The AS Review: What motivates you to seek out this position?
Mike Pond: Well I guess probably my passion and desire to help people and help students and develop the initiative within others and further people along on their path here at Western, just to get people involved and really try to make a difference in our community here that we have.
ASR: What groups of students might be easily overlooked by the AS Board, and what will you do to ensure that you represent them in your work?
Pond: I think it’s easy for any governing organization to overlook small factions that may not really have a voice or representation so that’s a problem that we would have to watch out for and I guess what I could do in this position is have listening sessions where students could come talk to the AS board and if they have issues they can come speak directly to us to be able to get their point of views across. And that’s not all of it but definitely student outreach, going to the students and going to the different clubs and meeting with them and talking about, “what are your goals for the year, what are your goals for while you’re here at Western,” definitely have that give and take and outreach to students and outreach to the AS and that’s how I’d deal with that.
ASR: Since you came to Western, what has been the most important issue facing students that went unaddressed or was dealt with poorly? What issue would you say has been addressed most positively?
Pond: Well, I think pertaining to student life I think that how they handled housing at the beginning of the year with the overflow that there could have been better solutions to housing 40 students and guest housing off campus and definitely issues like that. They did the best they could half the time, but I don’t know if that was the right solution. But now we have systems in place for next year where we’re capping returners so they can’t overflow the system and that’s definitely an issue that my position, student life, will have something to do with next year.
Probably the budget this year [was addressed [positively]. I think that our president made a really positive decision with cutting the football team. I think that was a step in the right direction and was definitely positive action taken by our president.
ASR: What are your three biggest goals for next year?
Pond: Definitely I want to increase transparency between the AS and the students so that they know what we’re doing, when we’re doing it, what we’re talking about, what we’re getting done, is definitely a big issue.
As far as budget things, sitting on committees for the technology fee or housing committees, making sure that one of the things that we do is have committee communication over the fees, because those fees are operated independently and no one really takes into account, “Well that fee’s going up 5 percent so maybe we shouldn’t take this fee up 10 percent,” kind of thing, have more collaboration when it comes to that because it’s the students’ money and we’re basically playing with it. So keeping collaboration between a few committees and making sure it’s still feasible to attend Western would probably be another big issue. And the third issue I guess would be to increase outreach to students and build leaders here on campus.
ASR: When a student comes to you with a question that is beyond the scope of your job, how will you respond to this student?
Pond: Well I don’t know if I should tell you this by putting it in the paper but I’m an RA up on the Ridge and a lot of questions are beyond my scope but I’m definitely known for being a resource for students and being able to connect them with the people that can answer that question or they need to talk to this person to get this done and definitely being able to be a resource for any student that has a question or need for particularly the AS.