Last month, the student body elected junior political science major Jackie Ku and sophomore kinesiology major Justin Parnell president and vice president, respectively, for the Associated Students of the University of La Verne.
The duo ran unopposed on a platform they described as “communication, approachability, representation, and explanation.”
The two recently spoke with the Campus Times about their hopes for the University, as well as what they plan to accomplish during their one-year term, which includes their desire to establish a stronger connection between ASULV and the student body.
What motivated you to run for this important office?
Ku: I am very driven in my desire to assist student-led efforts on campus. I was initially introduced to ASULV by Mariela Martinez, whom I had met through Model United Nations. I want to further support the development of campus organizations (and) I believe the position of president is the best way to ensure that support.
Parnell: As a senator at large for ASULV, I noticed many things I wanted to change, especially when it came to the overall connection between the student body and ASULV.
What platform did you run on?
Ku: Justin and I ran on a platform of communication. We believe that a lack of information is the common denominator of the gap between ASULV, the student body, and administration. The first step towards finding solutions on campus is establishing understanding between all parties. For all action, or inaction, by ASULV, Justin and I want to be able to explain our rationale to anyone and everyone who inquires.
What are your unique qualifications for these position?
Ku: Both Justin and I are currently serving as senators of ASULV. Justin entered ASULV as a Freshman Ambassador and I joined in Spring 2017 as a Senator-at-Large. I am also involved in Model United Nations, Barbershop Choir, and Greek Life. In each organization, I have striven to take on responsibility and leadership. Compounded by my current position as senator, I feel that I am appropriately informed about the operations of, and relationship between, ASULV and student organizations.
Parnell: My past experience on ASULV as a senator as well as my overall leadership experience and the ability to communicate with the student body is what makes me qualified.
What do you hope to improve and how?
Ku: What I see in ASULV is the potential for a greater support for the student body. I believe the distinctions we’ve drawn – in identifying ourselves as separate from the student body – have limited the collaborations we could have. As a result, we see various cases of tension between ASULV and the student body. What we propose is a re-evaluation of the role ASULV plays in relation to the students. We are seeing rapid growth in student-led organizations, and ASULV should be ensuring that that growth continues to increase student interest and involvement. We advocate for greater cooperation between clubs and in hosting campus events.
It is our hope that this cooperation can later lead to innovation by organizations and logistical support by ASULV and the Campus Activities Board.
Parnell: I hope to improve the overall approachability as well as communication both within senate and between the student body.
Ku: I think the ASULV of this year will prove a catalyst for an invigoration of student activity in coming years… Part of that change has involved an increase in student activity… We hope that the next ASULV will actively work in supporting student organizations, as well as continuously improving what it means to be a student representative.
Do you employ specific leadership techniques and if so what are they?
Ku: Generally, I believe in follower-based leadership. Any successful organization, in my opinion, must allow the energy and direction of the followers to provide the impetus of the group. It is the role of the leadership to ensure the fulfillment of the followers’ passion. Leadership must make sure that each step forward allows another following it.
How will ASULV better prepare you for your desired career path?
Ku: Anyone who has met me knows that I intend to run for President of the United States in the future –Self promo: Jackie Ku 2032 – I do plan on pursuing a career in public service following college, and ASULV provides an accessible and similar experience. ASULV allows me the opportunity to serve my immediate community as I develop as an emerging leader in the world.
Parnell: By involving myself in ASULV I hope to better my overall professional profile. I believe this organization thrives on building better leaders for the future, which is what I hope to be.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Ku: I want Campus Times readers to know that Justin and I are sincere in our pursuit of values such as approachability and explanation. We, very seriously, encourage any student who has concerns or questions about ASULV operations to not hesitate in contacting us. We may not have all answers readily available but we are dedicated to ensuring that each student has access to all information.
Paulina Wartman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.