Executive Vice President candidate: Savanna Jenkins

Major: Music (pre-vet) Year: Junior

 

Why are you running for this ASWU position?

I would love to be on leadership through ASWU because I've had experiences on leadership as  an RA, a student success coach, and I've been on leadership in ensembles, so I think my experience would benefit me in the position. Also I love being with people and I'm a huge extrovert and I enjoy having relational jobs and this would definitely be one of those. As EVP you're meeting with senators and RDs. It's a lot about communication. Communication classes have been some of my favorite classes I've taken at Whitworth. Also I would love to be challenged and stretched and to be a team player and mentor and friend and professional co-worker through this position. Lastly, I'm the only female executive candidate running, and I'd love to represent 60 percent of campus. We do have quite a large female population.

 

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

I'll be finishing up my music major and pre-vet work. I won't have an overloaded course load; it'll be about medium. I'll be in ensembles and I'll be in jazz band and wind symphony. I'll continue to be in those ensembles I've participated in, because that's part of my major and I'm really passionate about it. One thing coming into this position that I was cautious about: I talked to one of my professors in the music department, and he cautioned me against stunning because he was afraid that times would conflict, but I talked to people and figured that out. So in terms of meetings and times it won't be a problem.

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

I think that this position is more the humans resources side of ASWU, and so there's a lot of communicative and relational aspects to the job, and a lot of behind the scenes communication. Through that, supporting the team in what we've decided as something we'd like to move forward in, whether it's adding language to the [faculty handbook], like they've been doing this year. I'd really like to bring more clarity to the RD, senator and ASWU communication system and hold senators accountable to how they vote in ASWU meetings. That's something I could work on in this position. Something that I've noticed through my experience in the music program is that there's somewhat of a disconnect between ASWU and the music department. The academics and ASWU don't really have and understanding or relationship. That would start by just continuing to involve myself in activities.

How would you assess your performance in other positions of leadership that you’ve had?

I loved being RA. I think as an RA, I had so much fun. That was like the highlight of my year, spending time with that group of women and also men in the Stewville community. I think I did well and brought energy to the team last year. I came in and brought fresh ideas and I was a new face. I loved getting to know people on the team and really cherished those relationships. I did well there. In leadership in ensembles, I've organized a bunch of different events for barbecues and social things geared toward having people get to know each other more and building relationships. That is beneficial

Why should we vote for you rather than your opponent?

I think you should vote for me rather than my opponent because—for one thing, I'm female, like I said before. Also, I have a lot of experience in a great deal of other places on campus like music and science. I have my feet in both areas. I've enjoyed continuing to get involved in those things and stretching myself by trying out for different activities. I love Whitworth, and Chase [Weholt] loves Whitworth too, but I want to bring a fun and engaging and relational dynamic to the team. I'm also involved in other things besides just school. My life isn't just Whitworth; I've vaccinated buffalo before, and I'm interested in doing different things with helping out at Whit Pres and so I've really involved myself in the community of Spokane. I know a lot of places here since I grew up in Spokane. It would be wonderful for me to be in a leadership position at a university and give back to the Spokane community that has meant so much to me, and also give back to the Whitworth community that's meant so much to me.

This position also is not so much of a vision-casting position, but more of a supportive position where you are working on communication in the team and making sure those aspects are going well and scheduling and such. It's not so much the face of Whitworth or dealing with finances, the nitty-gritty. I'm really passionate about the behind-the-scenes work.

How do you plan on working with the rest of ASWU?

I think when your'e on a team, being respectful and making sure you know your job and do your job well is really important. Holding yourself accountable to being the best you can be in the position you're given is so important. Getting to know the ins and outs of ASWU will be a new challenge for me, but it's not a hurdle that's impossible to overcome by any means, and I would fully intend to go the extra mile to make sure I'm comfortable with everything. Also as a team player, it's important to value the relationships of the people that you're on a team with and make sure you try to be friends. We're all students here and we're all in the same boat, and we're just regular old people. I want to make sure we're realistic about things as well, and you go out of your way to be a fun person and enjoyable and relatable.

 

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

One weakness of mine is that I haven't been a senator before. The thing about that is there's no real stair stepping from senator to EVP; that's what people seem to view. There's not an equivalent to that for FVP or for president. To me, I don't think that titles matter at all. It's more the willingness to learn and the attitude that you bring to the team and position that matters, and the determination and perseverance through challenges and the willingness to overcome and to compromise. That is something I wouldn't have a problem overcoming.

In some ways, it's a super positive thing that I haven't been a part of ASWU before, because I'm a new face. I've been to ASWU meetings, so I'm familiar with the workings there. I haven't had weekly meetings with the EVP, but I don't think that's something that is detrimental to the position for me.

Also, a new person coming into a new team will always have challenges getting to know people and understand how the dynamic functions. It'll be different across the board with different RA and ASWU teams. We just need to be willing to learn and change and fail and try again, and keep a positive demeanor throughout the entire process.

 

Interview conducted by two members of The Whitworthian's editorial board, editor-in-chief Katie Shaw and opinions editor Whitney Carter.

Whitworthian Endorsements ASWU 2015

President: Naji Saker Executive Vice President: Chase Weholt

Financial Vice President: Skyler Lamberd

 

President: Naji Saker

This board, though very torn on this difficult decision, endorses Naji Saker for ASWU president. For Saker, it seems as if the presidency is the culmination of his time at Whitworth. Although he has not had a position on ASWU before, as an RA for two years, he has demonstrated his leadership abilities within the Whitworth community. The other endorsements from this board have ASWU experience, and, if all three are elected, we think that it will be an effective team. Being an RA for two years and being a leader on the track team also show his ability to relate to, befriend and lead his peers, an important aspect of the presidential role. Saker also has a long list of connections at Whitworth and in the Spokane area, which is a great asset to bring to ASWU. Saker would be a face of needed diversity in ASWU and has the ability to represent the minority voices at Whitworth.

Although we have not endorsed Justin Botejue, after interviewing the candidates, this board thinks either of them would do a great job as president. They each bring a unique set of skills to the program that has the potential to impact the student body in a very positive way. Botejue has done an incredibly thorough job of making life better for his residents in Stewville and his range of experiences in and out of Whitworth leadership is impressive. We thoroughly applaud his consistent and tireless efforts to improve the quality of student life on campus.

 

 

Executive Vice President: Chase Weholt

This board endorses Chase Weholt for the position of executive vice president (EVP). Weholt has spent the past two years in leadership roles, first as senator, then as RA. He stated plainly that if he is elected, he will limit activities outside classes to the EVP position alone; this dedication convinced us of his passion and commitment to ASWU and to Whitworth. Weholt also has a wealth of experience in working on and in ASWU committees despite not having a position this year. This affirms that he is both qualified to serve as EVP and again, that he has dedicated a significant amount of time already to ASWU and to serving the student body.

Although this board has chosen not to endorse Savanna Jenkins, we do not doubt her passion or ability to relate to and connect with her colleagues in ASWU. She would serve Whitworth well in the position of executive vice president. However, the position of EVP is time-consuming; Jenkins will be taking a nearly full course-load and participating in many of Whitworth's music programs, which might limit her from performing in her job as well as she would with a freer schedule.

 

Financial Vice President: Skyler Lamberd

This board endorses Skyler Lamberd for the position of financial vice president (FVP). As Duvall senator, Lamberd has experienced ASWU. He has also served on both the finance and the club chartering committees, which are directly headed by the FVP. Understanding how those committees are run and why they are needed is crucial for the FVP, and Lamberd is one step ahead by already having that knowledge. Being a math major will also be useful for Lamberd as he handles the ASWU budget.

Brett Pray, although we have not chosen to endorse him, would be an excellent FVP as well. Our main concern was that he has not had any leadership experience at Whitworth, although that is not for lack of trying, as he did apply to be an RA. Pray’s relational skills and his obvious desire to give back to Whitworth are assets. Pray’s economics background and familiarity with budgeting would be useful, but are not the most important part of the FVP’s job, and the position does not require an extensive financial background to be successful.

Presidential candidate: Naji Saker

Major: Chemistry Minor: Athletic Coaching

Year: Junior

 

Why are you running for this ASWU position?

I’ve been an RA for the past two years, and I was looking at next year and asking myself what kind of student leadership I wanted to do. I didn’t think my time to serve our community was done. I was thinking over the options, because I didn’t want to be RA for a third year, it takes a special person to do that. I was ready to get off campus. I’ll be living with a couple buddies next year off campus. At the beginning of the year, Jolyn Dalvig, who was the associate dean of student life, and I would share coffee every once in a while; I’d share a book with her, she’d share quotes with me. One morning she recommended that I run for this position. When I got a mentor like that to tell me that this would fit my strengths, it really opened my eyes to it. And comparing the position with EVP and president, I decided I wanted to run for president, because my leadership skills and experience does fit for the position better. It was a combination of my mentors supporting me and having a lot of support from my friends and family that made me want to do it. I think that I could serve the Whitworth community really well and I feel like it’s time for me to give back since I’ve grown so much from being here.

Being in Student Life for two years, I think I’ve reached the max capacity for how much I can grow in that position. Going to ASWU and being president, I think I can fit that position well. From a the “five strengths test,” I know I’m an achiever, have responsibility, am a relater, restorative and strategic. Each of this is a different piece of what the position of president needs. Being an achiever, I get things done. I need to be relatable; it’s the whole student body that you speak for [as president]. Responsibility speaks for itself. Strategic—having a strategic mind and always thinking of something new to be doing. And restorative: if there’s ever an issue, with my RA training even, I’m able to take care of it.

A difference in the RA and ASWU positions is in Student Life, we’re really just working with our hall and our dorms getting together. Being in a second year RA position, I’ve got to expand that more and branch out and talk to more administrators, like Jolyn and Dick Mandeville (he and I meet about once a month). Being able to build those bridges with our administration and other parts of campus is preparing me for that part of the position. I’m really looking forward to working with the administration.

 

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

I don’t plan on quitting on the track team. I wouldn’t be at Whitworth if it weren’t for track; it keeps me grounded and motivated. I’ll be done with my chemistry major at the end of this semester. So next year I’ll just have a couple gen eds. I just need my coaching internship credits (for my athletic coaching minor) which I’ll get over the summer. So it’s Core 350, my biblical literature and my american diversity. I’ll only have one class Monday, Wednesday and Friday and two or three on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m looking really open to be able to commit to the position as well as the track team.

 

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

I think each year is different. I can’t speak for the future and what the student body needs for next year, but from experiences in Student Life this year, I don’t know if our student body really knows how much our campus is affected by sexual assault. I really want to press on that and for our campus to be more aware and a safer place for those who have been sexually assaulted to be able to speak up and come to people for help and feel like they are worth something. They tend to shy away. I think it would help our campus rejuvenate as well as support one another. Going about that, I’d like to revamp Green Dot and for everyone to have their training or some sort of seminar.

Going off of that, statistics from Green Dot show that the least trained in Green Dot are male athletes. Being a male athlete, I can help in getting more of them trained through Green Dot and be able to set into situations. The sad fact is that athletes are going to be at parties more often than others. That’s where you’ll see where sexual assault happens. If I can help my peers be more aware of situations, we can help each other out and stop it from happening.

 

How would you assess your performance in other positions of leadership that you’ve had?

RA is definitely my most dominant leadership experience at Whitworth. I’m also president and founder of the CHAOS club and have been a leader on the track team. I’m confident in my job as RA. I know that it’s a tough job, but I’m confident in how I’ve done, and I think it speaks for itself that I got hired again. I also know all the RDs at a personal level and have built relationships and excelled in it. Halls do evaluations right before winter break. This year, I had 100 percent completion and scored around a 4.4 out of 5 on everything. I know I’m above average there.

 

Why should we vote for you rather than your opponent?

The biggest thing my opponent’s been saying is that he’s more experienced than me. I beg to differ. He’s had ASWU experience being a senator, but I haven’t had those opportunities to be in ASWU because I’ve been an RA. My relatability skills speak for themselves. He’s an awesome guy, but I know that I can connect with anyone. Throw me in a room with anyone on campus, and I could talk to them for an hour or all day long. The position of president at Whitworth isn’t one of a politician. I don’t need a political science background. I need to be able to connect to the student body and see what they need, and take it to the administration.

I have a lot of connections on campus. I know our athletic director really well and actually helped him move in to his house. Our assistant athletic director is my coach, and I know him really well. Dick Mandeville, Jolyn Dalvig, the new associate dean of students, Josh Cleveland—I’ve met with them a few times and know them at a personal level. With several professors like Dr. Kamesh, Toby Schwarz being my coach as well. As president of CHAOS, we work closely with chemistry faculty to host events. Even though I’m not a Christian, I have very good ties in the chapel, with Kent McDonald, Mindy Smith and Mama Beans (she’s awesome). President Beck Taylor. Another professor Raja Tenas, I’ve been to his house a few times, being one of the only Arabic students on campus. I’ve had ties with Sodexo and Dan King hosting dorm events. Right before the position, I’ve been building relationships with Dayna and Ian [Robins, current president] to see what the position will be like and what I would do with it.

I’ve built ties around the area, especially with doctors. I have connections with the Spokane country club. Even last night, I met up with one of our Board of Trustee members, Bill Curry if I’m not mistaken, and one of his friends. Both of them are huge donors to Whitworth. In the future I’ll be getting lunch with them and seeing how they can help me and how I can represent our student body well. I was one of five to selected to get lunch with them out of all our pre-med students.

 

How do you plan on working with the rest of ASWU?

I heard that it’s going to be a majority girls. That’ll be sweet. I’d say that I come from football team experience, RA experience, track experience, and obviously track and football is predominantly males, but having the RA experience and working with females all the time, that will be fine. Being a second year RA, you’re almost the leader of the RAs. It’s not stated,  but you do have more responsibilities. I thought this year, I would do my job as well as try to take some of the burdens off the first year RAs, because they’re still walking through the position and learning how it is. I’ve worked with CDAs and SGCs and HAs when we had them has prepared me well to work with different positions across ASWU and I’m confident I’d be able to do that. I have a lot of friends hired in the coordinator positions—for instance Bailey Kasler, who is my really good friend—so I’ll definitely have some strong ties in ASWU already.

 

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

I’m a big people person and people-pleaser. That can sometimes hinder my performance, since I want to make sure everyone’s happy. But being in an RA position and knowing that not everyone on my team is going to think the way I do, I’ve definitely learned to cater to both sides of a topic. It’s remembering what the greater good wants and be able to mend both sides and find middle ground where both sides will be happy. With a campus of 2,300 students, you’re not going to make everyone happy, but as long as you can get the majority. You have to make some sacrifices so almost everyone can come together.

 

You touched on that you have an ability to connect with people. However, you’re not a Christian and there have been those racist YikYak comments; with those things in mind, do you ever worry about your ability to connect with people at Whitworth?

Not at all. I was asked this question last night: of not being a Christian and how can I work to meet the mission statement at Whitworth. I think our mission statement to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity is huge. That’s who Whitworth is. It has made me grow so much through that mission statement, and I respect it so much. Obviously my religion [Islam] is not going to change anytime soon and I’m going to be the president of a predominantly Christian school as a non-Christian, but that gives me the opportunity to speak for the non-Christian population at Whitworth. I’ve tried to educate myself as much as possible so I could connect with my peers about the Christian religion. There are, in my opinion, so many similarities between the Christian religion and my religion, to where I don’t think there will be a disconnect whatsoever. ASWU is going to be full of Christian leaders as well; it’s not just my voice that will dictate what happens. I sat on the student luncheon committee for the hiring of the dean of spiritual life, and that just shows that I can speak of the majority of the campus in hiring a spiritual leader on campus.

To go off the YikYak comments: granted, several have been said, but it’s probably just one person. At least I’d like to think it’s just one person. They have not affected me. Yes, reading a comment like that burns a little bit, and I’ll always remember it, but that doesn’t speak for the entire student population. I know the entire student body doesn’t think of me that way, so I’m just shrugging it off and hoping for the best. And if I win, it speaks for itself, and they can shut up.

 

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

My combination of Student Life and administrative work will fit the position really well. The ASWU president position isn’t like a normal president at another university or the president of our country. I think that my skills fit the position really well and that I’m qualified enough for the position. I don’t necessarily have as many hours as my opponent in ASWU, but I definitely know the basics of how it’s done. I’ve sat through a few ASWU meetings as well as chartering a club and requisitioning money from ASWU. I’m confident in my abilities.

 

Interview conducted by two members of The Whitworthian's editorial board, editor-in-chief Katie Shaw and sports editor Connor Soudani.

EVP candidate: Chase Weholt

Major: Business Minor: Theology and Leadership

Year: Sophomore

 

Why are you running for this ASWU position?

Sure, so, I love people. I want to work with people with whatever career I go into and I love Whitworth as well. So, when looking for leadership positions, I see leadership positions as a way for me to serve the Whitworth community. I saw the executive vice president position as the best means of serving Whitworth. I went through many of the ASWU applications including president and a lot of the questions we got last night were why not president. I see that the EVP position has that relational aspect that is integrated into the position with talking with senators and representatives. Being a senator myself once, I know the importance of that relationship, so I want to provide that to the senators and the reps next year and to be a resource to the Whitworth community.

 

What does your class load look like next year?

This would be my job. It would be my job and I am studying business management. I am finishing off my theology minor right now and my leadership minor. So, business is what I’m studying and it’s the nature of the business department, sure it’s a good load, but it’s nothing compared to any type of science or anything like that. So, it’s definitely a doable load. I’m taking 16 credits.

 

And what other responsibilities are you planning on having?

None. I want to make sure that this is 100 percent what I’m committed to.

 

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

Great. And I think that the needs are what ASWU needs to focus on in the Whitworth community. Leadership is based on satisfying and serving the needs of others. What I see in Whitworth, and this is through, not through my own assumptions, but that I’ve gone out and talked with students that I know what they’re talking about, what needs to happen. I think one of the basic needs of Whitworth is making sure that this is a home. That this is a place that people are comfortable in that can be as simple as making sure that lounges and living spaces are appropriate to where there can be conversations that happen and on the other scale of making sure that Whitworth is home means that minority groups are represented and that they have their voice that they feel like this is a comfortable for them to be. So I think that there’s a need for people to be valued. No everyone’s going to speak up, but to have ASWU be that opportunity for them to do so.

 

How would you assess your performance in other positions of leadership that you’ve had?

Freshman year jumping in, right off the bat, I knew I wanted to be on leadership. So, it was BJ senator and there, just assessing, more importantly, what I’m learning, what I learned from this is the importance of being intentional and in any leadership I’ve had, position I’ve had, being an RA, that the importance of going to doors, making sure that I’m catching up with residents that I am going in terms of BJ to 140 students, at least. And try and make sure that they are represented. Yeah, and I’d say there’s times whre I was in the position just assessing that I feel at the end of the day, I want to walk away from whatever I do and know that I’ve given 100 percent. One of my characteristics, Whitney knows, we took a strengths test and one of them is I’m an achiever. I don’t settle just because I see the finish line so with whatever position, I make sure I’m doing self-evaluations, making sure that I am staying to what as a team on a team, making sure we are going toward one common goal.

 

Why should we vote for you rather than your opponent?

I think it comes down to experience. I think it comes down to when jumping into a position like this, I think it is important to have that background of what ASWU stands for, how does it function, and more importantly, with this position, I have been a senator. I know what it means to have that relationship with the EVP, compared to Savannah. The other point is that I’ve been, my experience and what I’ve shown in the past two years is that I’m intentional to be in this type of leadership role. That I have gone to every ASWU meeting, despite not being in a position this year, I’ve also been a part of the finance committee. And I would hope that whoever is elected would first take those initiative steps to go to meetings to have that extra background to be in that position and I believe that’s what I have.

 

Why do you think it is so important to have that experience? You mentioned knowing what the EVP does, but what do you have that can’t be learned?

I think my past, those specific experiences has really honed the importance of listening and knowing how to listen in this capacity. Being a resident assistant, yes, Savannah was one, and yes you learn a lot through listening and getting to know residents, but there’s a difference between 18 and 140. And also, working on the team of ASWU and having that be more of a global picture of student government of this campus versus maybe as a specific community.

 

How do you plan on working with the rest of ASWU?

I am already excited, I know several of the elected, not elected, but the coordinators themselves, seeing who those people are, excited to work with them, knowing several of them. Also, knowing that there will be several that I don’t know and I get to have that opportunity to engage and to gain relationships that I haven’t had before and when I entered my team over in StewVille as an RA, I did not know my team, with the exception of a few, and so I have that background to be able to adjust to different environments. I’m very excited that Whitworth is, that ASWU is going to be a group of new faces. I think that’s going to be very refreshing for ASWU and the student body so, I have the past of knowing and learning how to enter a very different environment and diverse backgrounds as well. And being able to learn and grow and have a common goal we can work toward.

 

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

Sure, so I would say with leadership, I have a tendency, I think my greatest strength can turn into my greatest weakness. It’s responsibility. I own what I say I will do. I take personal ownership of that and in some cases, in terms of as you said, a weakness, that can turn into taking responsibilities for other people’s actions and putting that on myself, which is not only unfair for me, but it’s unfair to the other person because they aren’t able to take ownership for what they’re responsible for. So, most commonly, that is seen when something isn’t done, when a job isn’t done, when a teammate falls short, I want to pick up the slack, but allowing there to be that learning space for other team members to work on what they have in terms of their responsibility, and then, owning my own responsibility too.

 

You mentioned about representing minority voices, you probably see that women are a minority, in terms of executives, so why would you be better that Savanna in terms of representing minority voices?

So, I think it’s very important that as a white male I recognize the privilege that I have. In terms of leadership, I mean you look at many positions, it’s male-dominant, granted ASWU has almost all female coordinators, but we’re talking about the exec positions. The importance of recognizing that I have that male privilege, but that I can use that to stand up for the minority groups. So that means that, and I really believe that, when I’m talking I have the ability to talk to, for example the other two execs, and to voice the privilege that we do have and making sure that that is understood and I think that has a harder swing when it’s someone of their own gender saying it versus someone else saying that. And I think that can strike a little harder so that way there can be a commonality of realizing the type of privilege that we do have as males. That’s how I would see it. I would make sure that that is recognized and that that’s not used wrongly, but that at the end of the day we’re bringing people to the front of the table at all levels.

 

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

I’ll just emphasize experience and my experience is very much paired with the desire to be in relationship with people. I mean, if you look at being a resident assistant, the types of positions that I’ve had, I also just I want, my past few years at Whitworth to be the representation of why people vote, not because they’ve seen a poster of me. So, I hope that the past few years, my experience and my desire to be in relationship and to get to know people is what people vote for.

 

Interview conducted by two members of The Whitworthian's editorial board, editor-in-chief Katie Shaw and opinions editor Whitney Carter.

Presidential candidate: Justin Botejue

Major: Political Science, pre-law track Year: Junior

 

Why are you running for this ASWU position?

Over my past three years at Whitworth, I’ve just had the most amazing experiences, whether that means studying abroad in Europe for three weeks with the Core 250 program to studying public policy in the department of justice in Washington D.C., to being a research assistant to going on cool trips with cool programs, the whole academic part of Whitworth. I cannot believe that I’m here right now and that I’m doing all these wonderful things. Serving as Stewville senator last year, I got a taste of what it’s like to serve the student community, and knowing what I’ve done for Stewville and knowing the experiences I’ve had for myself, I want to make sure that all students both off-campus and on-campus have that same opportunity next year as well.

 

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

I only have two classes left before my graduation next year: one is a one-credit senior seminar class; the other is my fitness and wellness requirement, so I have literally all the time in the world that I could want to devote to being student body president. The requirement is that you need to at least be at a full time student with 12 credits, so I’m planning to take a few lighter theology classes, an art class perhaps. Really any fun classes I want to take for personal fulfillment and for me to be a more well-rounded person as well. I was set to graduate at the end of this semester, but I want to have that full four-year experience and why not have that fourth year be in total service to the university. My overall career goal is public service in the legal field with justice and public service. This is a glimpse into what I want to do for the rest of my life.

 

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

There are many aspects of needs for Whitworth students, but most of all, the need is for increasing the quality of student life across the board for both on-campus students and off-campus students. This looks at a different perspective for all students especially. There’s need for mental health awareness and there’s need for sexual assault prevention. There’s need for tools for making us better students, because we are students first. I think sometimes ASWU loses sight of the fact that we are students first. Economic stability, especially. We have tuition increases every single year. Not many students expect that they’re going to have a $1,000-$2,000 increase every single year they’re here, so making sure we’re working with administration to know that we should use perhaps some of our endowment to cover that cost of tuition increases, subsidized with student grants and whatnot. It’s very multi dimensional. Essentially, quality of student life is several different things: mental health, academic health, and spiritual health especially. The theology department is currently doing the overflow program, having theology professors and students dialog with the rest of campus. I think that’s an interesting way of approaching theology at a Christian university.

 

How would you assess your performance in other positions of leadership that you’ve had?

By far my most qualifying experience has been as Stewville senator last year. There were several challenges with being senator, and I grew with every challenge presented. Perhaps the very first challenge that I had as Stewville senator was of course the Stewart Lawn Dance. You know, it was a great event: we almost tripled the number of people who were in attendance and everyone had a great time. But at the end of the day, there were cases of sexual assault, there were cases of marijuana use and there were cases of non-university and underage students being present as well. I don’t understand why, for the life of me, that this has been a continuing tradition that no one has looked at up until when I became senator last year. I gave a very challenging presentation to ASWU and Student Life, and talked to RDs and RAs as to, “how do we solve the issue of sexual assault and sexual provocation on campus?” I think that is definitely something ASWU will work toward next year.

Also, I got to serve a community of 127 students last year, and by the end of my tenure I knew every student’s name and attempted to have a one-on-one conversation with them at least once before I left my position there. We also had challenges with renovations to the Stewville community. They threw out all the TVs in the Village and we had no idea why and we had no idea what was next. Basically what I did was I did a lot of research and I requisitioned for full funding from ASWU for three brand-new LED TVs for the Village. I advocated strongly that increasing the quality of student life was something I wanted to make sure Stewville had last year. I worked with Facilities and had shower hooks installed in all the bathrooms so students didn’t have to have a wet towel when they got out of the shower. I advocated heavily for a water bottle filler which was installed eventually in Stewart, the first dorm on campus to have that done. But with all the renovations done, not everyone was happy with the furniture colors, the signs they had across campus. Basically I heard the need and I went to every single student, got them to fill out a survey and compiled the information and presented it to ASWU and Student Life. If Student Life is going to do future renovations in other dorms, they need to understand that you should be asking students what they like first and trying to see if they like the comfortability of the couches that we present and if they like the signages and that quotes as well.

 

Why should we vote for you rather than your opponent?

Of the two candidates, I have the only ASWU experience. I think it’s really important to know how ASWU works, before you try to lead it especially. It’s a different type of team scenario, and there are so many different elements that you don’t understand about ASWU unless you’ve served ASWU previously. I’ve been attending ASWU meetings since before I was senator and after I was senator as well. That continuity of information, knowledge, the relationships I’ve built with faculty, administration and staff—I want to make sure that those experiences I have under my belt fully serve the community next year as well.

Also, between the two candidates, I’m the only one that has off-campus living experience. Automatically, that includes at least half of our student population. I know what the transition between on- and off-campus living looks like. I want to make sure that those experiences I’ve had is something that everyone across campus and off-campus has as well.

 

How do you plan on working with the rest of ASWU?

Speaking from experience from serving as senator, the relationships between the executive board and the rest of the ASWU assembly is very interesting. We have reps, senators, coordinators and media, and each distinct section of the assembly has a different role and responsibility in accordance with the executive branch. It’s not just top-down; everyone is an equal on the board and in the assembly. Having that personal connection with everyone and having one-on-ones with them and checking in on a personal level, not just what their job entails. I’d definitely be working harder to make sure that is something the ASWU assembly as a whole works on, and make sure that we know each other not just because of our positions, but as human beings. All of us have the same passion of serving the student body and making that our first goal: not politics, not bickering, not funding issues. We have to keep the goal that it’s the students first.

 

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

Overexertion, I think, can definitely be a problem. When I was senator, those first few weeks of being senator—learning everyone’s name, going to Prime Times, setting up Stewart Lawn Dance—I got burned out really fast. However, building off that experience, I know how to manage stress better. I live by my calendar, essentially. But knowing that I have a team to depend on is something that I’d love to experiment with, whether that means delegating tasks or making sure everyone’s on the same page.

 

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

My broad campaign statement is, “increasing the quality of student life across the board.” Our printing budget from last year was halved to what it is this year. We spend nine months out of our year living here, in the Spokane area and on campus; it’s our home away from home. I think ASWU could do a lot better job of making sure that we can call Whitworth our home, whether that means quality of life: quality of academic life or of personal relationships. That’s something I’d love to look forward to next year.

 

What has been the most difficult part of this campaign for you?

The paper ballot system has been really interesting. I served on the student election committee for two years previous to running this semester [and I wish] the standard ethics rules we had of ASWU members not endorsing candidates had stayed true. That email fiasco (the DayStudent fiasco) was unexpected. And especially the YikYak situation. I totally condemn all racist comments that have been made. Ultimately, however the election turns out, Whitworth will have a diverse student body president, and I think that’s a win-win situation there.

 

Interview conducted by one member of The Whitworthian's editorial board, editor-in-chief Katie Shaw. Although sports editor Connor Soudani could not make the interview, he listened to the recording and made himself familiar with the candidate.

Financial Vice President candidate: Brett Pray

Major: Economics Minor: Music

Year: Junior

 

Why are you running for this ASWU position?

I knew when I saw all the opportunities and extracurricular activities that Whitworth had to offer, I knew I wanted to work somehow in a leadership position in order to give back. I applied to be an RA sophomore year and got to the final part of the process but didn’t end up getting it. I spoke with my RD and was thinking of applying again my junior year, but between the transition from sophomore to junior year, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with a major, so I decided to opt out of that junior year. Senior year, I figured it would be a good time for that since I’m well into my major, I know what I’m going to do and I’m an economics major so the role of FVP would be up my alley in terms of what I want to do, because it has a lot of budgeting, connecting, networking and working with people, plus that supervisory position. It was something that I’d looked into and it was ultimately a good choice for me to end up pursuing, mainly because it has the financial portion and a supervisory leadership role which is what I wanted to have at some point while on campus. Mainly I just knew that working in ASWU would be a great opportunity. I really want to try to give back, to the students, to the campus and really just to the community overall and I figured this would be a good position for me to run for.

 

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

Because I decided to change to an economics major kind of late, I’m going to have a little bit of a busy class load, but it’s not going to be anything that I can’t handle. Mainly I’ll be finishing up a couple of my prerequisites for some of the capstone classes. There’s only going to be one specific class that I’m going to have to take that’s going to be a little bit difficult because normally it’s a prerequisite but I’ll have to take in in conjunction with another class because of timing. Ultimately my class load won’t be too difficult. Fall will be a little bit busier than spring, but overall it will mostly be finishing up capstone classes. I have a couple of gen eds to take care of but they fit into my schedule pretty well. There will be a lot going on, but nothing that I’m not already used to and won’t be able to manage.

I’m a music minor on campus, although originally I was a music major. I have a scholarship here and one of the requirements for that is that I have to take lessons as well as perform in at least one of the ensembles on campus. That’s something that I’ve been doing every year now and balancing that. Last year I was in two ensembles and taking two different sets of lessons, which was a lot of things to juggle around, but it taught me well how to manage those types of responsibilities differently. I’m also a part of the student investment group where I’m an analyst. Basically what that entails for me is that I will be researching different companies within this industry that I represent, and I will eventually be pitching them to our subgroup, and then if my pitch becomes the favored one of the group, I would present it. It’s more time-consuming in the sense that I have to follow the company as it’s going along; for example I’m currently following two pharmaceutical stores. It’s not hours of work every night, but it’s something I have to keep on top of and keep looking at, which has been a really good responsibility for me. It’s kept me on top of following something on a periodic basis.

The only other this is that I have an on-campus job as event technician. That more that likely will take a backseat due to the fact that I can only have so many hours of work in a week. If I could continue doing that I would love to; I love that job a lot. It’s very nice to work a lot of events and see the behind the scenes aspect of a lot of things that go on. Each year I come here early to help out with the freshman orientation. That’s always been a lot of fun to get to meet all the freshmen and prepare for those events. Those are the kinds of responsibilities I would have next year. I’ve had the job and the music things since freshman year.

 

 

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

Good question. One of the great needs of the student body is the ability to access resources and information. When we have these clubs on campus, a lot of times clubs will bring in outside information or sources for students to get an inside on what the industry might be or what the club might look like if they take it further. When it comes to ASWU, the whole idea of transparency is key: what they’re doing with the budget they have, what kind of programs they’re trying to implement, what they’re trying to change within the constitution and other aspects along those lines. Letting the students know what’s going on. Recently they had the whole debate where they’re trying to change the discrimination through sexual orientation in the constitution, and that was something that they kept the students updated on, which I think is something that’s very important for ASWU—to have that sense of transparency, to keep the students informed. That’s something that a lot of students at some point want to know, whether or not it’s within their field of interest, whether it’s just a hobby they enjoy, whether or not it’s within student government or whatever activities are on campus. It’s very essential that student have some sense of what’s going on. That would be something I’d encourage, especially if I were to be in this position next year. I would make sure that especially a lot of club leaders would know you can come directly to ASWU for funds and let the students know if there is going to be a big purchase or push to help a certain activity go through and why it’s doing that. Encourage them to come to meetings so they can hear what goes on behind the scenes. I want to get students more involved and knowledgeable about things that are going on, because I’ve talked with some people who have kind of heard through the grapevine what’s going on or have glanced at something and got an idea, but they don’t really know the whole story of it, and I think it’s important for students to get all the information they need.

 

How would you assess your performance in other positions of leadership that you’ve had?

For the past two summers, I’ve worked at a golf course where I’ve been a supervisor for anywhere up to 10 employees a day. Roughly anyone outside service I’ve been asked to come back to the job, and this’ll be my third year coming back to the position. It’s been something that I really enjoy doing. I enjoy helping people and getting people to the point where they know what’s going on and the position of training people in whatever position they’re at. In terms of leadership, I did apply for the RA position and that was something I was really looking forward to overall because I enjoy getting to know people and meeting people and hearing their story and what they have to say. Within this position, I think the leadership aspect comes in terms of being a leader when it comes to these big activites, you can plan for all the students, or being something relatable for the students, especially for freshmen and sophomores who may be interested in ASWU, being something for them to look to. In terms of leadership roles, I’ve always enjoyed being within them and helping out as much as I can. I’m going back to the job at the golf course this summer and I’ll be in a more direct leadership position where I’ll be specifically training new people coming in as well as working a similar position as I’ve had in the past. But it’s a more directly supervisory position where I’ll be working directly with people rather than managing what people are doing. I’m looking forward to that. It’ll be interesting to meet the new people coming in and be able to help them out through the process and be a leader to them to show how things work and can get done. That’s something I would be looking forward to next year as well with the FVP position.

 

Why should we vote for you rather than your opponent?

That’s always a hard one because I really like the candidates this year. Everyone is very skilled and have a lot of different attributes about them that make them great candidates. For me I’ve had one year here more than Skyler [Lamberd], since he’s a sophomore. I have more of a business background. He has a mathematics background, but I have a little more in terms of financial statements and managing budgets and everything along those lines. I know he’s had a similar thing being in an RA position, but recently with the economics major, I’ve been really kind of focusing in on things like financial statements, transactions, accounting and all those kinds of things. Additionally, I do have that extra year that I’ve been here. I’ve seen kind of things that have been going on. I’ve been able to see ASWU positions for the past three years and what people have tried to do, what has worked and hasn’t worked. It’s really hard, because he’s a great candidate as well, but I think mainly it’s my area of focus being business and having more time on campus and being around people a bit more.

How do you plan on working with the rest of ASWU?

 

I’ve known a couple of the candidates for a while now; the only ones I’m not too familiar with are Skyler himself and Naji, and I’ve been getting to know Naji in the past couple of weeks as the campaigns have been moving. He seems like a great guy and I’ve been enjoying the time I’ve spent with him. Ultimately, it was kind of mentioned at the public interview [also known as Debates] as Eli [Casteel] called it that there’s a sense that the three executive positions have this friendship and camaraderie between them. I would work on visiting with the people, getting to know them and keeping in touch with them over the summer. That way I would feel more comfortable while working with them, getting to know who they are and how they work, because everyone’s different in how they handle and manage things. I would try to make myself known to them especially in any way that I possibly could.

With the rest of the members of ASWU, it’s a similar process of making myself available and if I could get together with them for coffee or a night at Prime Time or whatever the case might be. I want to get to know people and make myself known. I think that would be a great way to work with them, and especially through that, to see what their beliefs are, what they truly support and stand for, because if there ever comes a time where there might be some sort of disagreement on something that comes through ASWU, I would have that opportunity to know, “oh, this is why that person’s voting that way.” I would have a better understanding of it rather than, “this person is voting A, this person’s voting B.” It would be helpful to make myself known, be friends with them, spend time and get to know them and ultimately just try to build that connection with them.

 

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

A big weakness is that I have not been in any on-campus leadership position, whether it be a student leader or in ASWU, I haven't’ been in anything along those lines. I know that’s something that many of the other candidates have, being either a senator, an RA or anything like that. That’s something I knew going into it would be kind of difficult to compete with. The only thing I can say to that is that I’ve tried to make myself known within departments, within faculty and staff and RDs on campus and everything. Obviously the have a sense of connection with them that I don’t have, because they’ve had more time with them or have been around them more. I would definitely say that’s a big weakness. Like I said, the only way to combat that is just that I’m trying to get myself out there more, I’m definitely looking forward to going around Prime Times tonight and getting to speak with people. It’ll be very beneficial and a good way to get myself out there a little bit more. I think another weakness, and I could see this with a lot of people who I’ve talked to because it’s kind of a common trend, is that there are a couple of communities on campus I don’t know very well. It’s easy to stick with the Prime Times and activities in your dorm and it’s difficult to go out and venture around. I have friends in a few dorms so I’ve been around to those. I would like to get to know those communities better, and that’s something this position would provide me: the opportunity to go out there and see different kinds of people and meet with different communities and hear what they have to say, rather than just be around the ones that I know for as long as I have.

 

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

I would reiterate that the transition from sophomore to junior year was me trying to figure out what I’m doing with my major, and that was a time that I was definitely kind of to myself, trying to think of what’s going on, which is why there’s that sense of trying to get myself out there on campus and more known to students. With people who have the senator role or the RA role, like Naji, like Skyler; they all have that kind of preset status within their community, that they are the senator. Even people from other dorms; I’m from East and I knew that Skyler was the Duvall senator. You kind of still get more well-known in those positions. Within this semester the big thing I’ve been working on is getting myself out there more and being more well-known as a candidate. Tonight I’m hoping will help out with that I was hoping that the public interview would help with that, and the campaign overall. I’ve been wanting to be known as someone who’s interested an wanting to help out in whatever way I can. Even if I don’t even up getting this position, I’d still want to try to work with whoever I can to give back in any way possible. That’s really what my main goal here is. If I end up getting the position, that’ll be fantastic. I’ll work hard in it, I’ll give back in whatever ways I can. But if I don’t end up getting it, that doesn’t mean I’ll take a backseat and ride out my senior year not doing anything. I’ll still try and find a way to work in there and help out. I want people to know that I’m willing to help out in any position that they see fit if this doesn’t work out, even if it’s just another student who is supportive through events and activities and along those lines.

 

Interview conducted by two members of The Whitworthian's editorial board, editor-in-chief Katie Shaw and copy chief Shelby Harding.

Financial Vice President candidate: Skyler Lamberd

Major: Mathematics and Special Education Year: Sophomore

 

Why are you running for this ASWU position?

A big reason I’m running is that I love ASWU. I really enjoyed it this year [as Duvall senator]. The experience I’ve had just makes me want to stay on ASWU and I think it would be fun to continue with it. Also, I love being in some sort of leadership in order to better the student body or help out in some way, and I think this position, it does focus on the student body, but it really focuses on clubs and finances which affect a lot of the student body. This position affects the student body in small ways that eventually will go into bigger ways, and I think that’s really cool.

 

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

I’m still trying to figure it out. A lot of my classes didn’t work out as I’d planned. I’m double majoring in math and special education and those tend to be really big majors in general. I don’t know my specific class load right now, but I know there’s going to be a couple ed. classes and a couple math classes. So school-wise, that’s my commitment.

Outside of school I do marimbas, I do bells and I tutor. So I’m in a bell quartet at my church, I direct a marimba band at my church, and I tutor a high school kid and an elementary kid in math. Those are more flexible: if I’m not able to do it, I’m not able to do it. Those would depend on my availability. Obviously school and this job would come before extracurricular things. That would all depend on how this job goes.

 

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

This position really focuses on clubs and finances. That’s like the two big parts. The greatest need between those is getting students connected on campus. Clubs are probably one of the biggest resources that students have to connect with other students that have the same interests or connect with leadership opportunities around campus, connect with faculty, everything. From my experience as senator, I have gotten a lot of questions like “what types of clubs are there?” and “how do I start a club?” and “what do I need to start a club?” and “who is in charge of this club?”— that kind of stuff. I think that information is not directly given out to students well. A big need I see on campus is a relay of information to help students get more connected on campus. This job really pushes that in the form of clubs. This information needs to get to these students because a big part of a student’s career in college is getting friends and getting those connections with faculty and students with similar interests.

 

How would you assess your performance in other positions of leadership that you’ve had?

I am currently Duvall senator and over Jan Term I was an RA, also in Duvall. Those are the two leadership roles I’ve had on campus so far. As senator, I go to ASWU meetings, I’m part of a committee, I write newsletters every week, I plan a whole bunch of event in the dorm as well as stuff outside of the dorm. I try to manage things in the dorm that RAs can’t do, but I’ve seen both sides of it since I was an RA also. In the dorm, I have led the RAs in events: delegating, buying the stuff [for the event], describing what’s happening in the event and all this stuff. And so with that part, I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience in the fact that I know how to plan things. I know what it is they need and I know how to delegate well. From newsletters, I know how to relay information. I’ve learned what people like and what people don’t like and what forms of information they like to get it in, how to get information. My newsletter is very organized. I like to keep everything structured. I’ve learned how to get information out to students in the best forms possible. On ASWU, I’m part of finance committee, I’m part of the club chartering committee and I was part of student elections committee last year. Two of those are run by the financial vice president, so getting experience in those committees already has helped me so much. I know what to expect and I know how these things are run and the rules—I know what the rules are for requisitioning money. I haven’t requisitioned yet, but I have gotten money from Kevin [Gleim, the current FVP], I’ve gotten reimbursed from Kevin. That really builds on my experience. I can see what would happen in these situations if I were in the FVP position.

The club chartering committee is new this year; I know what clubs need to charter and what papers to give them, what steps to tell them to do in order to get more clubs on campus, because like I said that’s a big need.

As RA I learned how to connect with students more; that’s what an RA does, is build connections with your residents. I built those connections well. I had one-on-ones with residents, and I’m only an RA for a month. That carries over, because I think this position in ASWU is one that people come to you with. It’s kind of the hidden face of ASWU. People come to the FVP for money and for clubs. The FVP represents those things, a big part of ASWU. If you’re able to relate to students and to build connections easily, then that’s great for the position and for ASWU.

 

Why should we vote for you rather than your opponent?

I have a lot of experience in this position. I’m currently senator, I’m part of committees, I was an RA. I have a lot of connections with a lot of the students on campus, and off campus. Those experiences have built on the fact that I know how to handle these situations. I’ve talked with the current FVP and with Linda [Yochum]. I’ve gone through the steps of, what does the FVP do daily? And Linda’s actually walked me through. When I asked her if this would be a good position for me to be in, she said, “well let me show you what you’d be doing.” So I’ve walked through the daily routine. Kevin has talked me through meeting with the clubs and that you really have to communicate well with students. Students and faculty email you off the chain with questions about finances and clubs. My biggest asset is my experience, along with that I’m a math major and can work with numbers. Finance is a part of this, but it’s not the biggest part of this, in my opinion. But my experience as a math major, I can handle that. If I don’t know about something, it’s an opportunity to learn, and there are so many resources in ASWU right now and next year that are always available for me to learn from. We’re in school; I like to learn. Being an education major as well, you learn how to communicate well, teach, connect well with students—obviously this is a different type of students, but still. That will build on my communication skills as well.

 

How do you plan on working with the rest of ASWU?

ASWU is a really big community. You get really close with the other ASWU members, which I’ve experienced this year. As FVP, you work really closely with the EVP and president. If there’s a strong connection between those three, it builds on a stronger connection in ASWU itself. Those three are the center of ASWU. If you see these three people really close, you’ll want to be really close with other people in ASWU.

A big part of working with the senators is reimbursing them and showing them how to budget out their money, along with the coordinators, and how to requisition for money. That’s a big part of this position.

If there’s some big event going on, you have to work closely with everybody. Not only in the finance or club positions, but as a person in general. You have to be able to do something that’s maybe not part of your job or not specifically in the job description, but you have to be able to help out with setting up something, or decorations, or finding someone to come speak about this issue.

 

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

A weakness of mine, which I’ve talked to people about, is that I’m not a finance major. I haven’t taken finance. But like I said, I’ve talked with Kevin and Linda, as well as Rachel [McKay] and Dayna [Coleman-Jones], the main people who work with this position. Linda said, “if this were rocket science, I wouldn’t be in this position.” It’s numbers, it’s adding and subtracting. Kevin told me that the finance part of this position is one of the smallest parts of this position. You obviously have to do it, but it’s more about being organized and knowing what you’re doing. It’s something I’ll learn if need be.

 

Interview conducted by two members of The Whitworthian's editorial board, editor-in-chief Katie Shaw and copy chief Shelby Harding.