The editorial board has followed the campaigns of the candidates, interviewed each candidate and attended the debate. After careful consideration, we have selected a candidate for each position we feel has the best potential to succeed in his or her job and as a collaborative team.
President: Patrick Stewart
Executive Vice President: Christine Whiteaker
Financial Vice President: Herman Valdez
This board has decided to endorse Patrick Stewart as President of ASWU for the 2012-2013 school year. Stewart’s experience within ASWU will serve him well in the position, and this board feels that experience is key. Stewart has served as a representative and senator in Warren, as well as working with alumni, showing that he has an established relationship with students, administrators and trustees. With his past ASWU experience, Stewart has the knowledge of what has and hasn’t worked with previous presidents, providing a solid foundation to implement his ideas into ASWU. The fact that Stewart has front-loaded his class schedule in preparation for potentially running for president shows his commitment to the position. Although Stewart’s strength is business-relations, this board wants to challenge Stewart to realize that this position is also relational. We feel that he would represent Whitworth well because of his connections as well as professionalism. Stewart has a solid foundation of ASWU experience behind him, great connections with administration and the drive to achieve his goals within the position.
It is our perception through interviews and the debate that Hough’s focus is more on the BELIEF program, and not necessarily ASWU as a whole, whereas Stewart is focused solely on ASWU. This board would have liked to see Hough have a more ASWU-centered focus, as this position is significantly different from other leadership positions on campus. With that said, we do not think Hough would be a poor president; we think Hough has the potential to be a great leader. She has passion for empowering other students to become leaders around her. She has shown her abilities through the establishment of the BELIEF Program, which has enjoyed great success through her vision and hard work. Hough has said she will stay on as director of BELIEF for next year, and we fully support her in that role. We appreciate that she had the foresight to bring on two new members into the core BELIEF team in order to delegate responsibilities to them during her potential presidency; however, this board believes BELIEF has the capacity to be even larger than Whitworth and ASWU. We think Hough has the passion and vision for this society-shaking program, and we feel the ASWU presidency would detract from what BELIEF can be. We want Hough to focus all of her energy on this program. We want to see Hough build BELIEF into even more of an inspiration than it already is. We want to see Hough empowering students.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT:
After careful consideration, this board has chosen to endorse Christine Whiteaker for Executive Vice President for the 2012-2013 school year. In both her interview and at the debate, Christine demonstrated a supportive nature, which is key to the position. Her willingness to work behind the scenes and take a back-seat position further shows that she is qualified. She also has experience being in the position currently, and can utilize that in the upcoming year. Such experiences include assisting in meetings and rising up to challenges. She has faced confrontation with senators and has learned how to handle it well. In the middle of the year, when a shift in the presidency occurred, Whiteaker was voted into the EVP position by the senators. That demonstrates the potential she has to succeed in this position as she is backed by her peers already.
On the contrary, Gjefle does not have that experience. Although he has faced confrontational issues, it has been in a student life realm, which is different. Gjefle also expressed the fact that he plans to take 17 credits and will be involved in the BELIEF program. His course load and obligations could potentially limit the amount of time he is able to spend focusing on the position. He also is not as familiar as Whiteaker with what the position entails. Although filled with good ideas, this board sees him as a good leader for student life. His abilities to be relational and implement ideas into programs and prime times are visible signs of student life being more appropriate for him. Whiteaker has the experience, personality and mentality to succeed at this position and on her future ASWU leadership team.
FINANCIAL VICE PRESIDENT:
This board has decided to endorse Herman Valdez for the Financial Vice President for the 2012-2013 school year. Valdez showed over and over his ability to create and maintain relationships while also being able to crunch the numbers. This board also sees potential for Valdez to learn from having this position as a junior, and potentially return the following year. In the interviews Valdez said one of his three main goals is to turn the FVP position into a hired position. As a board we support this goal, as we recognize the importance of this position as something far greater than popular vote. We are confident that Valdez will be able to work with the clubs on campus to get them what they need. We believe that he will maintain open channels so that students, ASWU members and the administration will always be able to access him.
At the same time, this board would like to caution Valdez on being sure to maintain professionalism. Valdez expressed in the interview that he is a people-pleaser, and as such, this board would like to see him set down ground rules for himself and stick to his guns when necessary. With such a large responsibility, it becomes imperative to set aside your own feelings at times to do what is right for the majority and this board urges him to remember that.
Although John Baxley brings his experience in various financially-centered positions to the table, this board feels that there could be an issue with approachability. The FVP is a position that this board feels requires a significant amount of personal interaction with individuals. If Baxley were to be elected, this board would like to caution him about his approachability. In a position dealing with the financials, the inability to appear available to not only clubs but coordinators and other leadership team members could have a negative effect. Baxley’s goal to act as a liaison between Whitworth (clubs and students) and the community is one that this board stands behind and would like to urge Baxley to continue to strive for in his future leadership roles in the Business department and club responsibilities.
This board has decided not to endorse Courtney Edwards for the FVP position because of her lack of background knowledge of the position and unpreparedness for the duties. Edwards expressed in the debate that she could bring excitement and happiness to the job, and although that is important for any position, it is not the main purpose of FVP. This board would like to see Edwards solidify her idea of what it means to be a part of ASWU, as that was not made clear to us during the interviews or the debates.