Vice President - Shapiro

Vice President

Justin Shapiro

Class of 2013

Define the position you're running for and explain why you're running.

The vice president is a position that is right underneath the president on the SA executive board, and it's a really cool position because you get a lot of the responsibilities of the president while also having a say in SA meetings and having a vote in SA meetings. That means taking the duties of the president, e.g. working with administrators, working with faculty, while also having an opportunity to work one-on-one with the organizations that are in the general assembly. SA vice president also works with the college senate and they sit on the executive board – that means that you're the liason between students and the executive board for the college senate. You advocate for policies on behalf of the students – that's most certainly something I'm excited about doing. You are the umbrella under which club sports sits … and so that means working with club sports executive board, working on ways to improve the way they receive funding and working with athletics in order to better the experience of club sports on campus … Being vice president would give me a chance to really bring forward those clubs into...not only Student Association, but the college as a whole."

What experience qualifies you for this position?

My freshman year I was elected into the treasurer position of Model United Nations and back then the treasurer was also the SA rep. I’m proud to say I’ve been to every SA meeting since December 2, 2009, and I’ve seen the organization change a lot … I do have experience on an organizational level, dealing with finances and dealing with budget. I have a very … strong working relationship Kate (Rebban) and Nancy (Chirico) which is imperative for any position on SA (executive board). I served as treasurer of Academic Affairs Committee, so I know what it’s like to work on a standing committee … Going into the position I hold now, director of academic affairs on the executive board, I went in there with a good, solid understanding of the constitution and our financial policies. I also served on the Budget Review Committee, so I know a lot about finances from that … I served on the Undergraduate Student Academic Elections Committee, so I know about facilitating elections and how that related to SA. Being director of academic affairs also lets me work with the Provost, the Associate Provost … so I also have a really good working relationship with a lot of those upper level faculty (members). I also serve on the college senate executive board. I was a work-study with the athletics department my freshman year and so I have a … good, solid acquaintance-level relationship with Mike Mooney, the athletics director, and all the coaches there … All in all I think I’ve had the experience in Student Association over the last three years here that is necessary for the position.”

What are your plans if you are elected?

I think it would be really cool if we started off every semester with a public forum. Advertise it well, get a lot of students in a room together, and build a consensus around a few really cool, really key and really integral policies that students want to see enacted. If we get everyone on campus talking about a few really important things, we can make a big change … It democratizes the Student Association Vice President position and also gives everyone a voice in how the college senate functions on a student level. Another thing is I want to sort of streamline … the college sports budget. The way it works now … it's really hard for them to get funding, just because the [executive] board only meets every so often …To sort of consolidate that, maybe give the vice president a little more of a role in dispersing funds, would be really good way for club sports to get the money they need to function. I also want to visit every standing committee at least twice a semester, bring back feedback from the college senate and feedback from the standing committees into the college senate. The way it works now is the vice president meets with the Student Association executive board and the Student Association clubs that are in the room and that's about it. To meet with the standing committees, some of the most engaged and active people on campus, I think is a great idea and I don't understand why it hasn't been done in the past. [I would also like to] continue working with clubs [and to] make sure I'm always available to meet with them, because I am always most certainly down to talk about SA.

Were there any decisions made this past year that you strongly agree or disagree with?

I did strongly agree with the concert increase. There's been a lot of talk about deficits which isn't true, we're not in a deficit yet … The way that you manage funds is you can approve big readings and approve other readings for other organizations. We have the power to look ahead and I think ... the board did that really well. [The concert] is one of the most visible things we do on campus. It engages not just AC concerts, it engages the Lamron in advertising, it engages GSTV in advertising, it engages a wide variety of organizations from SA tech to every organization that decides to attend. One problem I have is I think going forward, next year's executive board should look into ways in which we can schedule the concert without interfering with cultural dinners. It's not fair to the cultural dinners, and it's a shame that happened this year ... One thing I would do next year is...foster more cross-organizational dialogue between ACE groups and concerts to ensure that that doesn't happen again."