2015 Vice presidential candidate: Reggie Bates

By Alex Nugent

Major: Senior psychology and sociology major

Involvement: Black Male Initiative president, Neptune Hall community adviser, Black Theatre Workshop student adviser, Campus Activities Board honoree host and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity secretary

Q: Why do you think you are the right candidate for this position?

A: I feel that I am the right candidate simply because the vice president is supposed to be a grand ambassador for the Student Association who works with student organizations. As a motivational speaker, one of my presentations called “Your Brand” could easily help make people more aware of what the SA is. My knowledge of this campus and student organizations is quite extensive. I’ve had to write constitutions and bylaws in order to bring student organizations back to this campus. Because I host a lot of events, student organizations come to me to help better their events. I also work well with resource centers, which send me to more diverse organizations. I would be the best candidate for the vice presidency because I’m already doing these things.

Q: What would be your No. 1 priority if elected?

A: My No. 1 priority would be to get the student body more affiliated with what a student government really is. The SA is good, but it needs to be great. We can do that by making people more aware about what the SA really is because a lot of student organizations submit their budget not knowing what they are submitting it to. They think of the SA as an authoritative organization, which is not the case. The SA is here to serve students, not diminish their value. I really want the students to be more aware of student government so that we can have a more diverse SA and a more fun NIU.

Q: Name an issue NIU is facing and explain how the SA can help NIU fix these problems.

A: One issue NIU is facing is avenues to embrace one another. It’s been said that our campus is very separated not because there are any issues amongst the people or the students; we just don’t have any avenues to actually interact with one another. What we could easily do, or what I would do, is have bi-weekly forums where we would find a location and book a room, give incentives like food, where organizations and the student body can interact and network. We currently do not have those avenues.

Q: How would you help the SA connect more with students?

A: I serve as one of the most social faces of our campus, so being part of the SA will help people see that they can too be a student, have fun and get work done. We have a fun campus, and being able to see the officers will get the SA where it needs to be with the interaction with the students. I could see this being very easily done with myself being vice president.

Q: Could you name an issue you believe NIU is facing and describe how the SA could help the university resolve it?

A: One of the main causes behind declining enrollment is that there are not very many things for students to do on campus, especially on the weekend and during their downtime. Our organizations cannot put on that many events because we lack funding within a lot of these organizations. To solve this, I would work well with the treasurer by doing my research of the campus, seeing the [organizations] that people are really involved and engaged with and work with them to help get that additional funding, so that we can have a better campus. Another cause is finances. A lot of students can’t really afford to live on campus, so what the SA could do is facilitate workshops that will give students an outline of how to set yourself up so that school can [be] more fun and affordable.