Andrew Naab: The Man with a Plan

This week, we got the chance to sit down with Student Body President, Andrew Naab. Andrew has a ton of plans and ideas for the University of Cincinnati. He’s all about satisfying the needs of students and student equality and he’ll do what it takes to get the results he wants. 

Name: Andrew NaabYear in School: 5th YearMajor(s): Political Science and Economics Campus Involvements: Student Body President, Beta Theta Pi – former president, Student Alumni Council (SAC), SACUB (Student Advisory Committee on the University Budget), Red and Black Bash concert team.Hometown: Hamilton, OH

Her Campus Cincinnati: What made you want to run for student body president?Andrew Naab: Because I am really proud to be a Bearcat but I saw a lot of areas that needed growth within the university so a lot of it was out of frustration. I feel like the university wasn’t fulfilling the student needs. There are a lot of wants being honored but many needs were neglected and we are working on it.

HC: You’ve been doing a lot of great things for us students here at UC so far, what other plans do you have for this school year?AN: A lot of our work is going to be focused on how student government can be a better collaborative organization and focus on collaborating with other organizations that are doing great things on campus. For example, last week we met with the #theiRate8 and we’ve also been meeting with Reclaim. We want to better our services that are for students of color and survivors of sexual violence. We try to come up with ways we can support those student leaders. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel; we support organizations that are already doing the work. We need to work together.

HC: What are your thoughts to better support students of color and UC student equality as a whole?AN: A large portion of this goes to student government not having those answers. Student government for a long time has struggled with our diversity for a long time. Asking the groups who are already involved how can we involved, setting up times for these groups to meet with President Ono are ways we work to solve these problems.  Student government’s job is to make sure we can reach out and connect with these other organizations to figure out what it is that they want and what they want to see. The best thing is that Student Government will be present and active by making sure we are in areas such as the AARAC and the LBQTG+ Center. We know why these places exist, these places make people feel at home and we want everyone to know why they are important.

HC: What’s your favorite past time?AN: My dad and I go on a fishing trip every summer and it’s a time where he and I are just able to relax and disconnect from everything that’s going on. My dad is my biggest role model. My 16-year-old sister was killed in a car accident when I was 10. I feel like age 10 is when you actually start developing relationships with people and a few months before my sisters’ death is when I started recognizing how much she meant to me. After she passed, my dad is the one who held our family together. It was just my sister and I, I have no other siblings. I struggled with depression and religion (I am a devoted Christian), along the way and my dad was the person that held everything together. He made sure my mom and I were taken care of even if no one is taking care of him. That’s why the fishing trip is so important to me. We just get to talk. Spending time with someone I care about and look up to so much.

HC: What’s your favorite sports team?AN: Outside of the Bearcats I would say the Cincinnati Reds. I played baseball when I was growing up looked up to Barry Larkin and Sean Casey. I haven’t missed an opening day in 20 years. Lets say I’m a really big Reds fan.

HC: What are your plans following graduation?AN: I’m currently studying for the LSAT. Law school is in for me, where, I don’t know. Not certain where I’d attend but I’m looking into UC. Although UC has a lot of work to do, I love this city. The only way you’re going to get people to keep coming back is if people stay and participate in the work that needs to be done.

HC: Last year, I know you mentioned that mental health services should be offered to students for free and that you would work on that if elected. Now, how does it feel that you have accomplished so much and we now receive five free counseling sessions per semester?AN: It's incredible, knowing that a life saving service is now provided to some extent, like you mentioned only five sessions per semester, but it’s a start. It makes me feel we are doing something that matters. Everyone talks about the retention of students and this is saving peoples' life. One of every four entering freshman have a mental disability so being able to provide a service that you don’t have to worry about the cost is an incredible feeling and the work doesn’t stop there. In the next three to five years, we are looking at 15 sessions for free.  There’s still a lot of room for improvement. Every year the university holds a memorial service for students and faculty that have died within the past year and some students have taken their own lives here at the university so the message we try to send is 'Your Story Matters'. It’s an incredible feeling but like I said this is only a start.

HC: Since we can now save money on books at the UC bookstore with the price match guarantee, how do you feel about purchasing textbooks now?AN: I think this was a huge first step for us to able to say that the bookstore is a partner for students and faculty. Prior to this, it was difficult to tell students that this is where you should go to purchase textbooks. I feel so much more comfortable telling students about the price match guarantee. Lots of students like you and I have probably stopped purchasing text books, now we are able to tell people we want you to be successful and purchase textbooks and now the bookstore is being a partner and working with us to make that feasible. We were really excited about that. We suggested this a long time ago but we really didn’t hear back from it so when we finally heard back from them it was just like “Wow, you really listened.”

HC:How would you describe the University of Cincinnati to possible future students who have never visited our campus?AN: Hmm.......A place that you can make your own. It’s a place that is transformative in many different ways because it allows for people to speak freely about what they like and what they see that can be improved. I like UC. I think it’s an exciting to place; we have the best faculty and staff, you have your Ms. Niki’s, T Vaught’s, and Bleuzette Marshall’s. Those are examples of people that genuinely care about you and will do anything to help you succeed. It’s a 44,000-student university and these people will help you feel like it’s just you and them. If you’re worried about the size, don’t be. It's not about what the university does, its about the people that do it. I’ll come back here any day.