Minor: Marketing, Economics
Hometown: Addison, MI
Relationship Status: “Single and looking, you can put that down.”
HC: You just won a pretty big election.
Nicholl: I did. The Western Student Association Presidential Election.
HC: What do you plan on doing in the next year as President?
Nicholl: Immediately, I look to get my cabinet appointed so I can have the best team possible moving forward. There are a few logistical things, a bit of behind the scenes work that we’re going to do in the next two weeks; we’re looking to revamp the WSA.
Next year specifically, I look to follow through on a lot of the campaign promises I made according to my three initiatives. We’ve got some legislative work, hopefully next week, which will help with that. I plan to get involved with the community to get a better image of the WSA, not just in the WMU community but in the Kalamazoo community as well. I made a big stance on community involvement in the campaign: I want to work with the city commission, I want to get students downtown, I want more interaction [with downtown,] a lot more jobs for [students].
I also want to work with our branch campuses and get them more involved as well; during the campaign I came up with a sort of “MTV Cribs” segment for each of our academic colleges here, which I think will be really cool because instead of trying to bring main campus to our satellite campuses, we’re going to bring them to main campus. It might be a little backward, but we’ll see how it works.
I really want to buckle down on the simplification of the communication between our advisors, our deans, our professors… we’re here to get an education first. I’m the same way as every other student in that aspect and we’re really all here to get the best education possible.
In a nutshell those are the biggest things. We also want to make sure we follow through on any new initiatives we take on next year; any new resolutions, we want to help them get passed and we want to work well with administration so we can have the best student association possible.
HC: What was it like running for WSA President?
Nicholl: The best word to use is insane. It was insane because not only did I meet with over fifty organizations, but I got to meet with a lot of people I never met before, and go to sorority houses I’ve never been to before, and it showed me a lot of the things going on on-campus that I wasn’t aware of. It was nice to be able to go behind closed doors for a lot of organizations and see how those meetings were, and to see what they wanted in their university. It was a lot of long nights with no sleep, but, it was definitely worth it in the end. I’m appreciative of that, and of the students who elected me.
HC: What does the President of WSA do?
Nicholl: What the WSA President does is act as the main liaison between students and all the other organizations students are involved in, all the departments here at Western, all the administration; they’re the main voice for students. They’re going to be the one that takes a stand against the administration; they’re going to be the one that works with the administration.
HC: You’re following in a long line of great WSA Presidents; Erin Kaplan, Aaron Booth before her, Nate Knappen before him. What sets Sean Nicholl apart?
Nicholl: As of right now, I’ve retained a cabinet position two years in a row, which is almost unheard of. I spent the last two years as Chief of Operations. I have a lot of experience on how things get done. When you come into a new role like this, it can be hard to know how something gets done and I have that knowledge coming in. I know where to take a resolution, if we hit a roadblock we’re going to go right through it, that’s one of the biggest things for me. To set myself apart, I’ve been on a lot of committees where I know the future plans of Western, and my biggest thing is that students get involved in all those plans, so that way when it comes time to build a new student union or revamp the Bernhard Center, the students are going be 100% involved in that, that way instead of the administration assuming what the students want, the students are going to tell them what we want.
HC: You mentioned being Chief of Operations. What does that position do?
Nicholl: I kind of redefined the role. As it sits in the Constitution, a lot of things the Chief of Ops does aren’t currently listed. We hope to change that soon. The Chief of Operations position is now the go-to person for all logistical operations: equipment rental, room reservations, stuff like that.
HC: Your WSA experience and credentials are pretty impressive, after all, you’re President. What else have you done on campus?
Nicholl: I became incredibly involved very early. I wasn’t able to be a WSA Senator my freshman year, but I was Eric Pacifici’s unofficial assistant Chief of Ops, which is where it all got started for me. Since then, I’ve been a Fall Welcome Ambassador, Operations Officer for Drive Safe Kalamazoo; I’ve worked with Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, a lot of volunteer efforts. I really like to get involved. I was on Homecoming Court this past year, which was a huge honor for me, to show my pride in Western. I sat on two boards representing students, and am currently the Vice-Chair of the Bernhard Center Advisory Board. I’m sure there are things I’m not thinking of.
HC: What are some of your goals?
Nicholl: I would love to be some sort of traveling international businessman right out of college, before I get a family. That’d be great. The end goal is to own something someday. I’ve learned through a lot of time in a lot of organizations that I like to be in charge of the operations of whatever company or group I’m in. So, something along the lines of Chief Operating Officer of a big company would be great for me. Dreaming big, but I think I can fulfill those dreams.
HC: Any more short-term goals?
Nicholl: It’s something small but something I’m already doing, I get to study abroad in Australia for the first three weeks of May. Because of the Presidency, I knew I couldn’t be away long so I got it approved that I could do three weeks in Australia. I’m trying to do as many of the things you’re supposed to do in college as possible before I’m gone. I’m taking advantage of all the time I have here.
HC: Anything else you’d like to share?
Nicholl: I’m really looking forward to working with the student body; I really want to push for more viewership for both HerCampus and the Western Herald. I think we have some great stuff going on, some great articles. I read them both, and we’re looking to partner with both newspapers moving forward.
Editor: Gena Reist