Jack Fitzpatrick '16: Candidate for SG Vice President

HCAU: Tell me a little about yourself. What made you want to come to AU?

Jack Fitzpatrick: I’m a junior majoring in Public Communication with minors in Marketing and American Studies. I am originally from Saint Cloud, Minnesota, but my family now lives in central Maryland. I came to AU for the School of Communication and its location in the DC area. I also thought it was awesome how each student had their individual passions. Even though those passions were different, that drive brought together an entire community.

HCAU: What made you decide to run for Vice President of Student Government?

JF: I’ve been thinking about running for VP since my sophomore year; however, it was just a thought. This year, I noticed that there were many things that I, personally, could change in the office of the Vice President that needed to change. I’ve been involved in SG programming for the past three years as a former President of the Undergraduate Communication Association and, more recently, Outreach Coordinator for the Student Union Board. My experiences in these parts of SG gave me a unique perspective and vision for the office of Vice President.

HCAU: What issues are important to you?

JF: I am all about building community and fostering school spirit/pride. We all come to this University to kick start our adult lives, but attending AU should be more than that. I think back to my freshman year – I lived on Letts 5 South with amazing people who shaped my college experience, a few of these people, I am lucky enough to still call my best friends. However, I know that every student isn’t fortunate enough to have that kind of experience. I want to use programming to shape community on this campus.

HCAU: How did you come up with your campaign? What do these three words encompass?

JF: As I hinted at before, I knew that there were issues that I wanted to address on this campus. I wanted to strengthen the class and school councils, bring light to issues on campus that were not being discussed through SG, and I wanted to help arts organizations, to name a few of my big ideas. Because I am a student of Public Communication and Marketing, I knew that I needed to do a bit more than just talk to people to turn my vision into a reality. I actually sat down and wrote a rough strategic communication plan for my campaign. I had my messaging down, the strategy and tactics down, but my issue was, I didn’t have anything that ties together the platform that I cared so much about. I was sitting down with my friend, Abby Lore, chatting casually about my plans, and we started chatting about having an alliteration to bind everything together. I was so interested because I had this tunnel vision towards have one or two words that brought everything together. As it turned out, I needed three to bind together my diverse platform. Then came: “Community, Collaboration, and Celebration.” These words are indicative of what we need more of in SG and throughout our campus as a whole. To me they mean:

1) Community - Building a more cohesive bond throughout our campus through providing each student with some sort of community to explore.

2) Collaboration – Strengthening the quality of programming in SG and in other clubs and organizations by fostering co-sponsorships. Also, making sure that SG’s programming has the ability to shine light on actual issues facing AU Students by involving the greater campus and DC community

3) Celebration – Giving support to the types of programming on this campus that build pride in our school, especially arts organizations who do such great things already and deserve backing from SG.

HCAU: What do you think are some of the current problems within AU's Student Government? 

JF: For SG, one of the biggest problems that I see is a lack of collaboration and comradery within our organization. I want to encourage more co-sponsorships within SG. This includes SUB, KPU, and Women’s Initative, but also with the Ethic and Cultural Coalition as well as the Interfaith Coalition. We are all programming to improve the student experience – my question is: Why aren’t we working together?

HCAU: What other activities are you involved in, on or off-campus?

JF: I have been a WVAU DJ since my first semester radio show from 6-7am on Monday mornings. I have loved being a part of the largest student media organization on campus and taking advantage of the beautiful community that it has provided me with. I have worked on music staff, web staff, and, most recently, on events staff. I am so blessed that I have met these wonderful people and that they were able to open up my mind to so many new genres and styles of music. I still have a radio show – Soul Beat with Jack Fitzpatrick – every Monday from 8-10pm on WVAU.org, sorry for the shameless plug. I also have worked in specialty food retail in Bethesda, MD since my freshman year. I have worked at Capital Teas, a loose-leaf specialty tea shop based out of Annapolis, MD, and now I am at Secolari, and olive oil and vinegar tasting room in the heart of Bethesda Row. I get to talk to people all day long and have begun to do various communications services for the latter.

HCAU: What's something most people don't know about you?

JF: Hmmm… most people don’t know that my real name is actually William. I was named after my dad, so I go by my middle name, Jack, to avoid the hilarious antics that could come along with that. At home, I have a beautiful dog named, “Bailey.” He is a beautiful Yorkshire terrier mix.

HCAU: What’s been your proudest moment at AU?

JF: Sydney Baldwin and I won the Letts Five South Ironic Chef competition. The secret ingredient was ginger so we made a five course tasting experience featuring shooters of fresh squeezed orange juice and ginger as well as rice ice cream with a sweet singer sauce.

HCAU: Where do you see yourself in five years?

JF: I see myself growing small businesses through social media and strategic communication services. This combines my social media/communication training with my passion for small businesses/ business development. OR opening a restaurant called TwoToTwo with my friend, Catie DeLiso that only serves food and drinks from 2am-2pm – what an idea, am I right?

HCAU: What advice do you have for other students trying to make ignite change in the AU community?

JF: There are so many passionate people on this campus. I think that instead of trying to make positive change on your own, it would be much more effective to find some likeminded people to collaborate with and forge ahead together. And, if you can’t find anyone at AU – venture out into the D.C. area, they’ll be someone out there to help!

Follow Jack's campaign here.