ASSP Elections

Welcome to 2013 ASSP Elections. Here we have some information from the candidates themselves!

ASSP President: Ryan Howard

Why are you campaigning for this position?
I’m campaigning for the position of ASSP President in order to become more actively involved in student leadership, and to make a lasting change as the voice of the students. I believe that the changes ASSP makes are the changes most felt by students beyond the year a position is held. My experience at SPU has been nothing less than outstanding, as it is a place that encourages the growth of students from all walks of life. I believe that aside from the incredible teaching and leadership staff, the student body and student leadership are what make this campus come to life. Ideally I would love to see this campus and its students grow even more than I have seen in the last several years here at SPU. Being part of the ASSP leadership team I believe that my skills and talents would allow me to accomplish this goal, especially as the main voice of my peers.

What unique skills and talents would you bring to this position?
I believe that my biggest and most unique skill I bring to the table is the ability to understand people. When I say that I understand people, I mean that I understand every one of us has a unique story that influences their ideas, beliefs, and actions. With this understanding, I’m able to associate myself with a wide array of people, showing them that understanding and respect regardless of where they are coming from. I believe this is an incredibly important skill that gives me a leg up against the other candidates for the fact that as ASSP President, I will be dealing with a wide array of students who are passionate about many different things. Although I may not be passionate about every idea a student brings fourth, I am able to understand the origins of their passion and understand that their life influences have led them to be passionate for a reason.

Another skill I hold that I believe is vital for this position is the ability to work in fast-paced, high-stress environments that requires my attention from multiple sources at a single time. Over the last year I have properly balanced 2-part time jobs, an Internship, as well as my academics. I have been able to remain successful in all of these activities, while still maintaining a social life.  I find myself most at ease with a full schedule that allows me to interact with as many people as possible. What can I say; I’m quite the people person.

Describe three to four specific goals you would like to accomplish during your term.
My first goal that I would like to accomplish as President would be to complete an in-depth student survey to asses the areas of campus and student life that are going well in the eyes of the students, as well as areas that are in need of improvement. This would require my own-time and coordination amongst the different student leaders and groups on campus to really get a clear picture of what it is the students would like to see changed or enhanced. My position as president is to be the voice of the students, and without hearing all the voices I would not be fulfilling my task.

My second goal is to address student tuition concerns on campus. Every student at some point has the frustration of hearing that tuition is increasing. Although I would like to say that my influence would be enough to stop tuition increases, I don’t know that it will be. However, I would like to give students peace of mind by allowing there to be conversation between the students and those in charge of increasing tuition. Holding a yearly forum for students to get their questions answered I believe would bridge the gap from staff to students and help to ease this frustration.

My third goal would be to further connect the SPU community with the surrounding communities. Not often enough do we see local community projects happening to support the adjacent communities and neighborhoods that border SPU. I believe that increasing these relations with our surroundings would give us a sense of pride in the beautiful place we live in and the beautiful people who reside here with us. Ultimately I would like to see a once-yearly community project (beyond the New-Freshman projects that happen) that SPU students are involved in in a handful of different capacities.

My fourth and final goal is to try and increase the general support for sustainability on our campus. I believe we are called to be stewards of this earth and are meant to protect rather than destroy it. Currently SPU is doing a good job of tackling sustainability issues on campus, but I believe that we could do better. I would like to implement a student-run sustainability group on campus, as well as look into ways to get funding for SPU sustainability projects. Ideally we would also work with the university to build a student-influenced 10-year plan for revitalizing the campus with sustainable practices.