Major: Business Minor: Theology and Leadership
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.