Meet the candidates running for ASW vice president

In the ASW.Vice President race, there are two candidates running: Andrey Chen, junior, and Carissa Uresk, sophomore.

According to MyASW.org, “The ASW Vice President is the student representative within ASW, responsible for Alumni relationships and furthering the goals of the Career Center. The Vice President sits on several Board of Trustees committees and is responsible for hiring directors to assist with the student government’s responsibilities. This position’s duty is to actively advocate for and represent students in the internal campus community, in addition to assisting the ASW President.”

ASW vice president candidate Andrey Chen. Chen is running on a platform of improving the E-Portfolio processes and creating networking opportunities for students. Photo courtesy Andrey Chen

ASW vice president candidate Andrey Chen. Chen is running on a platform of improving the E-Portfolio processes and creating networking opportunities for students. Photo courtesy Andrey Chen

Meet Andrey Chen

Chen is a candidate who said he is excited about alumni relations after being involved with the Alumni Mentoring Program and wants to focus on mentor relations for students. Beyond building a network for students, Chen hopes to fix and alleviate some of the frustration students have expressed E-Portfolio.

Campaign slogan: “Let’s get real.”

Main platforms addressed: E-Portfolio processes, alumni networking opportunities for students and student involvement.

What are you focusing on for your platforms for the students while campaigning for ASW.Vice President?

“Since this year and the following school year I was in the AMP [Alumni Mentoring Program], I realized how important it is to network. Right now when we are still in college we kind of have protection in form of the college, student government, the professors—but when you get in the real world it’s like a whole different story. I think it’s important for current students of Westminster to have connections to the outside world through the alumni. I want to make those connections as vice president for students so they are prepared for the real world. This ties into my other point: E-Portfolio. I think a lot of students have mixed feelings about [E-Portfolio]. No matter what major we are in, [E-Portfolio] has the same requirements and same structure. It doesn’t reflect or is not able to reflect for each individual program because each major is unique. That’s why E-Portfolio should be designed to reflect [the student's’] accomplishments; it should target each individual major. We need to restructure it.”

What experience do you have to bring to the position?

“Even though I am a chemistry major doesn’t mean I’ve spent my whole time just in the lab just mixing solutions for hours. It’s about the presentations themselves. How do you present your work or research? It means how well you advocate your ideas, which will tie into communication. When I’m talking about the relationship with the alumni and students, I will need to advocate this requirements like networking or job ad requirements or grad schools.”

What’s your main skill set you’ll bring to the table?

“I think it’s I understand my potential. I would not be able to run as a [first-year student]. I have gone through this all [academic years], and that’s why I would be able to help them out through their college career, as well as help them understand how things work and problems.”

Beyond campaigning, what do you enjoy doing?

“I wish I was involved in outdoor stuff, but I’m double majoring. It’s a lot of time in the sciences. But I am fond of TV shows. I love Scrubs—that is my favorite TV show. It’s so kind; it makes me happy. I actually was watching Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother and Friends and I was debating which was the best TV show.”

Learn more about Chen’s platforms and campaign here.

 

ASW vice president candidate Carissa Ursek at the ASW.Elections debate on March 15 in the Gore Auditorium. Uresk is running on a platform of diversity, sustainability issues and increasing student accessibility for May Term experiences. Photo by Rachel Robertson

ASW vice president candidate Carissa Ursek at the ASW.Elections debate on March 15 in the Gore Auditorium. Uresk is running on a platform of diversity, sustainability issues and increasing student accessibility for May Term experiences. Photo by Rachel Robertson

Meet Carissa Uresk

Carissa Uresk is currently the Chief Justice of ASW

Campaign slogan: “Together we can.”

Main platforms: Sustainability initiatives, diversity and inclusion and making May Term affordable.

What platforms are you addressing with your campaign?

“I have three different issues: May Term, sustainability and diversity and inclusion.”

Let’s start with May Term.

“So May Term Experiences are cool opportunities for students. The only problem is that a large majority of students can’t afford to go on them. There’s kind of been a movement on campus on how can we make these more affordable for students. We can create a position on the ASW.Senate called the advancement delegate, so basically this is someone who is already a senator who will just work with advancement closely. So advancement does like fundraising and stuff, so if we had this very clear connection that’s really useful for [advancement] if they have this specific person they can talk to rather than like 15 separate people going to them constantly. One of the vice president’s roles is kind of to be a liaison to the alumni board, so this is something the alumni can contribute to this May Term fund. Using the connections with the alumni to do student fundraising and asking how can we make this work more. Because there already is an endowment set aside for May Term scholarship, I would try to increase the funds rather than try to create a separate project.”

Second platform tier?

“Last year they approved student fee increase. The increased student fee is going to be used for sustainability projects on campus, but there hasn’t been any specific things written down. But there is a meeting this week to talk about it. I think we should have that money be set aside as a grant process so students can say, ‘Hey, I have this really great environmental project I’d like to do on campus,’ and then student government would would work with the environmental center to approve the grants. Also, there is a seat set aside on the Sustainability Council in the Environmental Center for the student government. If elected, I would take that position and make sure that [the Environmental Center and ASW are] really communicating well.”

The final platform?

“So the final platform is diversity and inclusion, which is a really important topic. Diversity means a lot of different things, and I don’t want to speak for anyone on this issue and I don’t want it to be like, ‘Oh, no one is talking about it; just let me talk about it.’ Because a lot of people are talking about it. My main point with diversity and inclusion is I want people to know that if I am in the ASW.Vice President position, this [topic] will be important to student government. I’ll make sure of that and I’ll make sure that student government is a platform for people to talk about that. I specifically think that it is important that student leaders have training on diversity and diversity problems. So as a student leader you know what diversity means, you know how to talk about it and you know how to listen to diversity conversations.”

What skill set would you bring to your position?

“One thing for sure is that I do have experience as a student board member. I was the chief justice this year. I think I am the only one running for a student board position who has held a student board position—not that you should vote for me just because of that, but I think that is important to say having someone on the board who has already had that experience and who has kind of a general lay of the land and foundation. Also, I really do have a passion for this. Like my campaign theme, ‘Together we can’ because I think all my issues focus on things that how can we as students be more involved, how can we help students stay involved and I really have a passion for that.”

What’s one of you passions or hobbies?

“This is a little weird, but I love to organize things. So I definitely unwind by like cleaning and organizing, so I like to alphabetize things, like color-code my closet, label my shoe boxes, so I’m kind of a dork like that. But I also love to be outside. I love to go hiking and running and fun stuff like that.”

Find more about Uresk’s campaign here.

ASW. Elections take place on Mar. 22–23 on Canvas. Students can log on at anytime and vote for the candidates who most suit their fancy. Anyone with questions regarding ASW.Elections can swing by the ASW Office in Shaw across from the Concierge Desk. Happy election season to all!