(From left to right: Nicholas Sala, Emely Rodriquez, Ayana Bowman, Natalie Little.)
Her Campus Towson: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Ayana Bowman: I am currently a Sophomore Political Science Major with Minors in Spanish and International Studies. I’m also a Student Ambassador and a Honors College Recruitment Officer. For fun, I enjoy binge-watching Netflix and hanging out with my six roommates. Last but not least, I am the Director of Residential Inclusion for the University Residence Government.
HCTU: When did you get interested in it?
AB: I first became interested in politics in high school through an internship I had with my local Congressman, Steny Hoyer. My love for URG, however, began when I was a freshman. I started out as an active member but quickly decided that I wanted to have a greater impact on the organization and on the campus as a whole. That’s when I applied to be Director of Residential Inclusion and was successful. As Director of Residential Inclusion, I create diverse and inclusive events for our resident population here on campus. Last semester I planned the first ever URG poetry slam and this semester I am planning the Holi Festival/Run in collaboration with the South Asian Student Association. I chose to apply to be Director of Residential Inclusion because I wanted to have a greater impact on the Towson climate. Diversity is something I hold very close to my heart and is an issue that I wish wasn’t an issue anymore. You can see me on many of the TVs in the Union and other places around campus in a campaign that combats stereotyping. As I grew in my position, I realized I wanted to keep impacting URG. Earlier this year I thought I’d run for Vice President. However, I recently realized I was undercutting my own value and that I can do this.
HCTU: Tell us a bit about yourself and your ticket.
Ayana Bowman: Waldorf, MD. Political Science Major with minors in Spanish and International Studies.
Emely Rodriguez: Derwood, MD. Middle School Education
Nicholas Sala: Ellicott City, MD. Business Finance – Pre-Law
Natalie Little: Crofton, MD. Pre-Occupational Therapy with a minor in Health Sciences.
HCTU: Why do you think people should vote for your ticket?
AB: What sets us apart from the crowd is our commitment to be a voice for the students. There are many changes I would like to make to URG: increasing the budget per building, adding more of a social aspect, and increasing overall awareness of URG as a whole. However, I won’t let my personal plans get in the way of what changes students want to see on campus. I might be running for president but that does not mean I will dictate what should be. My ticket is approachable, friendly, and we’re more than happy to stop and chat about an issue or concern a student might have. Actually, we’d be happy to stop and chat for no real reason at all! Above all we want Towson to feel like home, and I believe we can make that happen.
HCTU: What tips do you have for people who want to do what you do?
AB: Get involved early! Join your Building Council as an active member, join their executive board, or become a Building Representative. Once you find yourself in one of these roles, the most important thing to have is confidence. Be confident in all that you do and even if you find yourself wavering, fake it until you make it.
HCTU: What is your favorite part about Towson?
AB: The people. I have met some of the most amazing and impactful people I know on this campus. My roommates are some of the most driven and inspiring young women I know. The staff are incredible here as well, I have never met a Towson faculty member who did not want me to succeed and who didn’t put all of their effort into helping me achieve my goals.
HCTU: What changes do you and your ticket aim to make?
AB: We want to increase the budget each building receives so that they have more freedom to create diverse, fun, and inclusive events! So much money from the URG budget rolls over each year and that is pointless — the money should be put in the hands of students so that more events and programs can be held and a larger amount of students can experience URG. Additionally, we want to increase our social media presence. It’s pointless to have amazing events if no one knows about them. We want to be a clear and loud voice for the Towson Resident population, and we believe without a doubt that we can accomplish that.
HCTU: Do you think it’s important to have women representation in all forms of decision-making processes? Why?
AB: YES, YES, YES! I find this issue so central to my morals that I did an entire research paper in my Political Research class all about the underrepresentation of women in American Politics. On a wider scale, women are underrepresented in almost all aspects of society. From the media to sports to politics to art, women are simply not represented the same way men are. I learned that part of this reason, specifically in regards to politics, is that women undervalue themselves and will wait until they are (on paper) twice as qualified as men to run for office. This can be seen in the 2008 election when Hillary Clinton lost to President Obama. I am not saying either candidate was better than the other, I think they are both incredible leaders and politicians. However, Hillary Clinton had arguably more experience than President Obama. The media simply chose to run articles about her cleavage instead of covering her policy. Now, eight years later, Hillary Clinton is poised to run for office again with even more credentials to her name. This can also be traced back to how women are socialized — a little girl who says they want to be president does not receive the same response as a boy who wants to be president. Additionally, women are more often than not going to focus on social issues and family issues, issues that are often not covered appropriately by men. On an even more general scale, how can anyone expect to create policy or do anything really when 50% of the population is being excluded from the discussion?
HCTU: How can a student get involved in what you’re doing if they want to do this in the future?
AB: Come to the weekly General Assembly meetings that take place every Tuesday from 7-9 in the Chesapeake rooms in the Union or attend your weekly building council meeting!
Make sure you go to the lobby of your residence hall and vote today from 2pm-8pm!