The following is an interview conducted with Presidential nominee Adam Spivey. Elections will be held on April 5th and 6th.
Harring: Could you just state your name, year in school, and major for me?
Spivey: My name is Adam Spivey, I’m a senior here at Parkside, and my major is criminal justice with a focus in pre-law.
Harring: What qualities do you feel you possess that will make you a good President?
Spivey: I definitely have a lot of charisma, a lot of energy, and that’s infectious. When one person’s very negative or very positive, it spills [to] everyone else. I’m very animated. I love this school [and] I love what I do. If I didn’t do something, I wouldn’t be passionate about it. I have tons of passion about student government and tons of passion about this university and I think that passion can spill into the other students.
Harring: What made you decide to run for President?
Spivey: Being involved in student government for so many years, you can see what the difference between leaderships will do. Having a leader that’s antagonistic towards the administration will change the way students view the administration, having a leader who quits in the beginning of the year will change the way students view the legitimacy of the student government. I want students to view us as very legitimate, I want students to view us as working on their behalf, [and] I want students to see us as [a] functioning, important part of their student experience.
Harring: What issues would you like to address and bring to the table if you’re voted in for President?
Spivey: Communication, communication, communication. I can’t [stress] it enough. We’ve got all the orgs on this end, we’ve got athletics and the arts on the other end, [and] we need to make sure that we have open branch communication between RHA, the administration, all the orgs, all the athletics. We need to make sure that we’re talking on the same page, because a lot of times what happens is [a situation] like when we’re little kids and we’re playing a game of telephone, someone says one thing and by the time it gets to you, it’s something completely different. We need to cut that off. We’re adults here, we’re learning to work and function in the professional world, and we need to learn to exist as professionals. I’ve existed in the professional world now for ten years; I think I can bring that to the table. I think we need to have a level of professionalism and communication we don’t currently have, and I think I’m going to execute that.
Harring: What challenges can you foresee if you’re voted in and how do you plan on overcoming those?
Spivey: I think the challenges I’m going to have are knowing who is the next leader. It’s not just important enough for me to do the job, but I honestly need to train my replacement. I think that’s going to be one of my biggest challenges, finding someone I can trust and count on [that] I can cultivate as a leader to make sure that when this next batch of government moves on to whatever their next adventure is, we have the right people in place so that all of our hard work isn’t for nothing. I think that’s going to a number one, most important thing in having consistency in [the] government. It’s been an issue from going from the strong presidency of Ted Ruffalo to the lesser presidency of Steve Delcuze, when he rage quit at the beginning of the year, and that in turn affected Dana Calamia’s presidency, because she was cleaning up a lot of messes. It’s been sort of like a “not much has happened since” type of presidency. There hasn’t been much going on since then. So, that’s what I’m aiming for.
Harring: So, you’re running with Jeff House. What do you think you two have that will make you a good team.
Spivey: Jeff House has a lot of potential. Jeff House is very passionate about the school; he’s very passionate about the community. He has a lot of face time with the students. A lot of people know him; everyone knows who he is. People are very excited to hear about him, which is great because touches back on the passion I was talking about before. Even if Jeff doesn’t necessarily have all the answers or know where to get them, again, [it’s about] cultivating leadership. If he’s already got the passion, [well] that’s the hard part! If he already has the passion, all we need to do is make sure that Jeff knows exactly where to go to find the answers if he doesn’t have them, and move on from there and just lead the school from passion.
Harring: Okay. And, how have you been campaigning this election?
Spivey: I’ve been campaigning through posters, via word of mouth, getting signatures obviously, [just] pounding pavement. I participated in a debate with the athletics department and the other presidential candidates yesterday, I participated in the debate today with the other presidential candidates. I’ve also just been sitting around talking to people and shaking hands and asking questions. I run a business in Racine; I’m part of the community. When people come in wearing Parkside colors, I [tell them] I’m part of student government [and ask] what I can do for [them]. That’s where a lot of the information I’ve gathered, a lot of the feedback I’ve got has been from is just actually being like, “Hey, you don’t know me, but I know that you go to the school I go to, and I’m part of its leadership team. What can I do for you?” [I] make sure that’s been consistent in all my time here on campus. From then on, I’m just going to keep pounding pavement…I’ve got meetings with orgs and athletics and all sorts of other cool people [to] get their concerns, needs, worries, and wants to see what we can do and what we can work out. [I’m] excited about the election and [trying] to get people to vote one way or another.
Harring: Awesome. Well, that’s all I have, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Spivey: Yeah, I just want to add that it’s been an interesting experience at Parkside regardless of what happens. I think there’s a lot of potential in a lot of different people on campus that’s untapped. I think we need to make sure we focus on the positives and focus on making sure that our government is run more professionally. A lot of in-fighting has gone on this year, there’s been a lot of unfortunate circumstances that has lead to division between PSG and RHA, [and] there’s been a division between athletics and the student government via the President’s current veto of the weight room resolution. It’s been a mess, honestly. The reason why it’s been a mess is because our communication has been lacking, our follow through has been lacking, and as a senator I can only do so much. I think as being the President I’ll be able to focus our attention and focus our message and help hold the accountability of the senate and hold the accountability to marketing and other facets of student government that are going to make sure that the message gets across that we are here for you, by you, to do your will. We need to find out what it is that they want so we can do it.
Harring: Well, thank you very much.
Spivey: Thank you.