The following is an interview conducted with Senator candidate Juan Barreto. Elections will be held on April 5th and 6th.
Harring: Could you just state your name and your year in school for me?
Barreto: Sure. My name is Juan Barreto. I’m a freshman here at Parkside, with a declared major of molecular biology with an anticipated minor in mathematics.
Harring: Why did you decide to run for Senator?
Barreto: I…decided to run for Senator because I felt it was a strong way to get more involved with the student body and the entire organization of Parkside. I felt that it was a great way to get in touch with the average student. As for personal reasons, I think it’s a great way to better myself, maybe get me more out of my shyness [and] make me more courageous. Maybe help me more with my public speaking.
Harring: Okay, so, what would you like to bring to the table and address as a Senator?
Barreto: I hear very often that tuition is a big portion of it, and I would strongly agree with that. But, again, I also think that…it takes a certain amount of money to run things. If you take away money from tuition, you might be sacrificing programs or maybe employment for students here at Parkside. I would really like to resolve student involvement. I see a good portion of them are actively involved [at] Parkside, but I would still like to reach that few percent that does not think this school has anything to [teach] them. I think that there is and they just can’t reach it.
Harring: What qualities do you think you possess that will make you a good Senator?
Barreto: On a personal basis, I’m logical minded [and] I’m reasonable. I find that I can be able to set a plan and carry it out. I think that a good senator is [someone] who can make a good plan realistically and carry it out within a certain time frame and shows results. As for qualifications, I’ve done countless activities, and I’m [involved] in various groups here at Parkside, such as LU (Latinos Unidos), Biology Club, Pre-health Club…I think I’m very…capable to hit the ground running as a Senator.
Harring: And what challenges do you think might occur and how do you foresee yourself overcoming those challenges?
Barreto: As for challenges, I would say the biggest challenge would be cooperating with my fellow senators. I would assume that I’m a very debatable person, I’m very opinionated, and I’m kind of that person that doesn’t back down once I take a stance. I don’t like to fluctuate my ideas because that makes me seem double-sided rather than just focused. I guess that would be one of the biggest problems, just being able to cooperate with my fellow senators, having them be able to see my point of view.
Harring: And how do you think you can overcome that and be a unified body?
Barreto: Be open-minded and assume that my fellow senators will also be open-minded. Maybe reach some kind of bipartisan that we can all just work towards one main goal. That’s the main thing [about] being a senator, being able to be reliable and accountable for your actions.
Harring: How have you been campaigning for the elections?
Barreto: Recently, it’s been kept to a minimum. I’m very occupied with school, and I find that you can’t really be a good senator without being qualified as an educated individual. So far, it’s just been one-on-one with the students, but hopefully within the next couple of days, I’m planning to have more flyers and posters, get my name more out there with [some] guerilla tactics for campaigning. It’s interesting that you [asked] that, because when I was on the site trying to look for my fellow candidates, I was not able to do that. I could not find the other people who were trying to run for these positions and I think that’s something that should be fixed because if the average student wants to go find out who the candidates are [they] want to vote for, they’re not going to be able to. That’s something I’d like to see fixed, if not now, sometime in the future…[for] the students to have more access to the people that they are going to be represented by.
Harring: That was my last question, so is there anything else you’d like to add?
Barreto: Even though I’m young [and] new to the school, I find that I can hit the ground running. I can go about things realistically. I don’t want to hesitate; I just want to get things done and…show results, show the student body that I am the senator for them.