Virgilio Cintron – VP for Business and Operations

-What experience do you have that qualifies you for the position you are running for?

I have a lot of experience especially in the AS. I am actually the co-coordinator to the Latino Student Union, I am on the AS management council, AS Facilities and Services council, Dining Services Committee. I also am the co-founder of the president’s council within the ESC. I also work a lot on the scholarship committee for the ESC and also the Diversity Task Force. So I have been working a lot with the AS and especially with the different programs within the AS so that’s basically, within a nutshell my experience.

-What are your three biggest goals you wish to accomplish?

Food would be one of the biggest goals; I really want to increase the affordability, sustainability and quality of our food here on campus.
Another issue that I’d like to address is the AS programming, I want to make sure that all the AS programs have enough of the support system that they need to be able to get out there and outreach the students and bring them to our programs. And in order for that to happen they need to be running effectively.
The third goal that I’d like to do is, assessing student fees, making sure that if the new fee is passed, the alternative transportation fee, that we are monitoring that and making sure that for sure it is being used effectively and we are able to use it to where the students want it, because we are charging them for it. And also the green energy fee, seeing how we can maximize that.

-Going back to your first goal, the food, could you explain a little more on that and what you would want to do?

I think a lot of it is working with, directly with Sodexho, it is an on going process, we’re not going to get rid of Sodexho so we need to work with them to increase all the aspects that I was talking about. Specifically Sodexho, with our work through the dining services committee, I have been learning about the different sustainability, Actually Western has been chosen for a test module from Sodexho for a sustainability module, that’s what they’re calling it, and they are probably going to start putting that into effect next year, so like monitoring where they are going with that and seeing how we can like, jump on that and change it to where we want it to go. And I think it is a continuing working process with them and in all of the aspects because when you are in the dining services committee, you learn, you start talking with the persons and they do care. But if people aren’t constantly on them, like trying to get change through they [won’t] have a reason to change, so I think that’s where we have to come in and actually push them and use our different organizations to lobby them to meet our needs, because we are their customers.

-And your second point was AS programs, How would you go about that?

I think it’s just going to every program, seeing how it is working, and getting the feel of what’s their membership. Do they think that they are getting enough support? what do they feel? I think a lot of it is just talking to the employees, seeing how it is working, because you might talk to the director and there will be all this other stuff, but there might be something small that an employee sees that could change, you know? I think a lot of it is just like looking at that in the sense that , I’ve done a lot, uh a little bit of work in the ESC about that, like structure wise, that’s why we made the presidents council because we wanted to get the leaders together because that’s what it is, the leaders get together and they talk about issues within their club and it has helped a lot of people see that, oh the other clubs are having issues and how they’re dealing with it and how I can implement that in my club and furthermore that gets you more membership into your club and it helps the program develop further.

-How do you hope to build larger student familiarity and involvement with the Associated Students? What are some of the ways that you want to go about that?

I really want, like what I envision the AS to do is for anyone to be able to walk up, like comfortable walking up to a board member and just being like this is what I feel, this is the issue that I see, and then the board member being able to take that in and seeing where that fits in. Direct them to the right person, you know, they are talking about academics, say oh well the VP for Academics will be happy to hear about that, you know, and like make it a friendly environment I’d like to see the AS board go to the dining halls, and meet the board or something, we did that in January of this year, I believe the board did it, but why cant there be more times when you meet the board because we are the people. If I were elected, we would be the people that are you know, representing the students, and we need to make sure that were getting out there and that people feel comfortable talking to us, also using the student senate, I think sometimes it is underused, we could develop the senate to be even more effective, so that people are like oh we’ll meet the senate and talk to them about the issues, because a lot of times the AS board is doing a lot of different things, especially board members, they have so much responsibilities that the senate would be a great place to put that in they go to the board, so you know getting the senators out there as well.

-Would you name one or two decisions that the board has made this year, that you disagree with, or at least the way they have gone about the decision, that you disagree with.

One of the decisions, the electronic events calendars, they have been talking about that for the past two meetings, I don’t think they have made a complete decision on it, but I think they are not really maybe seeing where that could go, I understand all the monetary issues of that that go along with it, I think they should try to give it more of a chance, but we’ll see how that ends up. The other issue for the board, I don’t have that many disagreements with the board decisions. One thing wouldn’t technically be an issue, but AS Election wise, I felt like they didn’t publicize AS Elections a lot. Like for people to run there are three unopposed candidates, all I saw were a few posters out there I’d like to see more like “run for the AS”, you know more talking about it, you know. I don’t think we did a very good job with that

Abbey Weigel – VP for Business Operations

-What experience do you have that qualifies you for the position you are running for?

I have kind of been placed in a leadership role for a lot of different reasons in my life. I play a lot of sports, been on a lot of team oriented things like that, being captain of teams like that forced me to be in a leadership role. I was also highly involved in leadership in high school, I was senior class secretary, I also served on my hall council my freshman year in sigma on the ridge. I’ve also had a lot of real world experience that I think will help me in the position, I managed a financial planning firm for six months here in Bellingham. With that, it entailed budgeting experience, management of employees, just working with people that were involved in anything from different companies coming in with their products selling to me or getting everyone’s information together so from there I think I’ve built quite a good experience that will serve me well in this position.

-What are your three biggest goals you wish to accomplish?

Well the issues I stand for right now, one of my main ones is to implement some form of electronic event calendar. Just to better inform students of campus activities, events that come into campus and also to inform the AS as a whole what other clubs are doing, what the AS Board is doing, what AS productions is putting on, so that we don’t have this overlap, because I know as of right now there isn’t a concrete way for some one from the AS board to go and look and say ok what’s going on this month, what days are open, what time slots are open. That way the entire AS can work a little bit more fluidly, and not have to have these clashes or run into speed bumps along the way.
-What do you mean by “electronic calendar”?
In my mind, kind of a digitized form of signage, having an LCD monitor upstairs in the VU or in the atrium in Artzen, shows the monthly activities, flashes advertisements for something that’s going on in the AS productions, or from the women’s center, or the ROP anything involved in there, the ESC, things that would flash up from there, just to inform students of what is going on, therefore increase admissions to these activities and events and get people more involved in what is going on campus

-Along the lines of what was voted on last time?
True, yes.

-How do you hope to build student involvement and knowledge of the Associated Students?
I’d like to just get the AS out there, have faces known, have people known, have contact information, office hours, the website [should] be updated and be clear about things, just to make it easier for the students to know what is going on, who they can and can’t get a hold of, when or when they can’t get a hold of them. Because right now people don’t know who is in the AS, very few people that I have talked to actually know what the AS is, and who’s in it and what’s going on, and I’d like to fix that. To have people know who’s on the board, who can they go talk to, with any specific issue, how can they bring issues up to the board. Bring people in like that. I’d also like to see the AS being out there, going to the dining halls and talking with the students be aware of what is going on in hall council meetings, being involved in the activities they put on, having AS board members at these activities and making it a requirement for people to be out there, and interacting with students, instead of letting them come into the AS

-How do you hope to build larger student familiarity and involvement with the Associated Students? What are some of the ways that you want to go about that?

I don’t think that I would disagree with anything that I have seen. I do like the fact that they take the time to discuss it thoroughly, and make sure the wording is correct on any decision that they make, and that all seven board members plus advisors are involved in the decision making process. Other than that I feel that having everyone involved and having information that everybody can have access to is probably the most important thing to make those good decisions and not have to have decisions made that students don’t like. Even with the last question, I think that informing students of those decisions that the board is making would be a great idea also just to further bring students into the AS.

-Is there anything that you would like to add?

This position is about bettering life at Western, and bettering day to day activities, and everything for students, and hearing the students voice and I think the most important thing is for the students to be fully represented by their student elected AS Board.