The Easterner

Sitting down with ASEWU candidates

By The Easterner Staff

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The 2018 ASEWU general election takes place on May 8th, as the EWU student body elects a new executive branch and student council. The Easterner sat down with the presidential and vice presidential candidates ahead of Tuesday’s election, as they discuss why they’re running and what changes they hope to install if elected.

Candidates for ASEWU President

Kennedy Bailey

Senior

Majoring in Criminal Justice and Sociology

 

The Easterner: Why do you want to be the ASEWU President?

Kennedy Bailey: I want to be president because I value the student life and the student experience here. My involvement in ASEWU has shown me what we can give back to the students. I want to be able to provide that to them, and be able to help all students.

TE: What is your experience in student leadership?

KB: I have a lot of experience in student leadership. I have been chapter president of my sorority. In that role, I worked with a lot of amazing women and see the benefits you can give people when you really care about them. I am currently involved in ASEWU, and I’m really grateful for what I’ve been able to give back to students this year.

TE: What on-campus issue is most important to you?

KB: I’d say one of the biggest problems on campus right now is the lack of communication or miscommunication. It can be between administration and students or even ASEWU and students. Sometime the information is there, but it is not given correctly. Or it’s a miscommunication of what is happening or what could happen. I would say right now there is a lot of great things for everyone, but we don’t all get the same information.

TE: Why should people vote for you?

KB: People should vote for me because I’m ready to really bring forward what I say I’m going to do. I have been really passionate and dedicated to student life here on campus and I love giving back to people. I think the resources that we can offer to students are things you can’t really get anywhere else. I want to be able to give students what they need and deserve.

TE: What is the first thing you will do if you are elected?

KB: I will do a complete bylaws draft of what needs to be changed, so it can be proposed at the very first work session and council meeting for ASEWU.

 

 

Dante Tyler

Junior

Majoring in Political Science and Communications

 

The Easterner: Why do you want to be the ASEWU President?

Dante Tyler: The reason I want to be president is because I really care about Eastern and I want to see the direction Eastern can go in the future. I think Eastern needs to have better solidarity between all clubs and all organizations on campus. From housing, to Greek life, to athletics. I want everyone to be connected and intertwined, and I feel I have good solutions to accomplishing these goals.

TE: What is your experience in student leadership?

DT: My experience in student leadership starts all the way back in seventh grade when I started doing leadership in middle school. That led me all the way through high school, where I did approximately five leadership camps. I was also the ASB president of my high school. While being in college, I have been the president of my dorm, I am the vice president of a club […] and I am part of four other clubs in which I have an executive position.

TE: What on-campus issue is most important to you?

DT: The lack of solidarity between clubs and organizations. I want to create a TV broadcast here on campus, in which we would talk about what clubs are going on, what events are going on, and we would post it on YouTube. And we could do some interviews. A simple broadcast like that would go a long way towards bettering that solidarity.

TE: Why should people vote for you?

DT: People should vote for me because I am a person of Eastern. I understand what it’s like to go to class every day. I work with athletes every day. I work in housing. I try to know everybody on campus. I’m always trying to get to know people better and understand what’s going on. As president, I hope people would still feel comfortable to come up to me and be like ‘hey, this sucks about Eastern,’ and then I would have a discussion with them about it. ASEWU is about the students. Not about the people on the board.

TE: What is the first thing you will do if you are elected?

DT: Make sure that everyone knows who is on the ASEWU board. And also create that TV broadcast and make those faces seen so you can have better accountability of where your money is going and who you put in charge, so you can go up to those people and say, ‘Hey I don’t like this’ or ‘Hey I do like this.’ I think that’s what’s important about any sort of government.

 

 

Candidates for ASEWU Vice President

Ashley Jenniges

Senior

Majoring in Operations Management

 

The Easterner: What inspired you to run for ASEWU Vice President?

Ashley Jenniges: I have been in ASEWU for two years. As a council member, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. It kind of encouraged me because I saw what worked and what didn’t and I wanted to change that and change the environment within ASEWU and the relationship the vice president has with the council. I know there has been a lot of bias in the last two years so I wanted to come in and change that. And also I’ve learned a lot in my past two years so I wanted to come in and make enough necessary changes for the council to be successful.

TE: What types of issues would you hope to address in your time in office?

AJ: So right now the bylaws for ASEWU focuses mainly on the faculty. We only had about one bylaw for all council members that actually pertained interacting with students. What I really want to do is work with each council member and change their bylaws so its focused more on student interactions rather than faculty interactions. Right now all of our council members are office bound, and because they are either sending emails to faculty, planning things with faculty, or they are out of the office meeting with faculty, it makes it really hard to actually interact with students, that’s why a lot of students don’t know what ASEWU is.

TE: How does it feel to be one of the top two candidates for a university student office position?

AJ: It feels really great, however I wish a lot more people ran. During the primaries we automatically made it through because there were only two candidates, and that kind of shows that maybe students didn’t know about it and that’s one of the things I want to change is, you know, getting more people to run. I wish there was more of a competition.

TE: How would being ASEWU Vice President impact your education and career after college?

AJ: In the past two years, I’ve definitely learned a lot in my previous experience with ASEWU. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my leadership skills and I think being vice president would really help me increase those leadership skills and learn more about myself. I know that I used to be terrified of public speaking, and I’m still working on that, and as VP you have to run these meetings in public settings and I think it would really just help with that, and it would increase my ability to help a team.

TE: If you aren’t elected to the position, what do you hope you will gain from this experience?

AJ: I think just being accepting of my failure and learning from that. And making sure that it wasn’t my defining moment and that I use that failure to go off and do something else.

 

 

Nancy Vargas

Junior

Majoring in International Affairs

 

The Easterner: What inspired you to run for ASEWU Vice President?

Nancy Vargas: I don’t feel it’s appropriate to complain about something if you are never going to change it, right? My experience at Eastern, while there have been some great experiences, I do feel there is a lack of awareness for underrepresented groups, and lack of student voices on committees and job sectors and places where students really have the power to make change, so that’s what I want to increase and that’s why I decided to run.

TE: What types of issues would you hope to address in your time in office?

NV: One of the major issues being the retention rate for students of color, it is very low, and I really wanna get behind “why is it so low?” and my theory is that it’s because of lack of connections that we build with student groups, especially underrepresented groups. So, heading the ASEWU Council, I want to make sure we are building relationships with students throughout the whole year, so not just going to them at the end of the year saying “hey! We’re here for you once!” but really making sure that I’m guiding the ASEWU Council and also setting the example myself by going outside the office and doing a lot of that outside work in terms of visiting with clubs, making sure that they know that that connection is there. I truly feel that if student government is not truly representing the students, which is what we’re meant to be doing, then we are not doing our jobs.

TE: How does it feel to be one of the top two candidates for a university student office position?

NV: It feels really great. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. Being a transfer student, this will be my third quarter here, and it’s really inspiring to know that hey, if you put the work in you can make a difference and you can really change the [election] system in terms of taking away the popularity aspect of it and making sure students are voting based on their education of the issues and their awareness of the candidates which I think is really important.

TE: How would being ASEWU Vice President impact your education and career after college?

NV: I’ve always worked in my community and I plan to continue doing that. I am an International Affairs major with a double minor in Chicano studies and Spanish, so in the future I would like to attend law school and focus on immigration reform, focusing on building relationships with my community here at Eastern I think is an important example of how change starts locally, and so I think it will start the guideline for me to start locally and be able to make bigger connections in terms of law school and being a lawyer and working in immigration reform with the community, because I think you can’t start off big, you have to start out small, you have to look at who’s around you and what issues are affecting your community in order to make wider change, so I think that will be a great example and serve as great experience for me in the future.

TE: If you aren’t elected to the position, what do you hope you will gain from this experience?

NV: An awareness that change is possible. If I do not receive the position I would hope that it would just motivate me to keep going. I currently work at the multicultural center and even if I am not elected into student government, I will continue to do good work through the multicultural center and just shoot for it next year, whatever it may be, but definitely continue to keep trying and inspiring other students, even if it’s not me running next year, whatever position it may be, encouraging other students of color and other marginalized groups to run for these positions, like I said, even if it’s not me, as long as we have our voice out at the table I think that’s what’s important and that’s what will motivate me for years to come.

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “Sitting down with ASEWU candidates”

  1. Linda Rae Alvarado on May 7th, 2018 5:30 pm

    I am really proud of any student who takes the time and energy to run for office. Takes a great deal of “intestinal fortitude ” to put themselves out there. The experience will be great for each of them, win or lose. Best of luck.

    [Reply]

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