What made you want to run?
“Well I’ve been on the board for three semesters now and this year I ran for some leadership positions. Dean Liaison for the College of Education, I’m chairman of the enrollment committee, and I run because I feel so strongly about what needs to get done next year. This is the year to do it. I have a very close relationship with Nick and I’m ready to step out of his shadow and lead the board. I feel like we’ve done a lot of great things this year and now we’re on a pendulum and I want to keep us moving in that direction. As an education major I think I have the skills to listen to student’s concerns and to lead by example. I feel like I am a good listener so I want to hear student’s concerns and bring it to the attention of others.”
What issues are you most focused on?
“There are 3 that I’ve been talking about a lot, the first one is enrollment and retention. I’m the only student on the enrollment task force so I got to see a lot of behind the scenes statistics. This year, compared to the last three years in a row, we’ve finally stopped that bleeding. This is the 1st year we’re breaking even. One thing with enrollment is that I think bringing a concert to KU is something we need and we’re working on that so that we can compete with these other schools. How can we expect to compete if we don’t have that? Also, I love Bearfest but we should tie a big event like a concert in with Bearfest. So we began a concert committee to have a concert here by next Spring to have a concert with Bearfest.
The second is student voice. As president, I want to start a lobbying committee and work with legislators on where the money is going. I want to help students have their voices heard. That’s why this year I proposed a policy that will allow students to vote for SGB president and vice president. This is the first year we’ve done that. In the past the 30 or so members of the board voted for their own members. My proposal passed unanimously, so now I think this will (VOTING APRIL 15-22) promote SGB as part of SG and the student body. I think we have to come back to the idea that personal experiences are important here. Sometimes at Universities it can become so impersonal and the students that are involved in some clubs fell like they can’t make a difference. I want to come back to the idea that everyone can make a difference here.
The third thing that I am concerned about is safety. My mom went here and she lived on Main Street and she never had to worry about walking alone. Nowadays, nobody wants to talk by themselves at night. I sit on the safety committee and we have made some progress, but I think we need to take more steps to end the violence and mistrust and come back to students getting along and looking out for each other.
What made you get into politics?
As a young boy, my godfather was the late state senator Michael Pague(?). I can remember going door to door with Mike. He was state senator for over four decades and my father worked for him. Down the road in my life I want to work for the Dept. of Education in PA. I feel like there needs to be more money spent with education, and lets be honest, it’s politics. I feel as though I can make a difference down the road with a background in politics and education. I also feel like it’s time that the SGB president is an education major. We’re going through some tough times right now. We have the PAPA which is tough on education majors but I can say we have provided support and we’re turning it around. If I win this election, I am still an education representative on the board. I will always have time for education here.