Q&A with ASG vice presidents of academics and student life
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    ASG Academic Vice President Gabby Daniels and ASG Student Life Vice President Katie Bradford are both running unopposed for a second term for their respective positions. North by Northwestern caught up with the two candidates who spoke about the election, their goals for the future and their favorite places to chow down.


    Gabby Daniels, ASG academic VP candidate

    by Alexa Fogler

    Sum up what you do as academic VP.
    Well I guess the way I like to think about my position is kind of like the focal point of academic issues from the student perspective at NU and bringing people together, in working on my committee, to kind of address academic issues.

    What was the hardest part about your term last year?
    The hardest part of my term was really blazing my own trail. I really had two great predecessors, and they both set really strong foundations for academic projects. I kind of had to make my mark as Academic VP, and, you know, build organic and independent relationships. And that was a challenge, but it was also one of the most rewarding parts of my term.

    Why did you decide to run again?
    Winter is when I really started thinking, how do I want the future of my Northwestern career to play out? And basically the reason why I decided to run again was I really reflected a lot on the six months, eight months, and I said: ‘This has been one of the most defining and amazing experiences at Northwestern.’ I’ve learned so much just from being in this position and I’ve made great connections, and more than that I’ve just genuinely loved helping the student body and working with the student body on academic-related issues. And it’s kind of become my passion in general to just work with academics and education stuff, and this is something that I just love. It’s almost like a visceral experience, I feel how much I love what I do. So it’s kind of nerdy but I really do love it.

    What’s it like running unopposed?
    I did run, as you know, opposed last year, but the experience thus far is a lot less stressful especially since I do have a year under my belt. I definitely think I’ve grown a lot as a person this year from last year, you know, even just the approach for my campaign. I’m a lot more relaxed. And even if I was running opposed, I feel like I just know everything so well that I’m not really stressed out as much. I’ve had a lot of connections with the student body, so it’s kind of exciting to be doing this in this sense — unopposed — because it’s less stressful. But I don’t know — I wish I had the competition.

    What do you anticipate being the most rewarding and then the hardest part about the campaign?
    I guess the most rewarding part of the campaign is really, honestly, just talking to people, and that was what I loved last year. We students have to stick together, and we have such a powerful voice. And really it’s hard sometimes for me where I’m in that bridge between, I hold an administrative position to some extent, and I am a student. I feel sometimes like people in my position or people in ASG in general can sometimes, you now, get caught up in the ‘we work for the administration, we’re the representatives.’ But at the end of the day we’re just students, and that’s what I love about working with people and making connections. And the hardest part will definitely be Election Day, and the last three days, that’s when I’ll start feeling the pressure. Just getting elected isn’t the easiest thing, even though I’m running unopposed. You can only get out to a certain amount of people.

    What on your platform are you most excited about?
    One of the ideas that I came up in the process of brainstorming and looking at the academic survey was offering an A+ as a part of the scale. So the grade points wouldn’t change, so an A+ would also be a 4.0 and so would an A. But it would kind of be an honorific A+. So if you have a 97 to 100 average or something like that, or depending on how the course works, maybe the top three percent if you’re in a curved course, you’ll get an A+. I think that would be a really nice way to honor, kind of like a Dean’s List. You get that distinguished kind of thing, but when you’re applying to grad schools or anything like that, it’s always nice to see I got an A+. It’s a pretty big deal if you get a 98 average at Northwestern or a 99 average in a class at Northwestern. So I think that it would be a nice thing without messing up the whole grading points for everything else.

    What’s your favorite Evanston restaurant?
    I’d have to say Edzo’s.

    Katie Bradford, ASG student life VP candidate

    by Samantha Grossman

    First, could you sum up what you do as student life vice president?
    Student life vice president is responsible for student life issues, which is a really vague term. What that tends to be is safety concerns on campus, a lot of dorm life concerns, pretty much anything happening on campus outside the classroom. So academic is something else, Evanston stuff is someone else, but everything else kind of falls into me.

    What was the hardest part about your term this past year?
    We had a lot of heavy turnover in the fall, so pretty much everyone on my committee right now is new as of the fall. So that was kind of hard to teach them all the ins and outs of being on the committee, being part of ASG, how to write legislation, everything like that, so that was probably one of the more challenging things.

    Why did you decide to run again?
    Partially because of that, I think no one else on my committee was really quite ready to step up and take over, and I just feel like we have a lot of good momentum right now. I’d really like to see that carried forward. I’m only a junior so I feel like I can do another year of it and there’s just like a lot more I want to see happen as far as improving student life, just kind of keep going with what we’ve got right now.

    I know you’re running unopposed. What’s that like?
    It’s weird. Because last year I had an opponent obviously, and I feel like a lot of people tend to pay a lot of attention to the president and VP race in general because they’re big titles and everything, and I feel like student life concerns relate a lot to everyone so it’s already kind of a challenge to get them to identify the things I work on with the things they’re doing, in a sense, because they care about the big names a lot. And it’s even more of a challenge when I’m running unopposed because they’re like, “Oh, you’re running unopposed, whatever.” But in some ways it’s nice I guess, I feel more confident I think than last year, partially because I know what I’m doing, partially because I’m running unopposed. It’s weird.

    What do you anticipate being the most rewarding and hardest parts of the campaign?
    The most rewarding part is talking to people and realizing the things either I’ve been working on they really care about, or I’m planning to work on they really care about. Or finding out something new that I know I can do something about, it’s just really good to have those good conversations where I realize that all the hard work the rest of the year is paying off. The hardest part I think, again, is sometimes trying to get people to care. A lot of people are just not that interested in ASG as a whole or the campaign process, and especially when I’m running unopposed. And there are so many people on campus with so many different things, just reaching out to enough people is always a challenge.

    What on your platform are you most excited about?
    I’m excited about a lot of things. My biggest project this year was the meal plan reform, and now that that’s finishing up, I’m trying to think even bigger. One of the things: We’re presenting legislation about dealing with minority enrollment on campus, and looking at what we can do as ASG and the student body to make the resources we have available known to prospective students and things like that. I think looking at community in general on campus is always something people talk about and how do we actually do actionable steps for that. Kind of trying to steer away from the more super-traditional student life dorm issues, like obviously some of those are still going to be important but I don’t want people to think I only do dorm issues.

    What’s your favorite Evanston restaurant?
    That’s a tough one. I really like Flat Top but I feel like that’s a really boring answer. I like all Indian food, but I prefer to go to Devon which isn’t Evanston. I’ll stick with Flat Top.


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