My Platform (Or, this One’s for you Smathers)

So, anti-shout out to Jason Smathers at ASM Watch for not emailing me about my candidacy.  But, I like where he is going with it, so I am going to take the time to post my responses to his questions.  This is sort of my informal platform.

1. What prompted you to run for Student Council in the first place?

Having been involved in ASM for two years, I’ve seen the work the ASM is capable of–both the good and the bad.  My hope is that on Student Council, I can help craft a vision for the organization that will continue to provide for the students we represent.  Further, having served a year as SSFC Chair, I hope to provide guidance on segregate fee related things.

2. What do you know about Student Council? What is your impression of it?

The ASM Student Council is the core of the student government here at UW Madison, so it is crucial that it is an effective body.  Throughout the Student Council’s existence, it has fallen short of reaching its true potential–something I will comment on later.  Regardless, the first steps of the next session need to include streamlining the Student Council process.  That means in depth parliamentary procedure training, complete understanding of the organization (including the budgets),  and a full vision for where ASM should go in the course of a year.

3. What is something ASM has dropped the ball on in recent years? What is something it has succeeded at?

Let’s see…where to begin?  I won’t comment on how many times ASM has dropped the ball, but we’ll say the number is significant.  ASM seems to be wildly obsessed with debating trivialities.  True success lies in real, tangible services provided for students.  Relevancy cannot be fought for; it must be earned.  The only true way to make the campus care is to continue to provide and work on behalf of real services.  The text book swap (albeit there is room for expansion), the newly devised tenant services, the rape crisis center, the bus pass, the SAFE services, and lobbying efforts at state, city and national levels are all good examples of ASM successes.

4. Do you belong to any student organizations on campus?

I was involved in many organizations in the start of my freshman year, but since joining SSFC, I have committed most of my time to ASM.

5. If you had one thing to pass through SC or work on in an ASM committee, what would it be?

I have a lot of ambitious proposals, but my number one task is the campus services fund.  The campus services fund is essentially a mechanism for funding ASM driven services, such as the Rape Crisis Center, the ASM Bus Pass, or Tenant Services.  My hope is that the fund will provide an outlet for core campus services, such as tutoring, leadership development, tenant support, sexual assault awareness and prevention, campus safety, and many, many others.

I handed it off to SSFC Secretary Matt Manes’ subcommittee this year, but there work is not going to complete in time for the end of the session.  I am not planning on being SSFC Chair again, so my free time will be dedicated to working on this essential campus provision.

6. What can SC do about tuition and fees at UW?

I am really glad you asked that.  Of course, SSFC has most control over segregated fees, which SC should definitely continue to check.  They should continue to allocate them responsibly.  SC, on the other hand, should be working towards reinvestment in higher education at the state and national level.  This includes, but is not limited to, lobbying for state funding and for increased financial aid at the national and state levels.

7. If you could be appointed to any ASM committee, which would it be and why?

I would be appointed to SSFC, at least for the first part of the year.  SSFC has a high turnover rate, so having a former Chair stick around to help with leadership transition would be extremely beneficial.  In fact, if I lose the election, I will still be looking for an appointment to the SSFC.  Other than that, the ASM book swap program has lots of room for expansion, so I would consider helping with that via Academic Affairs.

8. How familiar are you with Robert’s Rules of Order?

SSFC runs the strictest Parli Pro in ASM, and I had to run the meetings.  Short answer: very.

9. Are there any causes you feel ASM should be championing?

The causes ASM should be championing come in a three prong set: 1) Services, 2) Advocacy, and 3) Membership and representation.  Services for campus, as I have detailed elsewhere, are where ASM seems to have the most opportunity.  Advocacy includes lobbying administrative, local, state and federal officials for reinvestment in higher education and accessibility.  And membership includes allowing students to have a say in the allocation of their fees and in the shared governance of the campus.

10. What are your other commitments for the next academic year?

I have no other reserved commitments, except for school of course.

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