With the Student Government Elections coming up next Tuesday, March 20th, Her Campus sat down with one of the current Academic Co-Chairs, Matthew David, who is running for Student Government President for the 2018-2019 school year.
Her Campus: What’s your major?
Matthew David: I am a history and philosophy double major.
HC: What activities are you involved in on campus?
MD: I am involved in Student Government (SG) and ultimate frisbee.
HC: What is your current role in SG?
MD: I am currently the Academic Co-Chair, along with Will Hargrove. We are SG’s main advocates for the student body’s academic life. We deal with anything that has to do with the current curriculum review.
This year we had a lot of really big wins for SG on the academic front. The reason that I hold the position that I do now is because last year I ran on a platform that pushed for extending the description for classes on the academic bulletin, which is given to every student at the beginning of their freshman year. This year they are transferring all that information into an online document, meaning they have an unlimited amount of space to describe the classes offered. What we’re going for is to get as much information as possible into these course descriptions, such as skills gained during classes, grading detail…basically everything short of a syllabus. This would be a huge win for students because they will know exactly what they are signing up for.
HC: What made you want to run for president?
MD: I am so excited to be campaigning right now because I get to meet new people, and I feel like I get to make a difference. I just want to brighten people’s days by going around campus and getting their feedback about how their days are going, how they feel about school, and how I can make their time at Wake better.
Overall, we need SG to be the idea factory, and the strongest advocate for students on campus. I believe that I have personally lived up to this goal by advocating for extending course descriptions. I also worked really hard through the Code of Conduct revision process. I actually proposed real language changes to the Code of Conduct to ensure that students had a right to protest and had a right to a fair trial. Administration has been very receptive to this process and to the new language proposal in order to make the language in the document very clear.
Real things are getting done and it’s all a matter of vision. I believe that if I set the tone and if I lead by example, SG will create real change for students that has not happened before.
HC: Why do you believe that you are the best candidate for the job?
MD: I think I have the most comprehensive platform out of all of the president candidates. My platform targets those involved in Greek life, the student body as a whole, student rights, and academic reform. I believe that my track record for protecting student rights and academic reform have been very solid. My main goal is to unite the student body.
For the student body as a whole, I believe that the presidents/leaders from all organizations should come together and have a president’s meeting, or a student leaders summit, where presidents from all charter organizations would come together and share all their concerns about campus life. This will create a more inclusive and cohesive environment among different organizations.
I am very pro-Greek life, I believe it provides a very good social outlet and unifier for many students on campus. To protect this area of campus life, we need to create an organizational medical amnesty policy. The idea is that if a student at a party is sick, the organization can seek help for the individual. Because they are exhibiting help-seeking behavior, they will receive a lesser or no punishment at all. Overall, the goal is to help promote the safety of students.
HC: If elected, what would be the first action you would take as President?
MD: I would try to start the student leadership summit. The sooner we know what students need and what leaders are feeling about campus, the better.
HC: How would you better facilitate communication between students, student representatives, and administration?
MD: The way I have run my committee this year is indicative of how I want to run my presidency. I made sure that my committee met every month with administration. We were really able to foster relationships with them, and that is when things started to get done. I personally think it would be a great thing to get minutes from Senate meetings published. Also, students should be able to get on the emailing list so that there is more transparency between SG and students. Also, SG should be able to mass broadcast to the student body so that people can really see what’s going on.
HC: Thanks for all the helpful information. Now onto some more light-hearted questions. Pit or Benson?
HC: Who is your biggest role model?
MD: My grandfather. He graduated from MIT when he was 20 and got a doctorate when he 22. He was a good man. He believed in giving back to his community and because of him I want to go into government work to really serve people.
Be sure to vote on WIN next Tuesday!