The following is an e-mail interview conducted with Byron Dowse about his campaign for Senator in the 2011-2012 PSG elections. Elections will be held on the 5th and 6th of April.
Harring: Please state your name and year in school.
Dowse: Byron Dowse; senior [with a] History major [and a] Geography minor [along with a] International Studies Certificate.
Harring: Is this your first time running for Senator? If so, what caused you to run? If you are running for re-election, how long have you been involved in the Senate and why are you running again?
Dowse: I ran last year 2010-Present. I also filled a Senate vacancy in April 2010 during the 2009-2010 year. I ran as an advocate for the students who have to work to pay for school and do not have anybody to represent their interests. Specifically, I am an advocate for lowering the nearly $1,000 a year students pay in Segregated Fees to 1/2 that amount.
Harring: What are you hoping to bring to the Senate? What qualities do you feel you possess that make you a good candidate?
Dowse: I bring the experience of being involved in student government for three years at Parkside. Prior to being a Senator I was on the Executive Board of Parkside Student Government. I served on the Student Life Committee for a year and the Segregated University Fees Allocation Committee for a year “plus.” I have also served on the Student Tech. Fee Committee and the Academic Actions Committee. I also served on three Search and Screen Committees. I also have visited every university in the state and many of the 2 year extensions. Additionally, I have visited universities in 49 states plus I study university web sites to see how we can improve. I bring the qualities of persistence, forward thinking and creative thinking to an environment that is faced with budget reductions. We have to do more with less and that means making reductions in unnecessary personnel and consolidation of various activities. Students are facing an increase of 10% and more in tuition. They are already working more hours than they should to make ends meet.
Harring: What issues are you hoping to look to resolve or bring to the table as a Senator?
Dowse: The Segregated Fees of $1,000 a year equals to $4,000 in the four years a student attends college and $5,000 for a five- year student. That is money that should be going into their pocket, not out of their pocket. The total amount adds up to more when students are paying interest on student loans. Students should be saving that money, investing it, paying off debt or using that money to go on the “study abroad” programs to improve their resume so when they apply for jobs they can show an employer some real world foreign experience.
Harring: What do you think might be the most challenging aspect of being a Senator? How do you plan on overcoming this challenge? If you don’t forsee any challenges, explain why.
Dowse: The most challenging aspect of being a Senator is working with fellow Senators who feel that $1,000 a year in fees is “too little” and that “fees should be increased beyond $1,000 a year to $1,200 to $1,300 a year and maybe even $1,500 a year. Hopefully students will read this interview and become more active and not elect those Senators and President/Vice-Presidents who are advocating for an increase in fees.
Harring: How will you be campaigning for this election? The voting rate is pretty low amongst Parkside students, is there anything you think can be done to get more students to vote?
Dowse: I will be campaigning as I did in the past by speaking to classes about my position on excessive student segregated fees. I advocated for re-instituting the paper version of The Ranger News. I think that might help improve voter turnout. An informed and active citizenry is the best way to improve the democratic process and voter turnout.