Ashley McManus: Interview

21998714576_2ffb642bf1_nI am a junior Behavioral Science major here at York College and am currently the Vice President of Organizational Development on Student Senate.  Before that I was Treasurer Pro-Temp on Senate so I’ve always enjoyed having positions that had a direct relation with the student body.  I am also an Orientation Leader, a Student Ambassador, a sister of Sigma Delta Tau, and before I got injured I was a member of the Swim Team.

Why are you running for Student Senate? What prompted you to want to occupy, arguably, the highest office for a student at the college?

I fell in love with Student Senate when I joined my freshman year.  I never really knew what Senate did but I joined on a limb because my best friend at the time encouraged me to try.  I love how Student Senate can get things done for students.  This year we have had so many projects come to us and get completed in such a short amount of time and I am so proud of everyone who helped make that happen!  If I’m being completely honest, I was a little nervous to run for President at first; I was never the type of person to do something like that in High School.  I realized that I’ve grown a lot since then and I’m so passionate about York College and making it a better place that I thought being President would be really great for me.  I talk to a lot of students with the position I currently hold, and through the other organizations I’m a part of on campus, I feel that I can adequately speak for the student body when needed.  I feel that I am approachable so when someone has an issue they can bring it to me and we can work to fix it as soon as possible.  I just want to make York College the best possible place for students to be.

What do you think makes you the best choice for the students? How do you differ from other candidates? Do you think that there are any crucial disagreements with your opponents?

I believe my passion and involvement on campus and with other students makes me the best choice for this position.  I want to hear from the student body.  I want to hear what people love about York so we can keep doing it and I want to hear what people hate about York so we can fix it.  Change is possible and I know I can work with people; students, faculty, and administration, until we get it fixed.  

I feel that I differ from other candidates because of how many students I am able to talk to on a daily basis.  I have had a lot of people from organizations come talk to me just because they need someone to talk to.  Sometimes they have an issue with their club and want advice, or it’s an executive board member not doing what they’re supposed to.  More often than not though, they’re stressed out, they have a family issue, something is going on in their private life, and they just need to talk.  I am the person people can turn to when they just need someone to listen.  I am the person people can turn to when they need to get something done.

I believe each candidate is free to say whatever they want; it is not my place to step on anyone’s toes during an election.  I work with Abhi a lot in Senate and I think he has his heart in the right place.  He works so hard, and he works really well in a team which is crucial for any position on Student Senate. Steve is very passionate about the things he says.

Do you have a platform? If so, what concrete steps will you take / proposal do you have to better the conditions for students?

I believe the Student Senate President should not have their own agenda; instead, they should only represent the students to the best of their ability.  As such, I would start out my position finishing any projects Jason Keller, and the rest of Senate, is currently working on, and then move on to projects that I already know are issues for concern with students.  Some of those projects include, but are not limited to, the following: wet campus expansion, tobacco-related issues, handicap accessibility, and more community involvement. Student Senate is currently working on these projects, and many more, but I feel these are some that have generated the most student approval.  One of the many difficult things during a transition is finishing any tasks the person before you was working on.  I do not want any of these projects to fall through the cracks as we transition to our new positions.  All of the chair positions this year, as well as the executive board and the entire Student Senate have worked on so many projects and collaborated in a way that I have not seen before.  I want to continue the work ethic and teamwork we had this year to have an even better year next year!  I feel that I work very well in a team and have many connections with administrators and faulty on this campus and would be instrumental in helping complete these tasks before moving on to new ideas from the student body.

Why should students back you? Do you think that you can effectively represent every person at the college and equally address their needs and concerns?

I believe students should back me because I truly put their needs first.  I have had such a wonderful experience here at York College and I want to make sure that every student has the opportunity to have that same experience.  I believe through the many organizations I am a part of on campus, as well as my approachability, I am great person to seek out and represent every student at the college.

Plea for students’ support:

I hope you all will consider me for this position.  I truly believe that I have the students’ best interest at heart.  I would love nothing more than to represent the student body next year as Student Senate president.  Thank you so much for your consideration!

Photo credit: Mike Adams.

Note: The Spartan’s Editor-in-Chief Steven Brikowski, who is a candidate for president of Student Senate, did not participate in formulating questions for candidates and did not edit candidate responses.



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