Major: Health Science Minor: Sociology
What is your class load like for next year and what will your other responsibilities be?
I’m actually really excited about my class load for next year. I just met with my adviser, and I will be taking about three classes a semester. Probably about 12 or 13 credits. It’s going to be pretty laid back. I have to take three credits of an internship, but I’m planning on cranking that all out during Jan Term.
Why are you running for re-election?
The last three years I’ve just dedicated my time at Whitworth to ASWU, to make sure the student experience is the best it can be. I want to make sure I can bring what I’ve learned this year, both the good and the bad, into next year and really make the experience that much better. And bring some consistency to ASWU because it’s hard to have all that turnover for all our team and have a leader who doesn’t know what is going on to start off the year. And I know that I can start off the year pretty strong and keep it going.
What do you think is the greatest need of the student body? How do you propose to meet that need?
In response to the campus climate survey that was conducted this year by Rona Halualani & Associates, and also with Larry Burnley, there’s a lot of need for addressing the issue of diversity and looking at that and explain why to the students. So I just want to be able to make sure that ASWU can support whatever is going on with the IDC (Institutional Diversity Committee). They took all the findings from the survey and from the curriculum review and they’re going to implement a lot of changes and initiatives to make sure campus is more inclusive, more diverse, and just a better environment for students and faculty and staff to be around. I’ve already had conversations with the CDAs, with our cultural events coordinator, Andriana (Siefe) and also with our cultural events coordinator for next year, Ashton Skinner, to see how we can best address this issue. Just to see how ASWU can best support that, because I know that’s not my role implement all these changes but it is my role to support what the university is doing.
How would you assess your performance as ASWU President this year?
I think my year in the role as president has been great. I’ve been able to connect with everyone on my team in whatever way that is, in supporting all that they’re doing--in the dorm, across campus and all their events. Because I know that I’m not the best at everything but they have their strengths in those areas so I’m going to best support them to make sure that ASWU as a whole is a great organization that is doing the best they can for the university. And, I think just with my relationships that I’ve been able to make with people across campus, both administration and students, I’ve been able to use those contacts to make sure that I can point people in the right direction. That’s a lot of what my job is to do, is to make sure people are getting the resources they need to make change on campus.
Are you planning to approach the position differently next year?
Some things I would like to see happen for next year, some specific ideas--I want to see class focus groups. So, myself and the other two vice presidents and maybe some other people from ASWU meet once a month with 10 or so people from each graduating class and see what are some concerns on campus and how can we address these and what are some things that we are doing great on campus and how can we best support these. I think that will give a lot more voice to what we’re doing. I know our senators and reps are already doing a great job--it’s been a blessing to work with them this past year. But I want to see a better way for myself, (and) the other vice presidents to get a lot of information from the students in a lot more intentional way.
Another idea I have is for orientation weekend--do a mass survey for all the incoming students. They all meet multiple times in the auditorium, and I just want to give them a survey either electronically or on paper so we get all that information and utilize that information to plan our programming both for fun and for educational purposes, like our sustainability coordinator and our cultural events coordinator.
The last one is a complete overhaul of our ASWU Constitution and By-Laws. A lot of it is inconsistent from what we see has been on the ASWU website. There are things on the ASWU website that I haven’t even heard before that aren’t in our constitution. And there’s a lot of major and minor errors, just grammatical and it’s just we can’t actually say. Like KWRS radio is illegal for us to say and it’s just a lot of things I think we need to change and look over. And also, along with that, is look at our election guidelines. It is very clear in the by-laws, just the general guidelines. But there is a sheet of paper that gets passed on from EVP to EVP that decides it’s 20 posters for executives across campus for the 11 by 17’s. But that’s not approved and hasn’t been approved by ASWU and that’s what gets passed down. So I think a complete review for the guidelines for election is going to be needed to give the SEC (Student Election Committee) more power to what they’re saying to people.
Why should we vote for you rather than your opponent?
I think Niko is a great leader. He’s put himself in many different places across campus over his time here. But I think the role of president, I’ve learned this a lot this year, that you need to know a lot about ASWU first and foremost. Starting off the year with training of all our 30 or so people, you need to know the answers that they’re going to ask questions for. And my time, just in ASWU as a rep, as a senator, and then as president has given me the knowledge to know I can answer all those questions or if I don’t know them I know where to go to get all those questions answered. I think my experience and know how and what I’ve learned that didn’t work this year and what did work I can take into next year to make it a lot better.
Is there anything else we need to know about you to make this decision?
Just my general philosophy on leadership is I believe that each person has their own God-given strength and we should really utilize and build off those strengths. There’s a verse that I have posted up on my wall from this year that I would like to read. It’s 1 Peter 4:10, and it’s ‘Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.’ I truly believe in this statement because I know I’m not the best at every single thing that ASWU does. But I know I have a team that is the best at what they do and I can see how I can best support them to see what we do as a whole is best for the students.