It’s coming down to the final hours before campaigning is over and voting officially begins, but not all candidates are ready to quit just yet. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Stinson Rogers the night before the polls opened up, and I learned a lot about the man running for Student Body Treasurer. USC’s student election for 2016-2017 goes live on February 16th. Students will be able to vote here.
Name: Stinson Rogers
Graduation Year: 2017
Major(s): Public Relations, Finance, and GSComm
A little known fact about Rogers is that before he came to USC he was actually in the army! Writer Annika Dahlgren spoke to him a little bit about that and about how his experience in Iraq and Korea would help him serve as Treasurer.
Stinson: “I was elected the BOSS treasurer while in Korea, and BOSS stands for Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers. As treasurer I was in charge of a $50,000 budget, and with that budget I was successfully able to put on at least 150 events in the South Korean peninsula including mud fests, going on tours, etc. We wanted to get the soldiers out of the barracks, and it’s not everyday that we can go to another country on someone else’s dime. My team wanted them to get to see and experience some of the Korean culture while they were there.”
Her Campus (HC): What would you do for us as treasurer?
Stinson (SR): I plan on doing a lot, to be honest with you. I think it’s ridiculous that we can do our taxes and get a check from the government within two weeks when there’s 300 million people in the nation to respond to while here at USC it takes a month for a school organization to see even a dime of their money. I want to work with the Senate and find ways to pass legislation that makes that process quicker so that we can get money faster. Even if it’s by a week, that’s still a win in my book because that’s a week sooner that you get your money. I want to get it to even more than a week sooner. During that whole month or so that the money is going through the process, student organizations are using their own money to book rooms or make plans. They have to wait for student government to come back with the money that would have gone to that event. These organizations deserve their money as fast as possible, and I want to quicken the process for them.
HC: How can you back up your promises?
SR: I can back up my promises by looking at other schools and how they are already implementing the things I want to do. The University of Florida’s government process is flawless and is so transparent between students and the student government. Meanwhile no one at the University of South Carolina knows what the money here is going to. Did you know that every Tuesday night Russell House hosts karaoke night? Or that for holidays the University pays for a certain number of students to take the shuttle to and from the Charlotte airport? People don’t know about Walk Home Cocky, our safe program that walks people home late at night. Carolina Closet is another thing no one knows about! You can rent a suit or a dress for an interview or something else that requires business attire, and when you returned it, it is dry cleaned and put back on the rack for someone else to wear. We also have the Gamecock Pantry; it provides food for students who are trying to make ends meet. You can get a week’s supply of food if you meet the qualifications because we believe that no Gamecock should go hungry. These already exist, but no one knows about them. I want to make it clear to all students where our money is going.
HC: Your opponent has openly said that some of your platform is not actually possible. How do you respond to that?
SR: There are schools all across the southeast such as University of Florida and LSU that are already using the Uber program I would like to make available. It’s not just something I pulled out of thin air. And as far as the funding process goes, I want to cut down on the process itself. As it is now, you get all the paperwork in, it goes to Senate and goes through two different readings. I don’t believe it needs to go through the second reading because everyone hears it and alters it after the first reading. Second readings delay the process an entire week. After the Senate approves the paperwork, it has to get 5 different signatures before the check can be cut, and those signatures aren’t even necessary. It just needs a signature from the Senate finance chair and the academic advisor. Then the money gets directly deposited into the account. This is the twenty-first century; we don’t get paper checks any more. Anyone saying that the process cannot be cut down is just lying to themselves because it is very possible.
HC: Why do you want to be treasurer?
SR: I want to build our communications team. Right now it’s at four people, and I want to make it at least ten. There are so many clubs and teams that no one knows about, and as treasurer I want to make them known. So another reason I want to be treasurer is that after being the treasurer in Korea I can see the hardships that are going on in people’s lives. I can see the frustration my fraternity and rugby team go through with requesting funds and things of that nature. That prompted me to run for treasurer, and after talking with some of my other colleagues, I’ve come up with many ideas and programs that I want to bring to USC.
HC: How else are you involved on campus?
SR: I am a member of the USC Rugby team for two years now, and I play wing and outside center. I absolutely love it even though I had never played rugby a day in my life. During an organization fair some guy came up to me and suggested I try out and at first I was like “Football without pads? Nah I’m good,” but I tried out anyway and loved it. Another thing I am very involved in is my business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. I rushed it last semester and it has helped me grow professionally and as a businessman, and it’s been a fantastic experience so far. I am also a part of LAB (Legislative Advisory Board), and we look at state legislation that is passed and how it affects the University of South Carolina.
HC: What skills and strengths do you possess that make you right for being treasurer?
SR: I am a finance major, and I feel like that is essential to the job. I also held this position before while in Korea so I have great experience and can handle the pressure. I have also had a lot of leadership experience and that gives me the confidence that I could be in this particular leadership position and hold the communications team to the standard that needs to be held.
HC: Tell me something interesting about yourself [that is not army related].
SR: I go horseback riding, so I guess that’s interesting. I try to go every Friday. My friend’s family owns a farm out of Blythewood, so I try to go and ride whenever I can.
HC: So why should the students vote for you?
SR: I think they should vote for me because I am for them. All of my platform interests are about the students and for the students. It’s about getting the students their money faster and being able to get the money that they have already paid for. It’s about the Uber program and making sure all the students get home safely. It’s about giving them more avenues to get home safe when they are downtown and maybe even using the Uber program instead of driving to help fix the parking issues. This is a stretch, but students may be less willing to use their cars if they can get 25% off an Uber seven days a week. It’s also about getting the students involved and keeping them informed through the communications team. The bottom line is – I want to be Treasurer so I can be for the people. The students deserve a voice that is all for them, and I can give them that.
HC: Okay so here are some fun questions! Favorite color?
HC: Favorite Stuffed Animal?
SR: I had a stuffed lion named Swarley and I got him in care package while in Iraq. I was watching How I Met Your Mother at the time and the name came up so I just decided to name him that. I would take him everywhere with me, even on missions in Iraq and in Korea. I actually lost him last year. It was very sad. I volunteer every year in Georgia, and when I got home he wasn’t in my bag. Hopefully he is bringing some little kid comfort.
HC: Favorite song?
SR: The Greatest by Futuristic. I like a lot of pumped up songs. At one point it was Eminem’s Not Afraid. Before a test or something serious this kind of motivational songs get me pumped and confident.
*He told me later that he actually loves Britney Spears but was too scared to admit it. I also listened to The Greatest and it’s fire.*
HC: Favorite Candy?
SR: Take Five
HC: Spirit animal?
SR: A lion! They can be fierce but also sweet at the same time like a sour patch kid. So I’m a lion and a sour patch kid.
HC: Best Moment at USC?
SR: Rushing AKPsi because we all bonded so quickly and the impressions they made on me will be the first thing I think about when looking back on my experience at USC.
HC: Favorite Girl Scout Cookie?
SR: Is that even a question?! Thin Mints!
HC: Is there anything else you would like the students to know before they vote?
SR: I love you all! I am for the student body. This isn’t a political move at all for me; there’s no other step after Treasurer for me to go to because I’ll be graduating next year. This is just a great way to give back to the school that has given me so much. I want to leave a lasting mark on the University, and when people look back at my time as Treasurer I want them to see a guy who was for the people and not self-serving.