2011-12 Student Association Candidates

Note: The rest of the interviews can be accessed by navigating the tabs at the bottom of the page.

L: Why are you running for president?

I definitely want to get more involved in [Student Association] next year. I'm currently an SA executive board member so I've spent the year watching [senior] Doug Sinski, the current president, and I feel I am very qualified now after all my experiences: three years in SA. I feel I could do a good job.

L: What do you think are some important qualities for members of the Student Association to have, personally and professionally?

I think one of the most important qualities is approachability. I think it's very important for people to be able to come up to the SA president, or any executive member, and express their opinions. In the end, that's what we're there for, to re-voice their opinions and vote in their favor. If they can come up to us and tell us what they think, then we're succeeding.

L: Are there any specific actions or decisions of the 2010-2011 SA executive board that you particularly agree or disagree with?

The majority I agree with, because I was on the board. Whenever we talked about anything, we all got our opinions out there so we usually ended up compromising. There really isn't anything I strongly disagree with. The concert budget increase – it was originally much smaller and I strongly pushed the increase. As director of student programming, I chair [Activities Commission] and that was really my branch.

L: What do you think the role of the SA Constitution should be?

I'm pretty conservative. I'm going to hold to it pretty strongly, but there are definitely times when leniency is accepted. For the most part, it's the binding laws of SA. I think SA has functioned very successfully for many years and I'm proud of it. We are unique compared to other schools and a lot of people want to change us to make us more conformed, because their systems work also. But our system works; I have no need to change it. I agree there's a lot of authority confined in very few people, so I wouldn't be opposed to handing out accountability to these people and maybe including some way that students could approach SA and change things. I'm not changing the constitution the way a lot of people have voiced; I like the way it works right now.

L: Do you think that students understand SA, and do you have any ideas to increase understanding?

I'd say there are very few people who actually know what SA is and understand it. If elected I will definitely work strongly with public relations to make SA not just a common name, but a common friendly name. I want people to know SA, to respect it, and to be happy that we have it. I'm going to work hard to change that next year.

L: How have your experiences prepared you to be a member of SA?

I've been going to every SA meeting I could for the last three years. I'm currently on the executive board and last year I was on a standing committee executive board. I think I know the inner workings of it very well after these three years. Being on the executive board, I've already been approached by students with opinions and I feel that helps qualify me.

L: Do you have any plans should you be elected?

I have a few PR plans. I want to create a video to circulate online about SA, and I want to start working on posters. As far as plans go, I'm not looking to change much. I'm looking at another year similar to this previous year; another successful year.

L: Why are you the best candidate for this position?

Best is a highly relative term; I feel that all three candidates have strengths and weaknesses. I'll say I'm the best candidate if the students elect me, but if they elect someone else, clearly that's the best candidate. There are three different candidates, three very different candidates, and we'll see which one the students want.

L: Why are you running for president?

Initially I was running for director of [Activities Commission], but through the discussion about it, I was told that if your heart's not in it, don't run. I felt like that was kind of a stepping stone to president. I wanted, by the time I leave, to be in a position where I could affect change on the campus that I felt needed to take place so now I'm running because I was encouraged not to wait.

L: What do you think are some important qualities for members of the Student Association to have, personally and professionally?

I think this year's board works very well together; they're all good friends, and I think that's really important, and that's why they've been effective at what they do. Most importantly, I think that everyone should be unafraid to express their views. I know now, listening to different people speak, that everyone does have their own take on things and everyone is focusing on the same issues but with their own ways of solving them. I think everyone needs to be able to speak their mind and then come to a compromise.

L: Are there any specific actions or decisions of the 2010-2011 SA executive board that you particularly agree or disagree with?

The advocacy bus trip; I think [senior and outgoing director of student programming] Will [Labate] did a fantastic job with that. It was something that really needed to be done. We wanted to participate in SUNY Palooza but it was during our spring break. For the budget funeral, it wasn't well attended, but the entire SA executive board came together to do a program and that's kind of uncharacteristic; it's not really their role. I was really proud of them for that.