Team Aspire

Team Aspire
9 comments, Friday, March 2nd, 2012, by , in Elections, Featured

Team Aspire

Student Body President: Brock Ward

Executive Vice­President: Aaron Samudio

Academic Vice­President: Corey Mann

Activities Vice­President: Chia­Hsuan Lin

 

1. How do you feel about transparency?

It’s not a coincidence that the first platform bullet point on our webpage, teamaspire.org, reads: “Team Aspire recognizes the need for a transparent and accountable student government and will work with all students and entities for a complete disclosure of all government activities and fund allocation.” We understand that in order to create a climate of success, progress and trust, accountability is necessary.

 

2. Why do you think students don’t care about the campus elections, and why should students care about elections?

We understand how difficult it is to go to school, work and to have families. With all the responsibilities that come with being a student, it can be difficult to prioritize political engagement with the university, especially given the mystery surrounding the functions and sway of student government. Caring about the elections goes beyond allocation of student fees; students should consider members of student government as ambassadors to the administration and state government working in the students’ best interests. Members of student government are essentially employees of the students who are given scholarships and stipends paid by student fees. When they vote, they are deciding whom they would want to work for them.

 

3. What is the most important part of your platform?

We believe that our initiatives for transparency and accountability come first – they are the foundation for a relationship of trust. With these beginnings, we can establish an open collaboration between the student government and student body to accomplish other worthwhile goals for our university.

 

4. What makes you the best qualified for the position, explain each of your qualifications/experience?
Each one of us has had years of experience in leadership roles within our communities.

 

Before coming to the United States from her home country of Taiwan, Cathy Lin worked as a Registered Nurse until she came to Utah to earn her US nursing certification. Working in the best interest of the individual and thinking critically about basic needs of others, Cathy makes helping people a priority. Since coming to Utah, she has overcome daunting odds. Despite English being her second language, she has become an authority on anatomy, and currently is a Teaching Assistant for our anatomy classes. With both the training of a nurse and the dedication of a student who graduated at the top of her class, Cathy hopes to bring her set of skills to serving the student body, preparing students from the ground up for success.

 

Corey Mann, a psychology major, works with at-risk young women, mentoring for healthy relationship skills while setting an example of compassion and openness. Of paramount importance to Corey is addressing UVU’s low rates for graduation and retention among women. His passion is to serve others, focusing on creating support systems which will help the individual develop a successful, productive life.  With his background in psychology, Corey hopes to work closely with the Women’s Success Center and the Center for Student Success and Retention to create safety nets at UVU for not only women, but at-risk students.

 

Aaron Samudio, a Social Work major, guided adventure therapy for at-risk youth and adults for five years before coming to UVU. He worked closely with psychologists, caseworkers, business leaders and youth to help develop a specialized program for students with learning differences such as ADD, ADHD, NLD, OCD and Asperger’s Syndrome.  After this period, he traveled to Taiwan to live for a year and learned Mandarin Chinese at Kaohsiung Normal University while volunteering with local charities and teaching English to local youth. Aaron has a passion for helping others and immersing himself in different cultures.

 

Brock Ward, a Physics major, has gained his experience mentoring high school students, traveling abroad, thriving academically and participating in various sports. He has a passion for learning languages and for cultural enrichment. This passion for diversity leads him to consider all points of view and relate well with others across boundaries of language, culture and belief. He feels that in the office for which he is running, serious consideration of all aspects of life and culture must be given before important decisions can be made. He aims to help build a UVU where all cultures, religions, and beliefs can be openly expressed and represented, and where considerations of the majority are weighed along with consideration for the minority.

 

Finally, through a unified vision of transparency and accountability, Team Aspire believes in a student government that is honest and hardworking. We believe in a diverse UVU that works with individual students across a broad range of backgrounds to create an academic experience that prepares them to thrive in a professional setting.

 

5. What efforts will you make to include staff, students, and the community with your endeavors?

It is absolutely crucial to inform and involve the entire campus community – students, faculty and administration. We have visited with and worked hard to understand the concerns of the many departments and clubs, and will continue to consult on a personal basis with these entities regularly throughout the year.

 

Through surveys, polls and forums, we will rely on the students for input on how best to allocate the funds for which we are responsible, and other important decisions that impact the school.

 

6. What is one tangible thing that you plan to do if elected, that you will be recognized for?

Through research and collaboration with influential people within the UVU community, Team Aspire has set a priority on a university-wide support system for first year and struggling students.  By focusing on relationship-based mentoring and attention to basic needs, it is our sincere hope to leave a lasting program in place which will work to elevate not only the individual student but the professional reputation of UVU as well.

 

7. What motivates you to be involved with UVUSA, and run in the elections?

We wanted to see more transparency and accountability in the way UVU is run. By cultivating an atmosphere of honesty and trust within the campus community, the potential for departments and organizations to collaborate for the good of the students is limitless. Seeing this collaborative potential, we became passionate about making it a reality.

 

8. What sets you apart and makes you different in comparison to other teams?

We would rather emphasize our passion and vision for UVU than flash the non-incumbency card, but maybe our outsider status matters almost as much as the sincerity and scope of our vision. It means we are bringing new ideas to the table and have the unique ability to look at the issues that face our university with fresh eyes.

Our platforms are specific. Our plans are realistic. We feel that the students of UVU deserve an intelligent dialogue about the workings of the University they will one day call alma mater.

 

9. What do you consider your weakness, and how do you plan to improve it?

It’s no secret that none of our leadership experience comes directly from involvement in student government. While this could be perceived as a weakness, our individual successes elsewhere in life set us up to approach student government with innovation and inclusiveness.

 

10. Is there anything else you would like to say or add?

The insight and support we have received from those who share our vision is nothing short of astounding. We encourage those who have ideas and concerns to keep them coming. We encourage those who support us to spread the word. And everyone, please vote from March 5-8. Student Government elections matter.

About

9 comments

  1. Mike
    March 3rd, 2012 0:15

    While I applaud your desire to run and wish you the best of luck, its clear to me that you are guilty of making a lot of lofty promises that there is no way you can deliver on. Platforms shouldn’t be a political “wish list” but rather a few realistic and measurable goals that can be attained within your year. Many of your platforms are either not realistic, already happening, or are completely out of UVUSA’s control. It doesn’t seem like this team has any clue of what UVUSA can and can’t do. At the same time I love the idea of getting “new blood” into the UVUSA office and see real value in that. Best of luck next week…. My vote has not been decided yet so maybe you will win me over…

    Reply

  2. Ronni
    March 3rd, 2012 13:39

    Well put and gave me a great insight into who the candidates are and what they stand for. This team has my vote!

    Reply

  3. Aaron Samudio
    March 3rd, 2012 17:17

    Thanks Mike, but of course if we don’t have lofty goals then it’s business as usual. What are aspirations if they are easy to achieve? We have done the leg work to find out what the school needs. Remember, we can’t achieve anything by ourselves, but I think that lowering our expectations of ourselves would be doing the school a disservice.

    I welcome comments on our inexperience with student government. We don’t have the same goals as the other teams, we are ambitious. It is our experience in leadership elsewhere that gives us our validity. Yet…I am also reticent to say that our goals are so lofty as to be unrealistic. Do you have a specific example? If you read the article, one of the goals of the other team is to create more classroom space. Outside of “hot-bunking” classes, this also seems lofty.

    Reply

  4. Jake
    March 4th, 2012 0:14

    Exactly what the hell do you think UVUSA does? Your goals are out of reach. Best of luck, I hope you guys win and suffer a year in hell.

    Reply

    • Aaron Samudio (Team Aspire)
      March 4th, 2012 10:05

      Mike and Jake, we welcome any criticism about our platform and our inexperience within student government. It is our leadership experience outside of it which gives us a new insight into how things can be done. Do you have something specific that you would like to address?

      What is most important, beyond even our shared goals for the school is an open dialogue about the issues and how student government in collaboration with others can help.

      I am excited that some may call us lofty, because if we didn’t aspire to set our sights higher it would be business as usual. We are all accomplished hard working students who are not intimidated by learning and engagement. I hope we win, too, and if we do suffer hell it will be for the benefit of the entire school.

      Reply

  5. Adam
    March 4th, 2012 23:00

    I’ve read everything in their platform and I still don’t see any outlandish promises that the above have mentioned. Not a single other group has constructed ideas about polls and emphasized on listening to the actual student body as much as this group has.

    I’m still reserved, but you’re close to having my vote!

    Good luck!

    Reply

    • Jake
      March 6th, 2012 22:03

      You must not be a very engaged student. UVUSA does multiple polls and surveys throughout each semester. May you inform yourself prior to making decisions to vote for this team.

      Reply

  6. Ben
    March 6th, 2012 15:10

    Best of luck to this team. You have my vote.

    Reply

  7. Aaron Samudio (Team Aspire)
    March 7th, 2012 0:18

    Jake, Team Aspire pledged to use those resources well aware that UVUSA uses them, as well. We are not advocating the position that UVUSA is devoid of any value. We recognize the value in what tools like polls, forums, and surveys have to tell us. However, if you have been following the election you should also know that ours is the team that given out cards with our personal information on them. If you feel that forums, polls, and surveys are not enough simply give us a call or text us and hold us accountable. This is an extra step we have already taken.

    However, the level of engagement of a student in school politics does not validate or invalidate his opinion. You are certainly welcome to yours.

    Reply

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