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.