Student Body Presidential Candidate: Chandler Huddleston
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The West Texas A&M University student body elections will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. In order to give the campus community a better look at the candidates, The Prairie will be featuring those candidates running for student body president and vice president. Next is student body presidential candidate Chandler Huddleston.
Why have you decided to run for student body president?
Chandler Huddleston: WT is the place I call my home away from home, and it’s so important to me that we reach as many students as possible and help them realize that WT can be their home away from home as well. I chose to run for student body president because I want to help other students realize that WT can be their home away from home as well.
How did you become interested in student government?
Like all freshman, I attended Buff Branding right before starting my first semester here at WT, and at the Buff Branding Organization Fair, I noticed the student government table. I spoke with the guys there, and they really sold me on the student advocacy part of student senate. I wanted to be a voice for WT students.
If elected, what do you hope to accomplish?
I want to this campus to be the most involved campus WT can have. I believe that WT has a ton of great organizations, and that there is a fit for every student here. I would hate for students to say, “I didn’t get involved because I didn’t know what WT had to offer.”
To help achieve campus involvement, I want to start a weekly meeting with different heads of organizations so that I can really get a feel for everything that is going on at WT. At these meetings, we can discuss different events each organization is holding and soon begin collaboration between different organizations to jointly host events that can maximize student turnout. My dream is to have regular events that routinely have hundreds of students show up.
Finally, I was a part of the Student Fee Committee that determined where student fees go and what gets funded, and as a part of that committee, I learned the value of fiscal responsibility. I want students to be confident in the fact that the money they pay towards the university won’t go to waste.
What issues do you think are important to the students today, and how do you hope to address them?
Of course you’re always going to hear students complain about parking, but other than the obvious, I see Residential Living becoming a bigger issue for students, especially next year when dorms start shutting down for renovations. We’re going to start having a shortage of available dorm rooms, so I think it’s important to answer these questions as soon as possible.
One idea I presented to senate recently was an exemption from the dorm rooms based on a student’s cumulative GPA. Of course, there are other ways to fix this issue, and I look forward to hearing everyone’s ideas.
Finally, I think it’s important to listen to the students as they will ultimately have issues that everyone else in Student Senate may be unaware of. By listening to our constituents, we can ensure that we can best serve the university.
If given the chance, what would you change about campus policies if you could?
It’s not necessarily what I would change, but what my constituency would have me change. I know it’s starting to sound redundant, but I believe whole-heartedly in listening and being adaptive to those who would put me in to this office. I want to take my philosophy of helping others and apply that across the university.
Given your personal experience, what issues on campus are important to you that some students may not be aware of?
Again, it sounds redundant, but I want to make sure students are aware at just how much WT has to offer them, and it’s not even about organizations. I want to make sure everyone knows what services are offered to them, from counseling services to career counseling.
What is your favorite thing about WT?
I really love the family aspect of WT. It’s more than just the close-knit group of students, but it’s also all of the professors who genuinely care about you and your success. Everyone here is dedicated to getting the best out of you, and it really shows when you see all the success WT students are having.
How do you hope to make a difference once you graduate?
After I graduate, I plan on applying for law school and going through with that, but post-law graduation, I really see my future in higher education. I’ve come to realize that higher education is a place that really shapes people, and I’ve realized that it’s not so much about yourself, it’s about influencing and helping others. I want to be the professor that shows students what they can achieve and make them believe in themselves, as all the professors here have done for me.