Director of Public Relations
Class of 2014
Define the position you’re running for and explain why you’re running.
One of the most important things Public Relations does is work with the referendum and advertise for that. Next year, I would definitely want to advertise for the referendum by having a series of forums leading up to it, which would not only advertise, but get students talking about it and we would be able to hear on SA what the student mandatory activity fees are most important for. Also, anything students want to change about their mandatory student activity fees. Also, anything that is already going on through the SA that people normally don’t know about; anything through the standing committees, because there’s so much stuff going on, but since people aren’t talking about it, no one knows about it.
What experience qualifies you for this position?
Right now, I’m the treasurer for the Academic Affairs Committee. So through that I love seeing where all the mandatory student activity fees go, sort of picking up where the rest of campus funds and tuition funds can’t provide to us. I’ve worked on political campaigns in the past and gone door-to-door talking to people. That advertises for stuff, but it also gets you listening to what people are saying. I feel like having experience listening to people and working with the SA – I’m in the SA office basically every day, doing treasurer stuff, or just hanging out with them – so it’s definitely something that I’m interested in, and learning more and more about every day.
Do you have any plans if you are elected?
Like I said with the referendum – the forums are one of the big things I want to do. Another big thing that I want to try is this year: We had that trip to Albany that got canceled because of poor scheduling and poor advertising. I don’t know if it was so much in the lack of interest, or just lack of logistics that people weren’t able to come. Not only do I actually want to have a trip to Albany, but also I’d love to do it more than once a year – so at least once a semester – and also have someone on SA be responsible for contacting Albany and lobbying for the students, sort of on a full-time basis, so legislators in Albany have a face for the funds that they’re cutting. Other things I want to do, as an SA executive member: I want to visit standing committee meetings periodically and know what’s going on not just through word-of-mouth, but actually be able to experience where all the student mandatory activity fees are going. I’ve talked about the possibility of making the standing committee meetings paperless. I’m open to huge ideas, really anything. I definitely don’t want to limit myself.
Were there any decisions made this past year that you strongly agree or disagree with?
Going through all the debates and speeches, you hear lots of good ideas. There aren’t lots of things that can be changed, but there aren’t so many things that are just horrible right now. But there are definitely things that should be changed for next year. We have KnightLink now, and this year has kind of been the experimental year, but next year I definitely want to get more people registered on that and using it. I want to have every member of SA on KnightLink and already be registered for it, and that can also be for standing committees too. So that would advertise for the standing committee meetings, and let everyone know that you can come to any SA meeting whenever you want. They’re not all that bad. They’re pretty exciting, actually. I’ve always thought SA meetings are fun, even though lots of people think they would be boring.
Thoughts on the budget and the state of the reserves?
We have $300,000 or $500,000 in the reserves. Our budget is around $1.3 million or $1.5 million. I don’t know how much public relations deals with that so much, but I guess PR does help out in informing students that that money is there. One of the things that I’ve realized after working on a standing committee: When we’re on the standing committee, as treasurer, I am basically contacting the clubs and informing them of every possible way they can get their funding. Lots of people think that we’re sort of there to limit people’s funding, when we’re really there to make sure everyone’s getting as much reimbursement as possible. Another thing that goes along with clubs: They have budgets allocated every year, and don’t spend it necessarily, so that money that’s left over in their budgets just goes to the reserves, but they’re totally allowed to spend it all. So advertising the fact that we have all this money that we are allowed to spend, and should be spending, is something that I want to work on too. I guess it’s good to have reserves, but we also don’t need to have money left over every year, so the students need to know about that to be able to use it to the best of their advantages.
What do you feel the role of the SA constitution is?
Everyone says it’s just strictly bureaucratic and unnecessary, but really by having an executive board, you don’t get clubs to ask for diamond-encrusted scissors or whatever. That would happen if there were no bureaucratic systems. So we can do more to streamline it. I know in AAC in the beginning of the year, it was sort of a fad to just waive the first reading of the readings, so any minor budgetary request could be streamlined, which is totally allowed. So people think it’s mainly bureaucratic, but it has a purpose. I enjoy SA meetings. It may be bureaucratic time-delaying stuff, but it’s definitely there for a purpose, and it’s a great way to keep track of our student mandatory activity fees. But they’re fun meetings too! I mean, I don’t think I can convince everyone that it’s a blast, sitting there for three hours on a Wednesday night, but I definitely enjoy it.