By Matt Blair/The AS Review
AS VP for Business and Operations
The AS Review: You’ve clearly taken a proactive approach to the current budget crisis. Do you believe this process is the best way to go about finding solutions?
Virgilio Cintron: What I did this year was clean things up. I think for a number of years people hadn’t really been looking at these charters, committees or processes that we were actually using. We may have been using a specific process for something, but it wasn’t written on paper. There were a lot of things that were conflicting. So I was trying to move the organization into more of an assessment model … A lot of this year was about creating that structure and changing the culture of the AS. There were committees that hadn’t been looked at in ten years. Ten years ago the AS was a very different one than we have today. I believe that should be done every year because that’s what’s going to best represent students.
ASR: Now that you have a year of experience with this job, does it make it easier to continue revising the AS as opposed to starting anew?
VC: I think it’s both a continuation and dealing with new problems because new things are going to come up next year. Especially since being in the actual budget cut, it’s easy to be in the fiscal year before the budget cut. That way I won’t say “we’ll worry about that next year” or “we’ll plan for that.” We’re actually going to be a part of the budget cut … I think it helps to have continuity, just because many of our positions roll over year after year after year. So people start again at the same place the other person may have started.
ASR: As VP for Business and Operations, you are a direct tie between the business side of the board and students. Going into next year, what are some of the things that you’re thinking about, knowing that tuition will likely go up, financial aid might go down and it’s going to be more difficult to afford to go to Western?
VC: One thing that I’ve been focusing on is student fees. That’s something we can look at and see what students are wanting and needing as well as what funds we’re currently getting … Do we need to raise them in order to get these needs or can we get them with the resources we already have? We do the legislative stuff and we go out there and we lobby for students, but at the end those decisions aren’t really made by us. They’re made by external factors. So we can lobby all we want but there’s things here that we can do to try and maintain some level of the programming we have without having to raise fees continually. So this year, [AS President] Eric [Lowe] and I worked on fee processing. We capped the increase on the Student Tech fund and gave away some of the AS money so that other departments could also start decreasing their areas, but also keep a level of service. I think innovative stuff like that will be important next year. It’s something that I think I will be working on more with my position because student fees are something I feel that we can control. Even though the legislative force is really important, I feel like that’s something we can control right here at home and help alleviate some of those burdens.
AS Productions Pop Music Coordinator (Position Pending)
The AS Review: How are do you feel about the responsibility of being AS Productions Pop Music coordinator?
Hallie Anderson: It’s a little intimidating. I think Hunter [Motto] and Brittany [Smith] [the current ASP Pop Music coordinators] and everyone else that Hunter has worked with have solidified Pop as an office. They’ve made it pretty big, so it’s a little intimidating to step into those shoes. Hunter’s been doing it for three years; he’s good at what he does. So hopefully we can keep the program going up to the same caliber that they were able to.
ASR: Do you have any plans for next year?
HA: We’re throwing out ideas of people we’d like to contact, but it’s always really difficult to get that one artist on that one date. We’re starting to look at what weekends would be good and [have]established the groundwork, more or less, but we haven’t started contacting the artists or anything.
ASR: Why did you want to take on the job as coordinator of ASP Pop Music?
HA: I want to be an event coordinator that works for a company doing large festivals or big concerts, so I think Pop is more tailored to my specific interests. It relates more to my future. I’m really glad I had the opportunity to do Special Events [Anderson’s previous position], because it adds diversity to what I’ve done and hopefully it will help next year for Pop Music because we can come up with some out-of-the-box ideas in concerts or publicity.
ASR: How do you think you’ll go about selecting the artists to perform next year? Will there be student input?
HA: On the Web site, there is a box where students can put in “this is the artist I would like to see.” They can also sign up for our mailing list there. ... Bellingham is very lucky on where it’s placed. It’s between two huge cities, Seattle and Vancouver, which both get a lot of large acts, so we can route, book or pick up off dates on a tour, which definitely helps us to get those names that normally a market like Bellingham wouldn’t get. So that’s helpful and looking through student requests or talking to people about who they’d want to see.
AS ROP LGBT Alliance Asisstant Coordinator
The AS Review: This is your first salaried job as an AS employee. Why did you choose to seek employment with the AS?
Josh Foley: The LGBTA is something that I feel is a very powerful entity on campus and I just wanted to be a part of it and make it even more of a powerhouse while helping the campus through that. It’s a great resource and I think it can be utilized even more. That’s why I wanted to be a part of it, so that I could rework some things from the inside and really get the name out there. I felt that I could support a lot of LGTB students.
ASR: What kind of things, specifically, do you hope to utilize?
JF: I want to do a lot more community building. The LGTBA has a lot of events and that’s really awesome, but I think we need more social events and more mingling amongst communities. We can connect with different organizations and clubs. The [LGBTA] programs coordinator and I have talked about doing a lot more out in the community with high schools and trying to encourage other students to go out and be a part of Bellingham, more than just Western’s campus. We want to do a lot more with community in general; community in the sense of building a better LGBT community and also building community between clubs and connecting to the greater Bellingham community.
ASR: Come this time next year, what do hope to have accomplished within the LGTBA?
JF: I hope that I’ve created a campus where LGTB identity is very visible and very accepted. We’re going to work a lot on accepting the queer community from the inside—from an LGTB perspective because there’s a lot of separation within the community—but also I want the school to feel safe for everyone. I want people to come to our school specifically thinking, “this is a good school for LGTB students.”
AS Publicity Center Graphic Design Coordinator (Position Pending)
AS Review: Next year you’ll be AS Publicity Center Graphic Design Coordinator. How do you feel about that job?
Jonathan McConnell: I’m more of the public face, more involved in client interaction for the Publicity Center, which I enjoy. I want to continue to support and be helpful, to actually encourage the relationship between the Publicity Center and other offices within the AS and other departments within the university.
ASR: What about the fact that you’ll be managing other graphic designers? How will you manage their creative abilities?
JM: I’m just finishing my senior sequence of design—I just finished a graphic design major—and I’m applying for, effectively, an extra year as a bachelor of Fine Arts student. I think within the major I’ve worked with other students and their creative process and their school projects. Not necessarily managing them, but I’ve had the experience of working with some of the students that work here on a school level. But I do have that experience of standing back and saying, “okay, this is your work but I think it can go in that direction. It’s better if it goes in that direction.” As far as having a staff, I think it’s a great avenue to grow in my own abilities to manage people.
ASR: What can we expect from the graphic design (in the Publicity Center) next year?
JM: I think the quality of work will be superior even to this year. This year has been a great year, but with returning staff, returning designers and only having to bring in a couple of new people, I think that the quality of work will be awesome. With those returning people it will be awesome work, on time … I think that’s something we’ve previously struggled with.