Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Out of all the 16,000 students on campus, what makes you the most deserving student to influence the more $3.1 million budget funded by our student activity fee?
I am running for Treasurer because I am the most qualified undergraduate student for the position. I am a current member of the USG Budget Committee which manages all the finances of USG, the Legislative Review Committee which revises any legislation before it gets to the Senate, the vice-chair of the Special Services Council which manages new clubs, and the chair of the Programming and Activities Committee. Additionally, I reworked the new club process by rewriting the Special Services Council Bylaws and was one of the senators involved in the revising and remodeling of the USG Constitution.
What experience do you bring to the position you are running for? Why are you qualified?
The bulk of my experience comes from this past year as a USG Senator. I am the current vice-chair of the Special Services Council, which manages new clubs and admits clubs into USG. From this position I have built relationships with many of the clubs and have gained an insight into the issues and views of new clubs in particular. I also rewrote the SSC Bylaws, which effectively remodel the new club process. Additionally I am a member of the Budget Committee and thus have insight into the budgeting process that many other people on campus do not. I have established relationships with many clubs and have been active in communicating the laws and policies of USG. Furthermore, I am the chair of the Programming and Activities Committee and a member of the Legislative Review Committee and have gained experience into how to model and critique laws as well. I have written many of the laws including being seriously involved in the revision of the USG Constitution.
Is this your first time getting involved in USG? If so, why are you interested in getting involved? If not, why do you wish to be involved again?
This is not my first time getting involved in USG; I am a current College of Arts and Sciences Senator. I hope to get involved in USG again because I truly enjoy the dynamics of creating and enforcing laws as well as interacting with clubs and managing the budget. There is a lot that needs to be changed in USG and there are not many other people who understand the laws relevant to USG enough to be able to change USG.
What do you think is the best thing about USG and if elected, how do you plan to continue that?
I think the best thing about USG is the connection to administration. More specifically, it is the window through which the students can voice their opinions and see those opinions create change. The administrators on campus have a large number of factors influencing their every day decisions and sometimes the interests and values of the students are not their highest priority. The sole purpose of the student government is not simply a funding body; it is to make sure the views of the students are respected amongst the administrators. This was a major thing lacking this year and something I hope to rectify next year. This may mean disagreeing with administration but does not necessarily have to mean it. The student government needs to reestablish credibility with administration. They need to know that when we say we want something, it is because it is truly what the people want and what is best for the campus.
On a scale of 9-10* (10 being the highest) how successful were the past two semesters for USG?
On a scale of 9-10, this years USG definitely gets a 9.6. Splitting the USG into 2 halves, the senate and the executive council, I definitely have to say the Senate has had a good year. We have revised or rewritten almost all of the major sets of laws including the Financial Bylaws, SSC Bylaws, SAB Bylaws, PASS Bylaws, and even the Constitution, which truly may not have ever been done in one year. Additionally, with the exception of the grant system, we have managed our funds very well and have maintained consistency among clubs and laws. I would give the senate a 4 out of 5 because there is always room for improvement. On the other hand, I do not feel that many of the Executive Council members did as much as they could, and I hope to improve on that next year. I would give them a 2 out of 5.
What are USG’s biggest flaws, and how do you plan to correct those? For those currently in USG, what have you done to try to correct those flaws?
The biggest flaw of USG is that we do not properly communicate with the student body and as a result, are not well perceived by the student body. USG is full of good people who truly do want to create change on campus, but unfortunately, as an organization, we have been unable to effectively or consistently communicate with the student body. This is something I attempted to address in a limited fashion this year by writing two bills requiring senators to play a larger role in the communication department. These bills helped in some areas but unfortunately, ended up ineffective in the larger picture. This is something I truly feel is the defining issue in USG, and one that needs to be addressed for USG to move forward.
Do you think that putting on successful campus events should be prioritized over increasing clubs’ budgets?
I think club budgeting is much more of a priority than putting on successful events. Big events are exciting and noteworthy, but it is the weekly major events put on by the clubs on campus that make student life fun and increase excitement on campus. Spending tens of thousands of dollars on a concert increases student life for that one day, but that same money in the hands of half a dozen clubs could mean that good events are put on weekly.
Representing the student body sometimes means taking a firm stance against administration policies. How willing are you to speak up on behalf of the student body, even when it means conflicting with administrators?
The entire purpose of the Undergraduate Student Government is to represent the students. If a USG official is unwilling to take a firm stance against administrative policies and is unwilling to conflict with administrators from time to time, then that official is not in USG for the right reasons. I feel that I am running because I understand this and can ensure it happens when necessary.
*Please note we intentionally asked for a scale of 9-10.
Article source: http://sbpress.com/2013/04/meet-the-candidates-treasurer/