FVP Candidate: Matt Valdez

Major: Accounting
Year: Junior

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

Next year is going be much better than this year has been. My class load will be less accounting classes, which will be nice, so it’ll be more just rounding out my requirements. I’ll be taking somewhere between 12-14 credits each semester. Other than school and potential of this position, I wouldn’t have any other big commitments at this point.

Why are you running for this ASWU position?

I’m running for this position because I have absolutely loved it this year. It’s been a great experience. And I think that having had a year of experience, I have a lot to offer the position and team next year. I think there’s a lot that can be done with having the same person in the same position for two consecutive years. I’ve kind of started to build some bases for change and I’d like to see that continue next year, so I think that that’s a lot of excitement for me if re-elected.

One of the things I’ve talked with Dayna about is changing the structure of club council and their interaction with ASWU. There’s just been some frustration with them being distant and the communication not being very good there.

So hopefully, next year I’ll be able to be in touch with the pr/marketing coordinator and getting her involved in that, and making sure meetings with clubs are beneficial and productive and that they show up and all those little things. So that’s something I’ve really worked on this year and given another year, I can make a difference for them.

We’re building a website for clubs. Other than that, little things as simple as updating paperwork, such as requisition forms to make them easier to read and more beneficial and little things like that I think that can make a difference.

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

For one, definitely have that website up and running for clubs.

A second thing, I would like to do a better job next year of helping coordinators. They’re all doing great jobs, and being more involved with their budgets, so when they come to me and say “do you know where I’m at?” I can be better about knowing that information instead of directing them to Linda all the time.

Then I think there’s just the general get to know the team really well. I think that ASWU can have the stigma of not as approachable, not as friendly as a team, so just making sure we continue to build those bridges with other student leadership on campus and with administration.

What exactly is the website for the clubs?

It’ll be a link on the Whitworth website, and it’ll be separate website that it’ll take it to. Every club will have a blurb with what they’re all about with contact information for presidents and vice presidents. It’ll be up to the clubs, they’ll have their own freedom to design it however they like. There won’t be any other requirement than having an explanation of what their club is, some contact info, and it’ll be up to them to design their own web page, which will be nice since a lot of clubs have affiliations with other organizations that they can just link into there.

Critique yourself on how you did in this position over the course of this year.

So this was my first year in leadership and I think that coming in, I really had a lot of vision of being connected on campus — going to dorms, being at prime times and trying to make myself available and therefore maybe the budget more available to students, more transparent. But that didn’t happen a whole lot. That’s been a real challenge for me that I haven’t been the best about, so that’ll be something else I’ll want to be more intentional about next year as well.

In conversations, people have felt comfortable coming to me asking for money, bringing receipts, so I think that I’ve done a good job being approachable that way. I’ve done my best to be fair, but provide a little direction with requisitioning and the money handling process. I’ve been critiqued for rushing conversations, but given it was a new experience, I think it’s something I can work on next year. Again, that can be something we can change, as far as doing silent votes or paper votes.

I’ll be restructuring the clubs because I did a poor job running those meetings. That time could have been better used and communication with clubs has been a struggle.

Overall, I would say I handled the job well, but I think there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement.

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