Meet the 2013 ASWC Executive Council Candidates

Emily Lin-Jones

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ASWC Executive Council elections will be held on Monday, April 8. The Pioneer asked the candidates about their qualifications, goals for next year and favorite study spots. A debate between the presidential candidates, moderated by Chair of the Faculty and Professor of History David Schmitz, will be held tomorrow, April 4 at 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium.

Finance Chair

Tatiana Kaehler.  Photos by Devika Doowa.

Tatiana Kaehler. Photos by Devika Doowa.

Tatiana Kaehler

My name is Tatiana and I am running to serve you as your ASWC Finance Chair. As finance chair, I will dedicate my time to responsibly allocating student dollars and advocating on your behalf regarding the college budget. I will do so by encouraging the development of student initiatives that will improve our campus. Whether it is by creating a new club, hosting a workshop, inviting a speaker or improving campus sustainability, I will work with you to ensure that your idea receives the support necessary to take root. In order to increase student initiatives on campus, I will improve communication between the ASWC Finance Committee and the student body. I will do so by working closely with ASWC Communications to ensure that all students have access to the information necessary to apply for the funds available to them.

During my past two years as a senator on the Finance Committee, I supported requests that improved student life. While serving on the President’s Budget Advisory Committee, I advocated for the establishment of a full-time sustainability coordinator and funding for unaccompanied international student travel. As your finance chair, I will continue to serve as your voice regarding ASWC funding and the college budget. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] with any comments or questions!

What is your year and major?

I’m a sophomore and I’m applying to create a major entitled “Health Science, Policy and Culture,” in the hopes of pursuing a career in global health.

What do you think differentiates you from other candidates or makes you especially qualified for the
position you’re running for?

I’m qualified to serve as finance chair because I have spent the past two years learning about and improving the ASWC finance process as a finance senator. Additionally, I served as a student representative on the President’s Budget Advisory Committee this year. The finance chair also sits on this committee, which will allow me to continue to work with the administration to guarantee that student dollars are spent wisely.

What is one change you would like to bring to campus and/or ASWC if elected?

If elected, my main goal is to ensure that all funds allocated to student travel are brought back to the campus though workshops, guest speakers, publications or the strengthening of club leadership. I plan to implement this by restructuring the ASWC Finance Committee through by-law revisions or acts. These revisions will ensure that all organizations and entities that receive funding are held accountable for sharing their experience with the campus. This will allow for student dollars spent on travel to benefit all Whitman students, not just those who apply for funding.

What is the role that ASWC plays, or should play, on campus?

ASWC plays a vital role in advocating on behalf of students regarding the college budget. This year, ASWC has successfully advocated for the establishment of a full-time sustainability coordinator, for increased student representation on Whitman’s governing boards and for lifting the ban on college-funded unaccompanied international student travel. These accomplishments serve as prime examples of how ASWC can work with the administration to implement lasting change on behalf of the student body.

What’s your favorite place to study?

The Hall of Science atrium!

President

Zac Parker

Zac Parker

Zac Parker

I am an experienced and passionate advocate for students’ interests, and I believe that I will represent Whitman students responsibly and effectively. I seek to promote a transparent and effective student government which will guarantee that Whitman students are able to gain access to the resources they need when they need them.

What is your year and major?
I am a sophomore philosophy and rhetoric studies double-major .
What do you think differentiates you from other candidates or makes you especially qualified for the position you’re running for?
I have two years of experience within ASWC not only as an active participant, but as an elected senator and as Chair of the Nominations Committee. During my time serving on ASWC, I have been responsible for ensuring that several dozen application, interview and selection processes went off without a hitch, and I feel that my track record of success speaks well to my qualifications. I think extensive experience coupled with the institutional reforms I have undertaken as Nominations Chair, like switching to online-only applications and creating the Bon Appétit Advisory Committee, demonstrate that I have a unique drive and passion for ASWC.
What is one change you would like to bring to campus and/or ASWC if elected?
The largest change I would bring to campus would be increasing support for the Counseling Center. Currently students are faced with typical one- to two-week-long wait times for appointments and occasionally have to miss class to make appointments because of the precious few available times. The hardworking staff has had many nights where they are on campus until the wee hours of the morning. Essentially, the demand for the Counseling Center as a student resource is high, and its ability to meet that demand can be improved. I think that this excellent resource should be available for everyone and if elected, I would focus ASWC’s power to lobby trustees and college administration on increasing its availability through any possible means.
What is the role that ASWC plays, or should play, on campus?
I believe that ASWC’s duty is to be responsible and active stewards of the student will, and that is why if elected I would plan to enact smaller changes to increase outreach like doing weekly tabling in Reid where any student could come and ask a question or have a conversation in person with me, knowing that they are being listened to. ASWC should be something that every student knows they have a personal stake in, a support network for student clubs and organization and an organization which actively reaches out to students––and I believe that my policies present the best way to do that.
What’s your favorite place to study?
The quiet room. No greater study pattern exists than the tried and true class-quiet room-Clarette’s Challenge circuit during finals week.
Zachary Johnston

My name is Zachary Johnston, and I am running to serve as your ASWC President for one simple reason: To improve our shared experience at Whitman. My fellow Missionaries, ask not what you can do for ASWC, ask what ASWC can do for you. So how can I serve you as ASWC president? Going into next year, we must address four issues: 1) An ASWC-coordinated service for life after Whitman 2) Improvement of health and safety standards 3) Fiscal transparency 4) Increased student involvement in ASWC activities and decisions. While there is plenty that ASWC gets right, there is much room for improvement. And with every step we take, the sole consideration should be you. Together, you and I can improve our shared experience at Whitman College.

Zach Johnston

Zach Johnston

What is your year and major?

I am a junior double majoring in philosophy and rhetoric.

What do you think differentiates you from other candidates or makes you especially qualified for the
position you’re running for?

I have a diverse background in student and governmental politics having served as Beta Theta Pi President, interned for a U.S. senator, a congressman, a governor and worked as a co-chair for a successful $242.2 million school bond campaign in my hometown of Salem, Ore. Having never served on ASWC, I feel I am uniquely suited to bring new ideas to ASWC and to ensure there is a healthy skepticism of all current ASWC practices as opposed to operating under business as usual methods.

What is one change you would like to bring to campus and/or ASWC if elected?

I would like to introduce a school-wide CPR program. I envision a strong emphasis on first-year sections participating in CPR training together and allowing other grades to sign up on specific dates to learn CPR.

What is the role that ASWC plays, or should play, on campus?

I believe ASWC serves three connected roles: advocating for student-backed initiatives, supplying beneficial services to students and providing a venue to discuss Whitman’s future and the steps needed to achieve that future. I believe ASWC should provide all students with the tools necessary to make the most of their time at Whitman and to facilitate a plan that leaves Whitman better than they found it.

What’s your favorite place to study?

In the warm nook of Hari Raghavan’s bosom.

Tim Reed

Tim Reed.  Photo contributed by Reed.

Tim Reed. Photo contributed by Reed.

I’m excited to be running for ASWC President. I’ve served on ASWC since my first semester here, and I envision an ASWC that is easily understood and accessible, and is constantly supporting student initiatives in whatever way possible––and you should know how to get that support. Aside from increasing alumni mentorship through the SEC and making a concise, intelligible diagram outlining every part of what ASWC does, I would bring an increase in community-wide discourse concerning differing perspectives and ideologies. My key goals for creating this discourse are designating a member of the Executive Council committed to fostering campus-wide discussion, ensuring the longevity of structured events like the Power and Privilege Symposium and creating spontaneous spaces for cross-campus connection, like bringing the community together over a late-night event with free food on a weekly basis.

What is your year and major?

I am a sophomore philosophy major.

What do you think differentiates you from other candidates or makes you especially qualified for the position you’re running for?

I am uniquely qualified for what the ASWC president position entails because I have a complete understanding of how ASWC functions as a whole and how the ASWC president position specifically works to power student life. Simply put, this is necessary knowledge to turn any ASWC president’s vision into a reality. The position of ASWC president is a very time-intensive commitment and will require the full attention of whoever holds the office. If elected, I plan to withdraw from my significant time commitments, including varsity soccer, so that I can best serve the student body. ASWC needs a leader that intimately understands the purpose and processes involved in all parts of ASWC, and can articulate what ASWC does for the student body. I have that experience and knowledge, having served on ASWC since I came on campus.

What is one change you would like to bring to campus and/or ASWC if elected?

A tangible change I’d bring to campus would be increasing our campus-wide discussion of differing viewpoints and perspectives. We have so much to learn from each member of our community, and the unique and intimate nature of Whitman allows us to do so––if we choose to do so. A well-led ASWC will build off the success of the Power and Privilege Symposium and look for innovative and creative ways to create a campus that is committed to respecting perspectives from every scope of life. I’ll appoint and extensively work with a specific executive council member who is committed to encouraging this discourse and actively look for methods of community engagement.

What is the role that ASWC plays, or should play, on campus?

I see ASWC continuing to build upon the wide institutional impact we currently have and making this impact more transparent and understandable. ASWC is here to serve you, and that means making sure you have access to funding and support from ASWC in a manner that is friendly and not intimidating. ASWC plays an integral role in almost every part of student life, and I hope to have ASWC next year be the most open and understandable ASWC we’ve ever had.

What’s your favorite place to study?

Favorite place to study would have to be in the private study rooms in the library. Every now and then, I’ll be there into the wee hours of the morning, so if you feel inclined for late-night, early-morning philosophizing, stop on by.

Vice President/Student Affairs Chair

Brian Choe

Brian Choe

Brian Choe

My name is Brian Choe, a junior from Beaverton, Ore., and I am running to serve as your vice president. My experience on ASWC consists of serving two years as a class senator on the Student Affairs Committee. This past year I have had the perspective of a student with no affiliation with ASWC. My experiences of being both on and off ASWC have given me great insight of a senator’s perspective and the perspective of a student from the outside. Initiatives that I want to continue on ASWC are allowing student access to class syllabi before registration, expanding student representation on Board of Trustee Committees and working with the Student Engagement Center and Alumni House to make it more accessible for students to find internships by reaching out to Whitman alumni.

What is your year and major?

I’m a junior economics major.

What do you think differentiates you from other candidates or makes you especially qualified for the position you’re running for?

Experience. I’ve had the privilege of serving two years not only on ASWC but also on the Student Affairs Committee. The experience I have gained by being a part of those two years has given me great insight into what works well for the committee and what doesn’t seem as pertinent.

What is one change you would like to bring to campus and/or ASWC if elected?

Continue to expand student participation on the Board of Trustees committee meetings. What ASWC has accomplished this year by having a student representative on the Board of Trustees is a fabulous accomplishment––I want to work to expand the student participation on the other committees. I sit on the Board of Trustees Enrollment Committee. Within committee meetings Tony Cabasco, George Bridges and the Board of Trustees discuss enrollment numbers, enrollment strategies and various other aspects within the admissions process. Committee Chair Dean Nichols stated that he would like to see more students on committees such as the Enrollment Committee because they are individuals that have gone through the admissions process and can give strong feedback. Initiatives like these lead to more transparency and communication between the board and the student body.

What is the role that ASWC plays, or should play, on campus?

ASWC’s role is to help reinforce the voice of the student body. One of ASWC’s biggest roles is supporting student groups around campus, like The Pioneer, KWCW and WEB, and other student initiatives.

What is your favorite place to study?

Quiet room (Qui Ri).

Nominations Chair

Allison Kelly

Allison Kelly

Allison Kelly

This year I served as a senator on the Nominations Committee. I quickly came to realize that the nominations chair has a very important job. They must lead a committee of students to search and select campus media organization heads and college committee members. Throughout the year, I was able to gain valuable experience, and I feel confident that I know what is needed to effectively head the Nominations Committee. You can trust that I am very well acquainted with all the ins and outs of the position. The job needs a dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced leader––all qualities I see in myself. But even more importantly than having a good understanding of the job, I am also inherently interested in the work I do. I honestly enjoy working for ASWC, and I feel appreciative of having the chance to serve ASWC this year. I know I would excel as the nominations chair, and I am excited for the prospect of serving on the committee again next year.

What is your year and major?

I’m a freshman and am undeclared, but I’m considering majoring in anthropology, politics or philosophy.

What do you think differentiates you from other candidates or makes you especially qualified for the position you’re running for?

A few key elements differentiate me from my competition. First and foremost, I have the necessary institutional knowledge to be successful in the position. Not only do I have leadership experience within and outside of Whitman, but more importantly I also know which direction to lead the committee. Since the committee operates on such a tight schedule, it is crucial that the chair has been through the process and is familiar with the time frame. Additionally, I will be much better qualified to teach the new committee what to look for in candidates and how to go through the search process. Another advantage that differentiates me is that next year, as a sophomore, I will have the time and ability to fully dedicate myself to the position.

What is one change you would like to bring to campus and/or ASWC if elected?

One change I’d like to see brought to the nominations process is already happening within the committee. We are working on extending deadlines and making the application process, from first sending out advertisements to narrowing down applicants and finally to selecting a candidate, as transparent and accessible to the student body as possible. If elected for next year, I will not only continue this campaign but also take it to the next level by making better use of available social media tools such as ASWC’s website, the newsletter and The Pioneer.

What is the role that ASWC plays, or should play, on campus?

Every meeting I’ve had this year as a senator I’ve focused on maintaining the “associated students” in ASWC. On a fundamental basis, I believe that prioritizing on the thoughts, needs and opinions of the students is the most essential factor towards having a well-run student government. I pledge to continue my devotion to the students in every single elected position I may have in the future. On an operational level, it is also extremely important to foster strong ties between the elected officers and the constituents. I’d like to destroy this disconnect and see more collaboration and connectivity amongst all students. It is by no means an easy task, but by increasing transparency and accessibility in the nominations process, we can come closer to this goal.

What is your favorite place to study?

The best place for me to study is in the quiet room, but my favorite place is anywhere where there’s food, friends or a comfortable couch nearby (so pretty much the Fishbowl).

Rania Mussa

Rania Mussa

Rania Mussa

First and foremost I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve
you again. If you elect me I will commit 100 percent of my energy, skills and motivation to
make the nominations committee more transparent and accessible to the student body.
For transparency to occur, the student body will be aware of the step-by-step process
in the selection of potential candidates. The selection process will be publicized in a
way that will not only give students ample time to apply but equal access to apply. The
student body will also be informed of the nominated student and why that individual was
elected. The aim of this transparency is to create communication between the nomination
committee and the student body in order to best represent the interest of the students to
the fullest extent. I have previously worked as a facilitator and a vital aspect of the Nominations Chair’s job is to oversee that meetings are run efficiently and productively. In addition I have a couple leadership experiences on campus that have fully equipped me to have insights that can positively impact the smooth operation of this committee.

Vote to place power back in your hands.

What is your year and major?

I am a junior politics major.

What do you think differentiates you from other candidates or makes you especially qualified for the position you’re running for?

I am qualified for the position because I have a lot of leadership experience both on campus and off campus. I worked as a student chair for a nonprofit organization in 2011, facilitating student activities for a conference. I am hardworking, and over the past three years I have been a leader of three successful campus student organizations. I have also had a fair share working both in planning events and advertising, as well as facilitating students. Therefore I believe I have the skillset necessary to help the Nominations Committee be more efficient and more accessible to the student body.

What is one change you would like to bring to campus and/or ASWC if elected?

My aim will be to increase dialogue between the Nominations Committee and the student body. I will do this by advertising the release of applications, in addition to extending application deadlines, so that students have ample time to apply to vacant positions. This will resolve the current lack of interest in applying to positions that are beneficial to the student body as well as campus media organizations.

What is the role that ASWC plays, or should play, on campus?

ASWC should play the role of a liaison between the student body and the college’s administration to ensure that student voices are heard on issues that concern them. On the part of ASWC, this means trying to understand what the students want and representing that to the best of our abilities.

What is your favorite place to study?

My favorite place to study is the library.