2011 Candidates for VP for business and operations

Travis Peters

Candidate Statement: As a Western student, I have become many things including a double major in mathematics and computer science, an athlete on the cross country and track teams and a member of several academic clubs and community programs. If elected, my primary goal is to learn the desires of Western students and apply my experience as a problem-solver, leader and listener in order to become an active voice for Western students.
In light of tuition hikes, I want nothing more than to work with AS board members to focus on bettering the programs and organizations of our school. As VP for business and operations, I would take charge by assessing our AS budget and programs to efficiently utilize these resources and maximize benefits for Western students.

Why are you seeking this position?

My decision to run is comprised of two driving forces, the first being my acknowledgment that this position is a great application for the skills that I have developed as a double major in math and computer science. But ultimately this position is an ideal opportunity to apply these skills in such a way that would hopefully benefit the student body. The way I see it, how useful is anything that we learn if we can’t use it in a way that makes something better, makes something more clear, solves a problem or just plain and simple helps someone. I think I started tutoring math for the same reason I wanted to run for this position. I want to use the things I’m passionate about learning and direct their usefulness in such a way that benefits the students and the school that have provided me with so many opportunities.

What do you think is the role of VP for business and operations?

In speaking with our current vice president for business and operations, and researching the duties of this position, it is apparent that the individual that occupies this position should be goal-oriented, able to work efficiently, both independently and in team settings, and probably most important of all, this person should strive to be an effective and efficient advocate for the students of Western. The individual in this role directly oversees the internal operations of all of the AS programs and services working alongside other board members and AS employees to assess policies, the AS budget and program development. Furthermore, I believe it is the responsibility of the VP for business and operations to ensure the desires of students are accurately reflected in the financial decisions that are made within the AS and that the integrity of programs that outreach to students of Western are maintained and properly supported.

Tell us about one issue affecting students that you think the AS Board of Directors should focus on next year.

I’m going to have to say that the overall level of awareness of what is happening in the AS is a huge issue affecting students of Western. If you asked a student at random around campus, and asked them what a certain fee is for, or how that money is being spent or what sorts of things are happening currently in the AS that are affecting the money that is at the disposal of the AS and the things that directly benefit them, chances are they would have little to no response. So I believe a greater emphasis should be put into inviting the students to the events in which the board is making decisions related to the AS. As an elected official it really is the job of the board members to put these decisions regarding the AS on display, as well as facilitate student involvement in these decisions.

This year, the AS has had to deal with funding cuts and tough budget decisions. How will you help maintain the quality of AS programs, services and events if these budget issues continue?

In addition to the stress I put on the importance of student awareness and quality communication, this position absolutely demands that the person elected conducts their business in an efficient manner. The most important aspect of efficiency in this regard is to ensure the protection of the AS programs and organizations that serve the students best. This is done primarily by assessing the number of students that utilize the resources of AS programs and organizations, and also by assessing the impact of the budgets on benefiting the students. It would be my personal goal to assess our current budget and work alongside other board members to ensure the voices of students are reflected in our efforts to protect the programs, services and events that are in question due to budget issues.


Jered McCardle

Candidate Statement: I’m Jered McCardle and I hope to become your next VP for business and operations. I have been involved at Western since freshman year in hall council as a Residence Hall Association representative. Through my work as the national communications coordinator for RHA, student senate vice chair and serving on numerous committees this year, I believe that I am the best candidate for this position.
My goal for next year is to look past just the budgets of the AS, but also to look at what every student receives from various events and offices. We must look at what every student gains from each part of the AS, whether that is having fun at a dance, or being in a safe environment. Thank you.

Why are you seeking this position?

I’ve always had a passion for business and economics. As of right now I am a political economics major and it is something I am really passionate about … The biggest reason that I am running is that I believe some things need to be changed to make the AS even more efficient. We have to look at more than just attendance figures and more than just budgets and cash inflows and everything like that. To make the AS as high a quality program as we want it to be, we have to look at more qualitative reasoning as well.

What do you think is the role of VP for business and operations?

I would like to view my role, if I’m elected, to be an adviser to the offices of the AS, and to not enforce what I want upon them. I want them to be able to choose what they want to do and I want to be able to advise them on what I believe and what the students believe wants to be done with those offices, because I don’t want to represent myself in the AS, I want to represent other students at Western. I really want to look at the finances of the AS and to make the AS operate at a cost-efficient, high-quality level, which goes back into how I want to look at things more qualitatively, because things are not just about budgets and attendance figures, it should be about what people learn and what people experience at these events as well.

Tell us about one issue affecting students that you think the AS Board of Directors should focus on next year.

I think we should really focus on trying to encompass more graduate students in the AS. I know in talking to a lot of people during the campaign, numerous graduate students have come up to me and told me they don’t feel accepted in the AS, they feel it’s very undergraduate-centric, and we have to realize as an organization that the students at Western do not just comprise undergraduates, there are around 2,000 graduate students at this university, and they are as much a part of the AS as the undergraduates, so I really think we should try and expand and try to look at their issues just as much as undergraduate issues.

This year the AS has had to deal with funding cuts and tough budget decisions. How will you help maintain the quality of AS programs, services and events if these budget issues continue?

We have to simply look at efficiency in the offices. We have to look at cash flows, we can’t just look at attendance figures as well, we have to look at the quality of programs, we have to look at what people are learning, we have to look at whether they are having fun at these events and whether they themselves view these events as really valuable to their time at the university. Overall by looking at those things we can make the AS far more efficient in not just ways with cash inflows, but also to make the AS efficient in making the experience of Western Washington University as great as it possibly can be to each student.