Ramiro Espinoza – President (unopposed interview done by email)
What experience do you have that makes you qualified for the position you are running for?
I have spent the last year working with the current Board of Directors in learning the issues and their roles within the organization in order to best serve the students. As the only current AS employee running, I also bring a working knowledge of the AS infrastructure to the table along with both University (Housing & Dining) and AS
(Budget) committee experience.
2) What are your 3 biggest goals that you hope to accomplish if you are elected?
Focus number one is to improve the relationship of the AS in relation to the student community. Number two, push hard for improved and equal academic advising for all departments. A strong third is to improve the University and the AS through more sustainable operational management.
3) How will you achieve these goals? Please be specific.
The institution of campus forums in the resident halls through hall council and also with the VU and dining halls would create direct contact with students while allowing students to air questions and grievances making the AS more dynamic and able to reach the students' needs. As far as academic advising, an electronic format similar to classfinder which could model degree paths and expected class schedules. This system if designed correctly, could shorten expected graduation times, but also give everyone, from incoming freshman to outgoing seniors a means to monitor progress and track classes more efficiently than ever before. I would like to address sustainabilty within the AS and the University by expanding a Co-operative programming where student education would coincide with University needs. An example of this would be marketing, set up internship opportunities campus-wide expanding AS advertising. This is just one example, there are so many ways that would enhance University operations, but also enhance student marketability after Western.
4) How will you build stronger student body involvement and familiarity with the Associated Students?
This question is partially addressed in my first goal from question 2 The goal of increasing a positive environment for students is a guiding theme that must be carried every year from every Board of Directors. The concept of forums in common areas (VU, Viking Commons etc.) is just one way that the AS can build a good relationship and foster a greater familiarity for incoming students and also students with little to no exposure to the AS. I will work tirelessly to communicate to the students and give them the opportunity to see what the AS has to offer.
5) Would you name one or two decisions that the Associated Students Board of Directors has made this year that you disagreed with?
I would have approached the proposal for funding on digital signage differently despite my interest in expanding the ways in which we advertise. There are more sustainable means to address the issue and I would have required a more precise direction before proceeding.
Erik Lowe – VP for Legislative Affairs (unopposed. interview done by email)
1. I have been actively involved in many programs since arriving here last year. I am currently the Vice President of the Western Democrats and have helped to organize voter registration drives as well as worked on multiple campaigns throughout Bellingham. I am currently a member of the AS Legislative Affairs Council, which sets the State and Federal Legislative Agenda for Western's Associated Students. In addition, I have extensive experience lobbying in Olympia with both the ACLU and Western's AS during Viking Day.
2. My three biggest goals are to continue the current VP for Campus and Community Affairs, Kevin McClain's, great work with the WTA and continue to foster a strong relationship between the school and the transportation authority. I would also like to promote the Legislative Affairs council and recruit as many students as possible to apply. Without a wide range of student input, we run the risk of not representing all students at Western. And finally, I am going to work hard with next year's election coordinator to organize the largest voter registration drive possible, because when students vote, legislators listen.
3. Well I have already spoken with Kevin and will continue to work hard to expand services with the WTA, whether or not the Alternative Transportation Fee passes (although I greatly hope that it does). In regards to the other two goals, the best way to acheive them is to just put in the time and effort, which means lots of tabling in Red Square.There is no doubt though, that I am up to the task, getting people politically involved regardless of affiliation is what I live for. Students have a voice, and it's about time we used it.
4. When I first arrived at Western, I had to seek people out in order to get involved. The only reason why I had even heard about the Legislative Affairs Council was because one of my friends was on it. First of all the Board should be more accessible. A lot of the time it can be difficult, and seemingly impossible to get in touch with a Board member. Secondly, I believe we should have more active recruiting to groups such as the Student Senate and the myriad of other AS committees on campus. Once someone gets their foot in the door of a great organization like the AS, there is no telling what things they can accomplish.
5. The measure I have been most opposed to is the pay raise for the Board of Directors from a 2.0 to a 2.5 on the monthly salary index. That's an increase of $177 a month that could be used for many, many other things. I understand that the increase was meant to recruit more people to run forthe positions, but I believe that most qualified people would be willing to work for $700 a month.
Kayla Britt - VP of Diversity
Kayla Britt did not submit answers to the AS Review by Monday morning.