EVP Candidate: Audrey Evans

Major: Health science
Minor: Music

Year: Junior

 

What is your class load like for next year and what will your other responsibilities be?

My class load is going to be the lightest it has ever been, which is pretty exciting. I’m taking 14-15 credits, which is sweet, including one credit music classes and GE 330. Class-wise I’m not going to have very many. I just met with my advisor and I have like two or three, which is exciting. I’m in choir currently, that will probably be next year as well, but I’m not positive if that will be a thing. I’m involved in UNITE this year, and that’s going to look a lot different next year. My involvement won’t be as much with UNITE. I’m excited to make EVP my priority and I’ll be able to spend time here and energy with that as well.

 

Why are you running for this ASWU position?

I thought a lot about running for president or EVP, but just because I’ve been around ASWU for a long time. I started going to meetings last January, so I’ve been going for a year and a half. I’ve been able to see both teams work. I knew from the end of the year last year that I wanted to be involved because I love the team dynamic. I love the way they get to see different aspects of the community from faculty and administration and students on and off campus. That is just such a great way to connect and have pride in the university, which I think is important for students in their well-rounded education. So I chose EVP because it hits on a lot of my strengths.

I’m relational. I’ve been an RA for last two years. I’ve found so much importance in one-on-one conversations and individuals’ passions and ideas, walks through life, victories, trials, issues with them. I  think it’s important professionally and personally.

Administratively, I love different things EVP gets to do. I’ve been able to see Tim [Gjefle] work — organizing meetings, people, and all the different kinds of things just energizes me like crazy. I worked as a conference assistant in the summer, and so I love paperwork and billing and filing. As a kid, my dream was to get office supplies. I’m stoked to go shopping to Staples and get highlighters or whatever.

And also the creative planning that gets to go on. It’s a position that requires a heart for service and other people and that’s something I want to grow in. So, a lot of different reasons and levels, but I’m excited about it.

 

What do you think is the greatest need of the student body? How do you propose to meet that need?

I think it’s important for students to know the resources available to them — whether that be funds in ASWU or a safe place for people to talk to, when they have a need. I know a lot of the hate crimes on campus, and just rough language in response to conversation or harassment kind of things. I think it’s important that students have resources available so they have support from faculty and students who have run and are there intentionally to serve and represent them. I think the resources need to be available to help them be who they are. I think it’s what attracts a lot of students to Whitworth. And a way we can grow is in acceptance of all different parts of a human being, such as spiritual, major, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity. So, a place where students feel safe to ask for help or to seek out resources or funds or group or support or even the tear off things that happen in the dorm or the HUB.

 

What are your feelings about transparency in ASWU?

I think it’s crucial. It’s absolutely crucial. It’s been interesting going door-to-door the last few days and so many students don’t even know what ASWU is. They only recognize the letters from the email. That makes me kind of sad. Well, actually it makes me very sad. I think it’s so important that students know who is representing them.

I know that it has been an issue this year. I think that starts with one-on-one conversation with the EVP and senators and coordinators, but also within group. They are not there to hide information. They’re there to be liaison between students and faculty and to encourage conversation outside of classroom and even in the classroom. It’s important that communication happens, whether that be emails, meetings, going around to prime times, or more of the temperature surveys, more off campus or more than just once a semester.

So transparency is important also with approachability with ASWU. I don’t think students know they can go to office and ask questions, can go to meetings. even though it’s in the newspaper, and even though information is available, I think it’s great students have face time with those representing them. I think it’s important to know what’s going on within the school. Students need to know what kind of decisions are being made on campus and what’s going on in campus and how it affects them.

 

What three things do you specifically want to have accomplished by the end of the first semester if you are elected?

I would love to have some sort of ASWU parade. I don’t know if that really means marching around campus, but something kind of like the plug-in picnic. But for students to be able to see sustainability coordinator and for them to say, “This is who I am,” and “Can I sign up and get involved with team?” and get involved in that way. The senator will be able to meet people outside of the dorm and get that connection.

I would love to see a ton of students at ASWU meetings. It’d be cool to have meeting at the MPR. I think it’s hard for senators to make decisions with a lot of people, so maybe just the first meeting is an invite to ‘this is what meetings are going to look like’ or ‘let’s introduce everyone to the student body,’ so it’s not so scary to go up into the chambers and sit. I’d like to see 100 students there, at least.

I would like to maintain a level of approachability and transparency in terms of communication from the executives. I don’t know if that’s column in newspaper or going to prime times, I don’t know if that’s an event or if that’s a meeting.

The beginning of second semester, I would like to have a plug-in picnic again for new transfer students or for people who have experienced change — maybe they’re a transfer, freshman, or they’re scared to commit the first week of school. But it would be really cool to have another ASWU fair or picnic in February for people to be able to say they’d like to be involved again. Then, we could push that first semester for the people who are going to be gone for Jan Term. We could say, “Hey, this is coming, you can look forward to it, so if you have ideas for something you want to do over winter break, bring it, we’ll talk about it over Jan Term and you can give it over February.”

 

What are your weaknesses in terms of the position you’re running for?

I’m passionate about a lot of things and so it’s hard for me to kind of switch mindsets sometimes, which I’ve learned so much about and that’s why I feel like I applied.

I feel like I can do this position because I have grown so much in my ability to say ‘now its homework time’ or ‘OK it’s people time,’ and so now I can switch super easily. I think especially with UNITE, I’ll do a lot of work with that in summer so I’ll be able to be more hands off, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being passionate about a lot of things. It’s just changing priorities, and I don’t think there’s weakness in that, but it’s a struggle sometimes, definitely. I want to be on forefront of everything and I can’t and I know that. So, saying no is sometimes a blessing. I can say “No, I’m not going to go to this event,” but that doesn’t mean I don’t care any less about it, but that’s because I get to do really cool things.

Coming from student life, my mind is student life. Student life is one thing, but it’s definitely not the only thing. So, like, off campus, lots of other events. I want to be able to find a place that resonates with off campus, not only freshmen who live in BJ. I think that will be a great learning experience in learning to collaborate with people in order to create events that will be successful for off campus and in a way that makes off campus people want to come back, not just someone in the dorm.

 

Why should we vote for you rather than your opponent?

I’m so proud of the work that ASWU has done this year, that I’ve seen. I was nervous coming into this year seeing a new group, but the way they lead with humility and lead with minds outward, wanting to reach as many students as possible. That’s incredible. I think it’s very transformative.

I’ve seen a change of culture on campus from last year to this year and a lot of students haven’t noticed that. I want to continue that. I think we are on a trajectory of greatness. My strengths in knowing a lot of people and being involved with ton of different events and things on campus means that I’m able to see a lot of different perspectives of ASWU or of campus. I’ve seen two different groups of ASWU work well, so I don’t feel like I’m coming into this position blindly. I come to it with energy, passion and excitement to work with individuals who want to grow, work and serve,  in broad ways and also super specific ways. So I’m excited to work on specific details and to work planning-wise for the whole year.

I believe that students have the ability to create change for themselves, but together are just completely unstoppable. If all dorms and off campus can come together and [for example] the English club can come together through ASWU and with faculty, and I think that it can be unbelievable the place that our campus can be, the things we can stand for and the safe place we can be in. I’m looking forward to representing students in that way.

 

Is there anything else we need to know about you?

I can’t say that I’m excited, because I think that I’ve said it about 25 times, so I won’t say that. But I do have fears. I know that I’m not perfect. I’m so looking forward to being in this position that will connect me and this group with students who have never heard about ASWU before. I know more students have voted yesterday than last year, which was my goal. My goal was for 1,200 votes. We’re not there yet, but I think we can get there Monday. I think for next year, if we get that many or 1,100, that will be success. I’m looking forward to getting this campus more active, but we have the ability to grow with student involvement and that can be pretty sweet. It’s a beautiful place, little ASWU.

 

 

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