(Photo: Emily Schneider)
By: Samantha Jewell, Humans Editor
What brought you to Regis?
I am a Colorado native and I went to Regis Jesuit High School. When I was looking at colleges I wanted something that would be smaller and Jesuit. I did not know where that would be, I did not necessarily know that I wanted to stay in Colorado, but when I was looking at schools I had met an admissions counselor who was actually a friend of mine. I went to a very small Catholic middle school and had a friend from there who’s mom was actually an admissions counselor here and she had asked if I had considered Regis. At the time I was looking at Creighton, St. Louis University, all of these places that my friends were going to. All of those schools were great but I really felt this draw to stay in Denver. She told me to come down and look and take a tour. So I did and at first felt that it was very small and I didn’t know if it was right for me. I sat down with the current Student Body President back in 2014 Walkers Pub. He told me, “Hey this is a great school and there is a lot that you can be a part of and you are going to get a lot that you aren’t going to get at bigger schools. You can go for Student Government, you can go for all these clubs, you can go for classes where professors know your name. There is just a culture here that I think you will love”. So I sent in my package, they accepted me and here I am.
What sparked your interest in Student Government?
So this is very cliché but it is the truth. When I came in I knew I wanted to be in Student Government. I saw at Mile High when they do the giant orientation event I saw RUSGA come out in their cardigans. I saw the student body president come up and address all the families and all the perspective students. I remember they said that, “there are two types of students: students who come to Regis and go to class and go home and there are students who come to Regis, go to class and they go home sure but in between they are in clubs, they are in sports, they are in Student Government they are in all these different facets of the school.” I remember thinking to myself dang that it what I want to be doing. I want to be the student that is over-involved and thinking about all the stuff that they do. I really fell in love with the idea of serving the student body and being able to meet people that I wouldn’t have been able to meet otherwise if I had not been in the position that I am in.
What have you enacted for years to come?
This could not be a better time for this interview. We actually just passed the new Constitution and what that is going to do is change RUSGA’s structure. As it stands currently RUSGA was a President, Vice President, Treasurer, and a Chief Justice and then there were 9 to 10 director positions depending on the year and the RUSGA that wanted to have those directorships, so there were roughly 13 people involved. We noticed this year that we were having difficulty getting people to run and difficulty with spending money. We realized we were spending way too much money without enough output. RUSGA is primarily funded by student dollars so all of us spend $175 dollars a month if you are in 12 credits or more. So we said, “okay most of that money is being spent well but we could save 1,000 of dollars if we cut down the size of RUSGA and we made it more a faculty and staff/ administration facing position just as much as it is a student facing positon. What we did was cut it down to about 5, what it will be is a president and 5 Vice Presidents. We are modeling it off of Creighton Universities structure. What they told us when we met at NJSLC this summer is that there structure is a lot better because there Vice Presidents get a little more respect with title whereas we have had some directors that would email some administration and faculty and they would get responses that they did not know what their position is or does and that is no fault of there’s it is just that there are 10 people they are working with so it is kind of hard to know who does what. We just changed it to be that structure where there is a president at the top and then 4 vice presidents. There will be a Vice President of Clubs and Organizations, Vice President of Involvement, Vice President of Programming, Vice President of Social Justice and Diversity.
What advice would you give to someone that is interested in running?
The best advice I would give is, get through campaign week. Campaign week for me was honestly the hardest part. When I was running campaign week was during Midterms. You are going through midterms, you are going through all of your classes and then you are going through all this stuff on top of it. You have Coffee with the Candidates in the library, you have to make a video, you have to make posters and flyers and hang them up, you have to go meet people, meet with faculty and it is just this crazy rush of hours and hours of work. You are sitting there on election day and you are just waiting and waiting and then you find out. My best advice is to just get through Campaign Week.
Now when you are actually in the position, early on get close with your PRO staff because they are your best resource. If you need anything the Professional Staff in Student Activities is awesome, they can point you in any direction that you need and they can tell you the limits of your job. Each one of these new positions will have a lot of power and my position and John’s position and Claire’s positon have a lot of power as well. All year long we were trying to figure out the extent of ours and I have recently learned that it goes well beyond what is said in the constitution.
Recently I called a meeting with the Provost and she invited the President of the University and a lot of upper-level administration and we were talking about how we can improve advising at Regis. We had a round table discussion with a panel of 10 students with various backgrounds/ classes/ majors and it was awesome. We had a room of people listening to us and our ideas. That was one of the times that I really felt like wow, this is a position with a ton of power and people do listen to us. Aside from that you go to the Board of Trustees meetings and meet with the people who literally are the stake holders in Regis. People who have been alumni, have supported Regis for years and years, who have roots back to when we opened in the 1800’s. It is a really really great group of people who don’t think in year increments like we do, they think in decades, 5, 10, 15 years what is Regis going to look like? And they want to hear your voice and hear your ideas, you are a voice for this community. All of these things are what you will do in this position. I guess to make it real advice, get started on it early because I didn’t realize this until the later end of last semester and going into this semester.
What is next for you?
Oh wow! For me, I am going to be graduating in May and I will be going on to Law School, I am not sure where yet. I have gotten a few yeses from schools. I am probably going to keep it in the Jesuit Family for sure. My top choices right now are probably St. Louis University or Creighton University. So definitely going to keep it Jesuit. After that who knows, I may practice Law or maybe run for a public office.
Is there anything you would like to leave with the Regis Community?
The thing I would like to leave with the Regis Community is, I have loved Regis but it is not a perfect school. I think the student body as a whole is very optimistic as a whole but I do not think enough people get involved and hold enough of a stake in their school as much as I thought they would. I think that we have so much potential as a school and as a student body but I just don’t think enough people realize and know that they have the tools that they need to make a change. I hope when Regis continues on that a sense of school spirit and school pride is cultivated that I think exists now but is in low doses. I think that Regis is a great school but I don’t know, not that they don’t think the same way but they just seem to want to come get their degree leave. Not that that is a bad thing but that a pride in the institution is found and that people realize that this is a great school and it is a great place to be. Not that it doesn’t have faults, every school has them but you have the power to change them.