EVP Candidate: Ben Wiseman

Major: Biology Minor: Spanish

Year: Junior

What is your class load like for next year and what will your other responsibilities be?

My class load is going to be pretty heavy. I have a busy schedule with a fair amount of biology classes that I still have to get done. I am probably looking at 17 and 16 credits for fall and spring. It will be busy. For other responsibilities, I wouldn’t have another job. It depends on if I get this position or not. I usually would do some sort of volunteer activity, which I wouldn’t do if I got this job. I would still probably stay involved with Kipos, which is the gardening club, because I have been with them since freshman year but I would really have to prioritize things and limit myself to academics, ASWU and a little bit of fun.

Why are you running for this ASWU position?

I am running for EVP for a few reasons. One is it seems like a good opportunity for me to use the experiences I have had at Whitworth in student leadership, just as a student and during study abroad. I have kind of been involved with multiple areas and I think EVP and ASWU in general is a good way for me to use that as I look at my final year at Whitworth. Also, I am excited for the opportunity to kind of introduce a new feel to ASWU. I would like ASWU to have a more academic focus, have a focus that is more concentrated on things that are pertinent to all students. Maybe a little bit less entertainment. The potential of what ASWU has to do by organizing the students is big and it could potentially give opportunities that are more meaningful to students besides some of the activities that ASWU coordinates.

What do you think is the greatest need of the student body? How do you propose to meet that need?

For the student body as a whole, every person has their own thing that they are pursuing at Whitworth. The idea of a student body need should be centered on the commonalities that the student body has. Those are based in the reason that we are at school. I think it’s based in academics. ASWU puts a lot of effort into making opportunities for students to enjoy their time at Whitworth. I think that’s a big need for students, Whitworth does that great, it’s really enjoyable to be on campus. I also think, however there is a need for student organization in academic paths, as well as in typical student life paths. First, I mean looking at the position of EVP, the main goal of the position is to support the members of the ASWU committee. So that’s the media people, the senators, the representatives and the programmers, coordinators. A lot of the influence I would have would be, encouraging them to maybe look at some academic-type activities. Encourage them to see how their coordinator position could do something different than what it does every year. Maybe target an academic need. I also think a way for this to happen smoothly if there is more coordination with the coordinators on ASWU and I think a good way for that to happen is if there is some sort of support network or a little coalition. For example, there are a lot of clubs that work on social justice issues and I think that some aspects of ASWU could be related to that if there was a position on ASWU that worked with it.

What does the EVP do?

Primarily, it is there to support ASWU and make ASWU run well. It’s there to make sure that all of the members of ASWU are doing their jobs well, but also feeling supported. That they’re finding the resources they need to be able to do their job well and staying organized, that they’re working as a team. And then in addition to this, the EVP serves on the committees that it serves on and I think it offers a leadership to give a group goal and a group purpose.

What three things do you specifically want to have accomplished by the end of the first semester if you are elected?

Primarily, I think the idea of a club coalition type of thing that could work with ASWU where people could come together and share ideas on similar topics and have a discussion about that and a plan to move forward on that idea would be a good idea I could have by the first semester. I would like to bring up the possibility of some sort of scholarship idea that would be funded by ASWU by the student body to develop our fellow students. There’s multiple different ways that this could happen and it depends a lot on people’s input. A lot of situations come up when people want to study abroad and there’s obviously an extra expense so the scholarship is to help them. It could be some sort of an emergency situation scholarship when something comes up and they need a little bit of help or it could be that someone is going to have to take school off for a semester and work, and maybe ASWU could help them with that. Something that just supports the student body. Then a third, looking more into the relationship with the center for service learning. I think that they have the potential. If ASWU wants to be involved with the community, the service learning center I think is the way we should use that. For some sort of community involvement, I think entering into a relationship with the service learning center that is enhanced and maybe some sort of new programming joined between ASWU and the service learning center.

What are your weaknesses in terms of the position you’re running for?

I think this can be a weakness or it brings freshness: I don’t have ASWU experience. Part of the EVP’s position is to coordinate all the different positions on ASWU so it will be difficult, especially at the beginning, to relate to everyone since I haven’t spent a lot of time in ASWU. My only experience is sitting in the meetings last fall semester. I think that will be the area for continual improvement for me. Working on learning how to do one on ones with people and how to really encourage them and support them, while also kind of putting my own influence on their situation.

Is there anything else we need to know about you to make this decision?

I am excited to grow in the position. A lot of ASWU is still a little bit foreign to me. If I am elected, the week of training will be very forming in my ideas of what ASWU can actually do and very forming in my ideas about how to move forward. I have all these ideas in my head, all these ideals of what I want ASWU to be, and those are going to be changed during training and during the year as I realize what ASWU can and what ASWU can’t do.

FVP Candidate: Kevin Gleim

EVP Candidate: Eli Casteel