Presidential Candidate: Ian Robins

Major: Health science
Minor: Sociology
Year: Sophomore with junior standing

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

I’ve been looking at courses next year already. I’ve been looking at my four-year plan since last year. It won’t be anything I can’t handle at all. I came in with 22 credits, so that helps with taking a little burden off. I’m almost done with gen eds. I’m not worried about workload when it comes to class. Other responsibilities — what I do on this campus already is admissions work, which if I get this position, I will most likely drop because it wouldn’t be necessary for me. All my other responsibilities I have right now are through ASWU, through five committees. It’s not really a new responsibility for me.

Why are you running for this ASWU position?

I have been passionate about student government for a long time, both in middle school and high school. I was student body president my senior year and that was a big experience for me, which I loved.

When I got here I ran for a rep position, which was best I could do for my year. That was a great experience for me I got to learn from a lot of different upperclassmen who were in ASWU last year. I fell in love with student government over again because it’s more serious here.

I love the fact that it can make change on campus and I see that right now, the student body, yes they know they have a voice, but I don’t think they’re utilizing that power. There’s so much power in what we can do on this campus.

The administration will and needs to listen to us. If you look at other universities, students have a huge role making decision across the board and I don’t think students here take advantage of it. We, in a way, are in kind of an environment of acceptance and just sitting and maybe whining about it instead of doing something, and I want to actually do something.

I just want to be a megaphone for the student body to the administration and be a better communicator between the two.

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

I think it kind of plays into what I just mentioned before, that they say students have a voice, and I do think it’s heard and especially the fact that ASWU members are on committees, and I think it’s great. But I want to make sure we have the best people on those committees from the student body. Maybe that doesn’t mean they are from ASWU, and we have to find other outside members on the campus community because they are the best for that position, so I think that could be something. I think better representation of what the student body actually wants instead of sticking with the traditional and the comfortable.

What are your feelings about transparency in ASWU?

I think right now we put a valiant effort into being transparent. I don’t know if it’s being received well by the student body or if they even care. I feel like ASWU feels exclusive in some ways compared to other groups on campus, like RAs because with their job they have to be more open and personal. On the other hand, we are up here in our offices and in the chambers–just the word makes it seem like we are put away from everybody else.

I would want to make sure people feel welcome in coming. When I go around in Warren or put on the Facebook page that students are more than welcome to come visit and let them know what’s going on and what we are going to be talking about, they’ll say they didn’t know they could go to those meetings and thought that you had to be a rep or a senator. It’s interesting but kind of sad they don’t know that. I think moving the meeting to a different location would be ideal because it does get a little crowded in there and when people do come, it’s kind of discouraging to go to because sometimes they have to sit on the floor. I think that maybe finding a different means to have the meeting would be a better way to show transparency and be more open.

Another way I would show transparency or better communication is to have a “state of the university of the address” either done by the exec team or senators in their communities. Either way, it’s just what our body would choose, and I think that would be a great time to share everything as to what’s going on. It shouldn’t be up to surveys once or twice a year and trying to get information back from students. I think it’s sad that we haven’t utilized that as much the last two years.

Have you looked over the ASWU constitution and bylaws? How familiar are you with them?

I’ve read over it a couple times, mainly last year. I’ve worked a lot with them doing budget committee because you have to abide by them when it comes to looking at all different clubs and what they’re asking. Obviously if I get this position, I would be using them a lot more. I feel like with two years in ASWU I feel like I know the rules and ways things are done and what has to be done. My lens of what I see things, like outside of school, is through student government. It sounds weird, but people get annoyed by it sometimes, but they just have to deal with it.

The position of president has been acknowledged as one of the most criticized positions on campus. How will you deal with this?

So one of my favorite things on the rules poster in the chambers is to be a duck. What that means is to take criticism–it could hurt you or you can let it roll off you like a duck. I really love that statement when I heard it last year because you are just being a duck, letting everything roll off you. Don’t take it to heart. I think we should listen to criticism, obviously, and try to grow and learn from it and change if it needs to be changed. I can’t let criticism get me down and I know I have resources around me to talk and to throw ideas off of.

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

I feel confident, really, in my experience the last two years in the position and going for this position. This is something I’ve been planning to do and wanting to do for months now. I feel pretty confident.

I think the biggest thing other people have is I am a junior next year, I think people see that as a weakness. I don’t think year or age has anything to do with this position. As long as they know that they’re doing and know ASWU in and out and know the university in and out as best as they can. I would hate for people to not vote for me because I’m a current sophomore and I’m going to be a junior. If anything that’s a strong point, because I could run for president for two years. I think taking from what I learn from next year if I were president would be an even more strong point for me and for the school.

Why should we vote for you rather than your opponent?

I think the main thing behind this is experience. Again with the president position, you should have experience going into it because you need to know how ASWU plays out and how it’s been in the past. I’ve been around it the whole time here. I’ve been totally immersed in it; it’s my passion. It’s the only thing I’ve been doing outside of admissions on campus. It’s something I’ve been planning on for a long time since last semester. It’s been my goal and what I’ve been wanting to do. I see it as an investment because I’m going to be a junior, I can carry on what I’m learning from next year into my senior year.

Is there anything else we need to know about you to make this decision?

I’m not as nervous in life really as I am right now [laughs]. I just think you guys should know I love everything about ASWU. I get excited to hang out with all those people. It’s my passion. I love to just fight for the student body when it comes to dealing with administration or things on campus or current issues in the world. I feel like we shouldn’t just accept surviving and should be able to thrive. That’s just something that is a big passion and a big part of my heart.

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