What A.S. positions do you wish to change?
I plan on creating a new position which is director of environmental affairs, well actually, bring it back because it was removed a couple of years ago. The position will help me lead my efforts of pushing the university to be more green. But I also plan on reducing inefficiencies within student government. There’s certain positions that are no longer of use for AS. Like director of visibility, this position is supposed promote and create awareness of what student government is and who student leaders are. Yet, an overwhelming majority of the campus doesn’t know what we do or who our student leaders are. So I don’t want to keep paying into this position that has become inefficient but rather (give money to) a position that is effective and that will let students recognize the work we do and sacrifices we make.
How will you ensure that A.S. is more financially secure?
Part of it is looking at things in the bigger scheme of things and better planning from the very beginning. Making sure we’re fair in how we disperse money. Number two is insuring the programs we’re funding are staying at the level they’re supposed to and not going over their budget, particularly internal A.S. programs. We have to also help organizations and assist them with more creative ways of fundraising. Lastly, we have to be sincere when we tell student clubs and organizations how much money we can give them or hope to give them even when our hearts want to give them more.
How do your personal political views influence school politics?
I think a lot of politics is personal. That being said, I come from a very diverse background both in regard to family and the way I grew up. I see a valid point in a lot of arguments. How will that translate to school politics and how I lead? I always try to get advice and input from people who may not necessarily agree with me. It allows you to work well with other people. Ghandi used to say ‘you be the change you want to see in the world’. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to change the world, but what I am saying is I want to affect things within my control.
What do you perceive as your greatest challenges?
In the bigger scheme of things having our state politicians understand the needs and concerns of students and how the budget cuts impact students and how we can express these concerns. Making sure students are being represented statewide. Then there’s the university administrators and expressing students’ concerns to administrators and working with them to address them. Lastly, when it comes to A.S., to minimize the impact of losing funds from the decrease in enrollment and how we can still provide the best quality programs and services to students and how we can minimize the (budgetary) impact. Trying to do our best to make sure every organization is getting their fair share of funding.
Are you willing to take a pay cut to balance out the budget?
I’m willing to do anything necessary to help out students. We all have to collectively make sacrifices. Specifically, the issue has come about in regards to senators’ pay or in regards to clubs and organizations saying they want more money. Or even internally when we say we have to have more money to better serve students. We all have to understand there is going to be a certain level of sacrifice from everybody. This is one of those issues where I get both sides because some senators, not myself, said they were promised a certain amount when they ran in the elections. I’m not saying they’re bad senators, that they don’t do their jobs, but they have to understand there’s necessary sacrifices we have to make in the interest of students.