OC- Could you give us an outline of your platform?
AR- We have four main platform points. First is better advocating for student housing rights on campus, thirdly is you know more efficient spending and making sure that our fees are spent wisely and effectively, and then we have sustainability and making sure that students have a say in how that money is spent for student sustainability improvement on campus and then
MA- Also making sure students voices are heard.
AR- yes, definitely, and then fourthly is you know building communities, fostering civic engagement and bridging gaps between communities on campus.
OC- Can you divulge into what student groups you’re involved with currently?
AR-for sure I am currently working with the ASUO executive and I created the first annual farmers market. I am a member of Pi Beta Phi where I was publications chair I was an honest college chip leader, freshman mentor and fig assistant. I was an honors college editor and chief of the arts journal. I’ve been a member of alternative spring break and I am on the, er I was on the Greek judicial board.
MA- oh and then me as well?
MA- Okay so I’m a campaign manager with OSPIRG, I’m the team coordinator with the climate justice league. I’ m also a member of the students of the Indian subcontinent and then I was last year a member of the Warsaw sports business club.
OC-Your website’s mission says “we will make sure legislators and candidates for governor know that students can’t afford anymore debt” how do you reconcile that statement with your support for OSPIRG a group that would incur 117 thousand dollars to students if operational.
MA-um yea what was the question?
MA-yea totally, one of the things about OSPIRG is its cost effective so you’re getting a $600,000 organization for $117,000. um also they work on issues that save um students and citizens of Oregon money, such as the health care bill that passed in Oregon last year, to save citizens of Oregon 12 billion dollars over ten years, um so those are the kind of things that they are able to to do with that 117 thousand dollars so its not like you’re throwing away money, its that you’re making an investment to get money back, and the other thing is, ya know, I’m voting yes on OSPIRG, but as president and vice president you know we respect what students think, and so its really up to students if they think that OSPIRG is important on campus, so theres a question on the ballot and if students vote to have OSPIRG on this campus, if they think its important to them then we should respect that.
OC- I noticed on one of your campaign website your bullet point is a civic engagement minor, can you explain that?
AR- yea totally, its something were really excited about, its been talked about vice president Kassa has been working on that this year and we are going to continue promote the creation of this minor, and the theory behind it is that you know students should be able to learn outside their academic life, you know they’re in class for a couple hours a day but so much of our learning and experience comes outside the classroom and the minor would allow students to get academic credit for things that they’re already involved in. Community service that they are already doing on campus, both in campus on campus and within the Eugene community as well. um and so it would be kinda like working with um some sort of internship independent project attached to a organization both on or off campus and then also mixing and matching classes that fit with that project, with that specific passion interest. so we’re really excited about it and i think that its a really great way for students to take autonomy over their own education and be able to find things that they’re going to learn tangible skillsfor the future at the same time they’re making a difference.
OC- Would there be restrictions on to what you can study?
AR- I’m not sure what the restrictions would be, but I think that it would definitely have to be, you know, planned out with an adviser, but again it would definitely be very creative and you know, you would have say over how that was put together.
OC- Another one of your campaign centers around renters rights. Could you explain that?
AR-Yea definitely, so iIthink you know a lot of you know Eugene students are first time renters so you know they’re reluctant to fend for themselves to find housing on their own, even you know from the first time they enroll in school you know the administration has allowed 4x more freshman than we have beds for currently, so you know that right there students have to find housing on their own, they’re being you know having to have roommates that they don’t know before or they’re not necessarily their first choice for a living situations and then you know when they do become renters you know they move out of the residence halls, students haven’t really been educated on what their rights are what they can do against you know big real estate companies or just ya know one on one you know landlords smaller time landlords, and I think the ASUO is a great place for students to get educated on what their rights are, so you know holding workshops going to groups in the residence halls and things like that. and just letting them know just being able to support them in finding housing and also when they’re in it just making sure they’re in contact with things like legal services, conflict resolution, things that already exist on campus that not enough students know about.
OC- Are you guys running on the slate?
AR- no were independent candidates, like you.
OC-nice, that brings me to this question. What would you do if you guys were voted to executive positions to keep senators on the senate.
AR-I think one thing that’s really important is just maintaining good you know personal and professional relationships with each and every senator. That means you know both Getachew and sorry, both Maneesh and I will do a great job, I think Getachew has done ya know tried to do that as the vice president but I think Maneesh and I really value that and making sure that we ya know promote good relations between senate and the executive so we can get ya know get really good work done and work together on that. Ya know so checking with them having meetings, making sure were communicating with not just the senate president but every senator.
OC- So at the end of the 2010/1011 school year, if you’re voted in whats the one thing that you want students to reflect on your administration?
MA- the one thing, that’s tough. I think one of the things for me is just to see how passionate we are about a lot of the issues that we care about, I mean I know Amelie is really passionate about like the farmers market and civic engagement and housing, she talks a lot about that, I’m really passionate about civic engagement as well as well as sustainability, we both have done a lot of work on this campus. we’ve seen what students can do when we collaborate and when we work together on issues that we care about, and we really just want to be a voice for that positive energy and that activism
MA-and so I think one of the things I want people to look back on is hopefully how were able to bring people together, because I think that’s really important, and I think there is a lot of students on this campus that care about similar things, and we just want to give them the support and the resources that they can.
AR- I would second that and I’d say that ya know we don’t necessarily know, like we have some goals that we want to accomplish, but its about figuring out. What students want to have done, and what they want to change, and what goals they want to set for themselves, and then supporting that and fostering growth ya know, not just environmental groups but all communities on campus and ya know putting fun events together that like ya know we can learn to support each other. Ya know maybe making something like sustainability goals that we can you know really see the changes of you know before and after so you know once we set those with as much student input as possible. Then we’ll be able to look back and see how well we did and how well we um were able to be kind of the facilitators for making student action happen.
OC-Well done. Thank you for your time.