Executive Vice Presidential Candidate: Melinda Leavitt

Major: Accounting Minors: Spanish

Year: Junior

Why are you running for EVP?

I chose to run for EVP after the current EVP, Shannon Eshoff, suggested I consider running. I originally applied for the Senior Class Coordinator position, but wasn't offered the position. Figuring that God had made it clear I wouldn't be in ASWU next year, I was content with having a job off campus for the upcoming year. When Shannon asked if I would consider running, I told her I hadn't even thought of it as a possibility because I was scared of campaigning, though I was drawn towards pursuing the position. After consulting many close friends, I decided to run. The entire situation has been a leap of faith and has been a blast. I've received a lot of support and have enjoyed meeting students who live in other dorms that I would not otherwise connect with on campus. I've also learned a lot about myself and realize that God is orchestrating everything; it’s out of my control.

What changes would you like to bring to ASWU next year?

I feel that ASWU is doing a wonderful job and doesn't need to reinvent any wheel. There are many opportunities, however, where we can shore up the slack and build our professional image. As the current ASWU Assembly Secretary, I have observed and participated in every meeting and discussion and we need to be more efficient and time-conscious. There needs to be accountability in the senators' jobs in regards to putting out newsletters every week so that the students are informed. I believe that if everyone is held accountable in the jobs they were hired and elected to, we as an assembly can work more efficiently and transparently. Coupled with working efficiently, ASWU also needs to adhere to Parliamentary Procedure in the assembly meetings. Those rules of discussion and decision making cause meetings to run efficiently while being respectful to the participants' voices. I have experience in Parli Pro from competing in it as an event in various clubs in high school. I think it is vital we start the year off setting the standard of using Parli Pro so that meetings don't turn into a free-for-all forum. When we sit down to a meeting, we are there to do our jobs and not waste time. I want to put an ASWU opinions' box up where students can write in their concerns or questions about ASWU or campus life in general. Then we can take what the students are concerned about and try to take action as best as we possibly can.

What are the unique ideas, issues, and proposals in your campaign platform?

During my time campaigning I have heard many students voice concern over the lack of communication from ASWU, or short notice given on big issues. I think it’s vital that we are communicating clearly and early on in our decision-making processes. I want to make sure that everyone in ASWU is being conscious of who they are serving and give ample notification when large issues arise. Senators hold the unique position of being direct communicators from ASWU to the students whom they serve. Putting out newsletters, though small, is highly impactful in the lives of students and they have come to expect that form of communication. In my opinion, when newsletters with events and issues are posted, there won't be as great of a need for the high quantity of emails that are sent from ASWU. Though most students agree that emails are alright, I think we can eliminate a small portion of those emails by learning to advertise in a more timely manner in the newsletters. This puts the responsibility on the Senators to do their job in a timely manner. I seem to hear a common theme across campus of expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of newsletters from many senators. This issue needs to be addressed and taken care of immediately, in my mind. I would hold senators, especially, accountable in this area so that there is credibility given to these positions and ASWU as a whole.

Why is the EVP position important to the student body?

ASWU is made up of coordinators and senators. We need to be working as a cohesive unit, despite our different viewpoints and areas of campus we represent so that students' voices are being heard. My job would be to hold ASWU accountable and keep them motivated so that we are working efficiently and transparently because we ultimately serve the students. Having the role of the EVP puts a person specifically on the job to do just that. The EVP is there to listen, process, and help the set direction of ASWU.

Why should we vote for you, instead of your opponent?

I'm personable and outgoing. I love working with people and motivating them to do their best where their passions and talents lie. I also love helping people and serving them in any way I possibly can. I have experience in various clubs, jobs, ASWU, and university-level leadership positions which all have built me into the confident person I am today and have given me skills which are applicable to this role. Plainly put, EVP is a people-oriented job and I feel confident that my skills set and love for working with others make me the best candidate to serve in this role.