CSSA President Dominic Quan Treseler Supports Students Across 23 CSU Campuses

by | Oct 13, 2023 | Featured, Leadership

Photo by Miya Hailey from the Cal State Student Association.

This past May, Dominic Quan Treseler, ’24 Political Science, was elected as president of the Cal State Student Association (CSSA), a student-led organization that supports and advocates for students across all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses. In all 64 years of CSSA’s existence, it is believed that only one other San José State student has served as president: Vic Lee, an SJSU student, took the role of president of what was then called the California State College Student President’s Association (CSCSPA) back in 1968.

Treseler began his first year at SJSU in the fall of 2019. He wasn’t certain what he wanted to do with his life, but he was deeply interested in politics. “As I became more involved in my classes and the political space in the San José area, politics really became my passion,” said Treseler. “I’m not someone who likes to go after titles. For me, the drive for taking this position comes from wanting to serve. It comes from a sense of responsibility and wanting to support students.” 

An Interest in Student Government is Sparked 

Originally from Berkeley, California, Treseler knew that SJSU would be a good fit for him. “I love the culture we have here,” said Treseler. “When I came here for the first time and saw the campus, I just knew this was going to be a great experience.”

During his first year of college, Treseler became a part of the fraternity Phi Kappa Phi, where he formed strong friendships and found mentors who helped support and shape him. But after COVID-19 hit, things went on pause. Treseler decided to take a gap year, serving as a fulfillment worker at Target. He returned to campus in the fall of 2021, ready to fully integrate himself back into the college experience. It was during this year that he got involved in student government.

For the first time ever, Treseler traveled to Sacramento, lobbying on behalf of CSSA priorities as a student-at-large on SJSU’s lobby core committee. A year later, he served as director of Legislative Affairs for Associated Students, while also serving as a governing member of the CSSA. Treseler’s involvement in government even extended beyond SJSU. He worked for local elected officials Assemblymember Ash Kalra, U.S Representative Ro Khanna and San José City Councilmember Peter Ortiz, whom he feels were instrumental in his journey.

Edwin Tan, who is the director of advocacy and community relations at SJSU, has worked closely with Treseler over the past two years. “Dom exemplifies what it means to be a Spartan,” Tan said. “With humility, he seeks to understand how to improve the student experience and actively works to build relationships with others in order to better advocate for issues important to students.”  

Moving Forward 

Treseler’s priorities as president of CSSA include ensuring that tangible action is taken to close the equity gap for underrepresented students across all 23 CSU campuses. This past June, the CSU published a report entitled “Advancing Black Student Success and Elevating Black Excellence in the CSU: A Call to Action.” The report explores possible ways to address the decline of Black student enrollment, retention and graduation rates across all CSU campuses.

Treseler hopes to do what he can to ensure these recommendations, which include developing inclusive and culturally relevant curriculum, are implemented at all 23 universities. He is also mindful of Graduation Initiative 2025, which is part of the CSU’s effort to ensure that every student has equal opportunity to achieve a college degree.

Every other month, Treseler travels to Long Beach for CSU Board of Trustee meetings. He also attends  the CSSA Board of Directors plenary meetings, which include representatives from all CSU campuses. These meetings happen every other month in person or over Zoom. “I’m always connecting with people from the Chancellor’s Office about different things, and talking to folks in the legislature about different bills that affect CSU students,” said Treseler. 

After graduating from San José State in the spring of 2024, Treseler hopes to work in the legislature in Sacramento with a focus on higher education. He’s also open to the possibility of staying in the South Bay and doing community-oriented work with local elected officials.

“I was a shy, unengaged kid in high school who never thought of myself as a leader or someone who could mentor others,” said Treseler. “But coming to SJSU, I had my heart open to the university and the opportunities it provided, and I’ve felt like being here has transformed me as a person. And I know that’s the experience of so many other people who have graduated from this university.”