Candidate interview: Haskell and Rowe

photo by Matt Williams
photo by Matt Williams

1) Why are you running?

H: This is something I’ve dreamt of doing since I was a freshman because of the passion I have for this campus and for this university. I first got involved in ASMSU my freshman year and I realized how cool the organization was and how many opportunities there are for students. I discovered all the really neat programs and all the parts of campus they’re involved with.
I want to give back to the campus in some way. I want to make a positive impact on the students’ lives, and ASMSU president has been a position I’ve had in mind [for] year. This is a position that isn’t always well-known, you are working behind the scenes to improve the community.

R: Day one of my freshmen year, I came to MSU trying to get involved, and eventually came across ASMSU through Kiah. I got super involved and excited about ASMSU, and after being a senator, I realized that this is something I enjoy doing and I began to pass resolutions and legislation and make a positive change. Now I have the opportunity to run for vice-president and make even more change for the community, and the only thing I’ve wanted to do is better MSU.

2) What is your platform?

H: We have three central, core values:

a) University-wide fiscal responsibility: In our positions we will be overseeing ASMSU’s $1.8 million budget, and we want to make sure that money is being spent appropriately. Also, we know when you go to the administration level, you have a lot of sway. The administration looks at you as the voice of the students, and we want to make sure when they are making monetary decisions they are thinking in the best interest of the students.

b) Student engagement: We believe there is opportunity for every student to get involved with something. Eventually, being involved is what drives you to graduate and to become passionate. There are skills you can learn from extracurriculars that will translate to getting a job later. How we would go about this is when students are coming in as freshmen, giving them surveys and asking them what they are interested in, or working through the office of Activities and Engagement.

When we find this information out, relaying it to the different organizations. We want to use these ideas to really start integrating students into campus culture.

c) Information Technology Excellence: What we’re trying to do is create a better IT atmosphere on campus. We want to increase Wi-Fi on campus, and also the internet in the residence halls. When students are coming to senators and complaining that they can’t turn in an assignment because they can’t get on the internet, we need to ask what we can do to fix this. Our number one priority is promoting student excellence and that includes creating a better IT community on campus. We’d like to increase the communication between ASMSU and the IT department.

3) What do you offer that the other candidates don’t?

H: Stephen and I, combined, have a great amount of experience in ASMSU compared to other candidates. Not having that background knowledge and experience might harm other candidates’ abilities. Our focus is different than the current administration. Our focus is more on improving student life, where I think their focus is on different areas such as raising awareness for different things.

4) What do you think the responsibilities of student body president and vice-president are?

H: One thing the president oversees are the classified positions, which is the largest expenditure in the ASMSU budget. At the same time, you are advising the senate, and all the programs and projects. It’s your job to empower them, and to be involved in many different committees and meetings on campus.

As president and vice-president, the most important part of this position is being the student voice. Stephen and I feel like we really understand the students.

R: It’s a huge part of the duties of VP to oversee the different program managers. It’s 21 percent of ASMSU’s operating budget which is $223,000. I’m ready to jump in and get involved with them.

5) What does student engagement mean to you?

R: Student engagement means that there are plenty of opportunities for students to pursue. Whether it’s from Outdoor Rec or Fencing Club or the Salsa Dancing Club, students need to know these opportunities exist for them.

H: We want to see more campus involvement, but there are also activities and opportunities in Bozeman itself. Students need to know about those, too. Not every student needs to be part of an organization in order to be part of campus culture, but what we want to see is that they are out doing something.

6) What does sustainability mean to you?

H: A lot of times the word sustainability is synonymous with environmentalism, but it goes beyond that, too. We want to make sure all of our projects and ideas in and out of ASMSU are sustainable, too.

7) What do you think the relationship between student government and the university administration should be?

H: It should be one filled with communication. The more we are engaged with each other, the more the ideas are shared. There are two sides to every story, when those sides are communicated, you are able to solve problems and understand each other.

8) What is your opinion on the proposed student fee increase?

R: It’s ultimately up to the students, and it’s our job to support that. If it gets passed, it will go to support a lot of opportunities on campus and support students. If it doesn’t get passed, we’ll understand that it is what students want.

9) What actions will you take to address the parking shortage on campus?

R: The senate just passed a resolution to support the options parking service has laid out. What they are currently planning on doing is paving the fieldhouse parking lot to provide more parking opportunities for students closer to campus. Beyond that, we’ll see what students feel, and plan accordingly.

10) What actions will you take to address the growing pains of our growing institutions?

H: One thing ASMSU does that I support full-heartedly is having a student lobbyist in Helena and having a state legislature department. This department is fighting for more funds so that in the future, we can even out those growing pains at less cost to the students. One of the strains is trying to decide whether we raise student tuition or get more funds from the state. When we put focus on things like that, and work with the state and the Board of Regents, we’ll be a lot better.

R: I know the MSU Strategic Plan is already starting to address the growing pains that occur with a growing institution, and President Cruzado has spoken on this. There’s a new addition to the dormitories in Suite #3. Obviously growing pains happen, but they settle down and you achieve a better state from growing. After that growth, you have a better institution.

11) How do you feel about the voiced student opposition to the smoking ban?

H: I was at MSU when it was first voted upon, and there were a lot of tensions and feelings towards it. What is unfortunate about it is that faculty and staff weren’t given a say in the vote. When we make a policy that affects everyone, we want to make sure we are seeking everyone’s input. If students want to see something put back on the ballot, there are ways they can do that. They can make a petition or work with ASMSU senators.

12) Is there anything else you’d like to say about this election or your campaign?

H: We are excited, and are so stoked for this opportunity. I really want to do the best I can do. It’s this feeling that I want to give back, and make positive, lasting impact on the campus. Go Cats!