I think you asked if I thought the AS President and City Council was too much for Chase. My response is that it’s up for Chase to decide but each job is a lot on their own.”


Students equate to a large portion of Arcata’s population and as the population of students increases, Marcum believes it is that much more important to uplift student voices and opportunities.

“More student services, that’s one of the big things I have been working on from the beginning and I’m trying to continue, which is to develop something to give access to students locally like health care, dental, and vision. We should be connecting to the local professionals in the town that offer those services and we can do that if we collaborate together,” Marcum said. 

He believes if elected as both a member of the Arcata City Council and A.S president, that the two positions will ultimately work hand in hand and is not worried about taking on the workload. 

“I don’t think I’ll stress myself out, if anything I think it will help, not necessarily on the individual level, but on the community level,” Marcum said. “It’s extremely rewarding to help others and to help your community and if that’s a little stressful and takes sacrifice then I feel like that’s a worthy stress and a worthy sacrifice.” 

In the months leading up to both elections Marcum plans to keep a transparent campaign and hopes to continue engaging with students and community members. 

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