Jason Sockin

Mathematics and Economics

Junior

20

1. Out of all the 16,000 students on campus, what makes you the most deserving student to influence the more $3.1 million budget funded by our student activity fee?

Although the Executive Vice President does not have a significant influence on managing the budget, I feel qualified to influence the budget because I am currently a Senator and currently a member of the Budget Committee which directly manages the budget.  Of the candidates running, I know and understand the internal processes best.  Moreover, in being a member of the Budget Committee, I have already contributed greatly to the formation of next year’s budget.

2. What experience do you bring to the position you are running for? Why are you qualified?

As a current USG Senator, I partake in the weekly Senate meetings.  The Executive Vice President, chairs these meetings and I feel having the experience of attending and participating in these meetings has adequately prepared me to chair them in the future.  Moreover, I have been studying the USG Code, USG’s Financial Bylaws, and the parliamentary procedure by which the Senate meetings are conducted.  I am fully confident that I would be able to properly chair the meetings in the future and fulfill the other duties of the position effectively, ethically, and enthusiastically, providing the student body with a responsive, responsible student government.

3. Is this your first time getting involved in USG? If so, why are you interested in getting involved? If not, why do you wish to be involved again?

I would like to continue being an official of USG because it, as an organization, successfully allows student life to flourish and truly embodies the beliefs of the students and their clubs.  Individually, I would ensure that USG continues to fulfill these responsibilities. 

4. What do you think is the best thing about USG and if elected, how do you plan to continue that?

The greatest aspect of USG, in my opinion, is the fact that every student is a member and has a voice which can influence its actions, legislation, resolutions, and decisions.  If elected, I hope to get every student more involved by giving USG its own voice and using it to speak directly to the students.  I will improve USG’s communication problem by reaching out to the student body.  This will hopefully encourage more students to come speak during Open Agenda at Senate meetings and have the students be better informed about their student government’s actions.

5. On a scale of 9-10* (10 being the highest) how successful were the past two semesters for USG?

On this scale, I would say that the past two semesters for USG were a 9.5.  I believe that USG has successfully represented the students and allowed student life to flourish; however, I believe there is always room for improvement, and some matters, one being the Financial Bylaws Revision which pertained to flights for clubs, could have been handled more swiftly and efficiently.

6. What are USG’s biggest flaws, and how do you plan to correct those? For those currently in USG, what have you done to try to correct those flaws?

The biggest flaw with USG is simply its efficiency.  I believe it does great work; however, I believe that its operations could be done using less time and fewer resources.  To correct this flaw, I hope to cut down on resources, especially paper usage (i.e. potentially use electronic agendas for Senate meetings), and ensure that every member of USG is well-prepared for meetings and fully aware of the current issues.  To correct this flaw, I myself have taken steps towards being more efficient, including recycling all of the paper I use, and I have discussed issues with my peers to ensure that we are all prepared for our meetings. 

7. Do you think it’s right for USG to give SAB the same budget next year despite a surplus of over 100,000 for this year?

I believe that USG SAB has quite a few flaws, including its operations and exclusive membership, and that we should not give it the same budget, until these flaws are properly rectified.  This year’s USG SAB budget was not used efficiently and effectively, and so, it should only be given a budget that it can prove will be used properly.   

8. Do you think that putting on successful campus events should be prioritized over increasing clubs’ budgets?

I believe that these two are not mutually exclusive because clubs host successful campus events, and in increasing their budgets, we can increase the total number of successful campus events.  In saying that, I believe that executing on-campus events in general should be the priority because it is the students who pay the Student Activity Fee, and in doing so, they should be allowed to partake in the events for which they are funding.  If an event is on campus, then every student can attend the event.  So, it is my belief that the more campus events there are, the more student life will benefit and the happier the student body will be. 

9. Representing the student body sometimes means taking a firm stance against administration policies. How willing are you to speak up on behalf of the student body, even when it means conflicting with administrators?

USG embodies the voice of the student body, and I will do everything in my power to do just that, even if it leads to conflicts with administration.  The officials of USG are elected by the students and therefore, should answer only to them.  And if I fail to represent the student body, then I will have failed at being the Executive Vice President.