The election is finally over. After an intense campaign that left our sidewalks covered in chalk, we have a winner. Our new Northwestern ASG president and vice president are Victor Shao and Brad Stewart. With their successful campaign slogan “Express Yourself”, Shao and Stewart are ready to take on the job.
“I want to say Brad probably gets the credit for Express Yourself,“ said the humble Shao. “The slogan may be a little bit based on the Charles Wright song. But it is really relevant for ASG. We want to encourage students to express their voices and share their opinions on how to better Northwestern.” Brad Stewart said the slogan was about tapping into the passions of all of Northwestern’s students that he believes ASG has ignored before their campaign.
Shao and Stewart were declared the winners after a run-off election last Friday. Shao said he was prepared to face his fate either way.
“Matt Bellassai, who ran and lost last year, was working on our team,” said Shao. “He told me regardless whether you win or lose to have a poker face when you get the call.”
Shao said he originally misheard the fateful phone call and thought they said 50.54 percent of the vote, instead of the winning 60.54. When he finally realized he won, Shao said he first hugged his running mate Stewart.
“Brad and I shared a calendar during the campaign to coordinate all the meeting times and everything,” said Shao. “But we decided we need to keep it for next year to coordinate all our new responsibilities.”
In a couple weeks the ASG executive board will have their retreat, where Shao says they will nail down the ASG vision for the upcoming year. Among his many goals, Shao hopes to have a centralized source of contact information and events for all student groups. Revamping Wildcat Connections was also part of their platform. They also hope to push forward with the new student center, for which a consulting firm has already been hired. Their drive for the new student center fits with one of their platform ideals of creating a helpful and interested ASG that can be a great resource for student groups, said Stewart.
When asked how the election win has changed his Northwestern life, Shao said he is definitely busier now, and also got to meet so many great new people.
“Some people know my name before I meet them,” said Shao. “Which is definitely interesting. But I’m kind of taking it in stride and making sure we doing the best we can for Northwestern. I’m honored to serve the community.”
Stewart said the best part of the campaign was hearing the stories of the students. He said he’s hoping to really focus on community building. “We can’t look top down, “Stewart said.
“It’s got to be bottom up. We don’t want to tear down walls, we want to build bridges and create intense personal relations between groups to create a better community.”
If it was possible, Shao wishes he could know everyone at Northwestern and be able to say hi. Along with his new busy presidential schedule, Shao must now deal with typical Northwestern worries.
“Catching up in school is a nightmare,” Shao laughed. “ I have like four midterms next week. I think I’m spending this weekend in the library.”
Photo from http://groups.northwestern.edu/shaostewart/