Minor: Political Science
Editorial Board: What is your class load like for next year and what will your other responsibilities be?
Patrick Stewart: This year I really made it a point to overload myself in preparation to potentially run for president. Currently I’m taking 20 credits and last semester took 19 in an effort to make it easier next year. Trying to go for CPA – to do that I need to make 150 credits which is why I’ve been hauling through it the last few years. I work for the alumni department and that’s interspersed work. I’m part of the philanthropy group – student philanthropy counsel – and I’m still working on that. I wouldn’t take on president if I had too much. Earlier in the year I was nominated for EVP butI had to turn that down because it was unrealistic given my schedule and workload. President is my passion.
EB: Why are you running for this ASWU position and what are your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the position?
PS: Having been in ASWU the last few years I’ve seen Josh, Eric and Melinda be President. I wanted to make it a point to run for president senior year. I feel like I have a set of abilities and I feel like I’m somewhat attuned to the roles of the president and I enjoy it. I’ve been in ASWU for two years. I come from the viewpoint of a student my freshman year not really doing anything and I decided to run for rep beginning of my sophomore year. Last year I worked with my first senator to get a TV, ping-pong table and pool table which was one of the biggest requisitions for a dorm. I’ve come to know a lot of faculty and staff. Through my alumni work I already meet with Trustees and I’m pretty involved in the school. I really make it a point to further the school, whether that be through giving back to the community or contributing back to Whitworth through alum. Sometimes I tend to be a big picture guy – I look past the little details. Just making sure all my people are well represented and that I’m listening to all sides. Making sure that their viewpoints are not necessarily influenced by me, but by their constituents. I believe that our reps and senators are delegates.
EB: What do you think is the greatest need of the student body? How do you propose to meet that need?
PS: Since my time at Whitworth we went through a transitional phase from Bill Robinson to Beck Taylor. I think a huge need is to feel connected through admin. I really hope to bridge that gap. I want to be able to spread this information out. There’s a lot going on that admin have strong opinions on. Having those viewpoints reflect student viewpoints is key. I think that’s year to year and I don’t think that changes. It’s about setting up that tie and making sure that he feels connected to students. Developing those ties right now is very vital and that will benefit them for years and years. I really want to make it clear to the student population that I’m accessible and ASWU is accessible. I really want to see more student involvement in ASWU. We do temperature surveys but that’s not enough. Really getting people to want to be connected to aswu is vital.
EB: What are your feelings about transparency in ASWU?
PS: There was a big transition in the middle of the year and it was noticeable coming out of that that not only was information being spread from senators and representatives but also that from that point it was a lot better. Just having admin accountable both visibly and in reality is huge. Decisions need to be made out in the open. Managing time effectively in meetings to discuss and to stop that discussion is a pretty big deal too. I would also look to the Whitworthian for accountability.
EB: Have you looked over the ASWU constitution and bylaws? How familiar are you with them?
PS: Fairly. After running for two positions I looked over them and have been looking at them for the last three years. It’s open for interpretation that’s the great thing about bylaws. The FSOPs is pretty interesting which is where we keep capital and unallocated. Over the last couple of years I’ve learned quite a lot about that.
EB: What is the relationship between ASWU and the Whitworthian?
PS: The last thing I want is something adversarial. Intertwining and making sure that ASWU is going to the Whitworthian and making sure that the Whitworthian isn’t having to go look for information. Just making sure that everything is clear and that if we need to talk about something that it’s well discussed and laid out on the table. We need to make sure information is well understood and explained to the student body. ASWU could definitely benefit from that medium. I don’t want censorship.
EB: The position of president has been acknowledged as one of the most criticized positions on campus. How will you deal with this?
PS: I’m all for open communication and I don’t want passive aggression about an ASWU decision, executive or personal opinion. Being available is extremely vital.
EB: Why should we vote for you rather than your opponent?
PS: A big concern of mine is having an inexperienced executive branch in relation to ASWU. The president is a big position with knowledge of ASWU. I come from a position of a representative and senator and take that to the meetings and bring that to the table. Experience is a huge reason for me. That’s probably one of the biggest points for me and I’m already involved with the trustees. Making sure that I’m personable is big.
EB: Is there anything else we need to know about you to make this decision?
PS: I really would like the opportunity to work with Beck and tie the student body to the administration. Why president? I know I couldn’t be EVP. One-on-ones are great but I don’t think my skill set would allow me to do that week in and week out. As for FVP, president is really what I want to do and that’s where I see myself working toward the betterment of my ability.