Interview with Ashley Green, candidate for Vice President. Her opponents are Dustin Blankenship and Spencer Stevens.
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Chris Slater: What is your SGA experience?
Ashley Green: My SGA experience? Well, I started out as an organizational representative my freshman year. And then that Spring, I ran for Senator. And, I was a Senator last year. And, currently, I am the Faculty Senate representative.
CS: What attracted you to the SGA?
AG: Well, originally, I went to an interest meeting for an organization on campus, Circle K. And, they needed a representative for the SGA meetings, so I volunteered to do it. And, then, after I’d gotten a little more involved, I decided that I liked it and I wound up running for Senator.
CS: Why did you decide to run for Vice President?
AG: Well, I feel like that’s one of the positions I’m very well-suited for in the SGA. I’ve chaired a few committees, I’ve sat on all of the committees. I have a lot of ideas for it. I feel like this is where I’m best suited to help students.
CS: What do you hope to accomplish if you’re elected?
AG: Well, I know one of the things people want to hear about is Homecoming and Spring Fling. So, one of the things that I really want to do is get students more involved, because those are things that we put on for them. I feel like they should be - a lot of the times, Vice Presidential candidates will come in and they will have all these ideas for things they want to bring in for Spring Fling. But, it’s not really what I want to do for it, it’s what the students want to do.
And, like, if I am elected, I want to start a survey over the summer and send it through the list-serve to all the students so that they can go ahead and start voting on things then, so I can see what they really want. I also, really would like to incorporate a day of service into both Homecoming and Spring Fling. I think it’s a good thing to get service organizations involved, to get their names out there. And, it’s kind of something that was inspired by the students wanting to donate money to Haiti this year.
Another thing, is that, the Vice President is in charge of overseeing committees. And, that’s one of the areas that I feel we’ve been struggling in this year. So, I’d really like to make our committees a little bit stronger. Right now, when most people attend committees, it’s the same ones. And, it’s because it’s the ones that meet at 3 o’clock before SGA meetings. So, that’s where all of the attendance is. And, I feel like I’d really like to, um, at the beginning of the semester, have the org. reps and Senators sign up for what committees they want and the chairs find a common meeting time, so the people who want to be there will be there. I feel if you’re more interested in what you’re working on, you’re more likely to get things accomplished.
I’d also like to work with the Publicity chair and our Secretary to advertise our committees better. Whether it’s advertising who the chairs are and when they meet, if we do have set committee members, then who the committee members are. That way, more students who aren’t necessarily involved in SGA and don’t necessarily go to meetings can still voice their concerns to the right people and get their thoughts heard.
CS: What are you going to do if you’re not elected VP?
AG: Well, if I’m not running for VP, I’m also running for Senator. There are exactly the number of Senators running that need positions for, so I will at least have that. I do plan on applying for either Secretary or for my Faculty Senate position again, if I’m not elected. And, I intend to help whoever is elected to Vice President, with whatever they may do; you know, share ideas. Just make sure that no matter who wins, the best things get done for the students.
CS: What are your thoughts on your opponents campaigns?
AG: Well, I think they’ve both been running very clean campaigns, which I’m very proud of. I know, in the past, there have been some really dirty campaigns. I consider both Dustin and Spencer my friends. I’ve known both of them since the beginning of my freshman year. We all get along and I know they’ll both do a great job if either one of them gets elected.
CS: What are some areas the SGA is doing well in? What do you think they can improve?
AG: I think one of the things we have improved upon this year is that Jeff [Yeager, SGA President] has accomplished making the SGA more ethical. Travis McReynolds is the Ethics committee chair and he is finishing up the Code of Ethics that he plans to bring before the Senate, I believe either this Wednesday or next Wednesday. And, I know that was one of the goals that Jeff really wanted to work towards this year. And, through that, they’ve also helped get a lot of the drama out of the SGA. The past couple of years, that I’ve been here at least, it’s been, you always hear the dramatic things, rather than what’s getting accomplished. And, a lot of that has been eliminated.
As, for concerns, like I said, I feel like our committees has been lacking this year. Every week, people attend the exact same committees. I think there are three or four committees that meet right before the SGA meeting. Each have like 10 people go to those. Other committees that meet during the week will have like maybe one or two members there. Sometimes they won’t have any, and every week they’ll have one or two different people, so they really can’t get a whole lot accomplished. And, the committees are the backbone of the SGA, so that’s where we really need to have our strong point.
CS: For those who don’t know, what exactly is the Faculty Senate rep, and what do you do with that?
AG: As Faculty Senate representative, I basically represent the SGA in Faculty Senate meetings. The Faculty Senate meets every other Monday in the State Room. They basically do the exact same thing we do, only more faculty-related issues. They have Senators from different departments; you know, obviously, they have like Secretary, President, all that stuff. So, I basically go and voice the students views to the Faculty Senate. I actually don’t get a vote, but I still get to express what the students thing.
CS: Have you been enjoying that so far?
AG: Yes, I have.
CS: You originally went for Board of Governors representative, against Jenn Smith. When did you decide to switch that up and go for Vice President?
AG: Well, actually, Board of Governors is what I had been planning to run for all year. However, when Josh Lawson put his name on the board, I talked to him about it that day, because his name was actually up there for four different things. I knew that he wasn’t running for Public Defender because he said that he was ready to get to a different position. Public Defender to Attorney General was a really odd switch, so I figured it was either Vice President or Board of Governors. We actually talked about the position a little bit and he really impressed me with what he said. So, I felt like running against him wasn’t the right thing to do, because I know that he would be amazing for the position. And, even though it’s something that I wanted to do all year, when it comes down to it, it’s what’s best for the students. Josh Lawson as Board of Governors rep is best for the students. So, I decided to run for something where I was better suited.
CS: Last year, you were running for Attorney General. And, we had the 3-way Presidential race. And, Bill Lewis - for some reason - decided to drop out of that race and run against you. What were your thoughts on that happening, and why do you think that happened?
AG: Umm… Wow… Ummm… Well, he said that he dropped out because he wanted to support Jeff…
CS: But, he ran [as part of a ticket] with Ashley [Hicks, Jeff's opponent]?
AG: This is true… I can’t really speak for Bill. I’m sure he had his reasons, so... [long pause]
CS: Okay. We’ll leave it at that.
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For more information on Ashley's campaign, check out the Facebook group "Vote ASHLEY GREEN for SGA Vice-President."