Student Assembly Transfer Representative Alex Pruce is probably one of the busiest students on campus, and he’s only in his second semester at Cornell. The Insider caught up with him to get the scoop on his campaign for Executive Vice President and his thoughts on some recent campus and national happenings:
As a transfer student, you bring a different perspective to a community full of people who are only intimately familiar one undergraduate institution. What has been the biggest perk for you that comes with being a Cornellian and what has been the biggest disappointment?
The biggest perk is the access to all of Cornell’s resources, which are some of the best in the world: the libraries, professors, students, etc. Everyday, I am in awe that I am here. The biggest disappointment is that I thought the weather in Ithaca would be nicer. I grossly underestimated the cold.
What have been some of the unique concerns of the transfer community you’ve addressed as Transfer Representative in the SA?
The concerns for transfer students so far have not deviated from what would be expected concerns of any other student. Housing issues, meal plan concerns, how to become involved on campus and find a community to flourish in, and campus-wide problems such as SAFC funding for new student groups have all been directed to me at some point this school year and have tried to resolve as many as possible. I have had questions raised about transfer course credit, potential transfer-only housing, and special transfer academic advising over the last two semesters, which have been majorly resolved by the students themselves after consulting me.
You’re running for Executive Vice President with only one and half semesters of SA experience under your belt. Why are you qualified for the position?
First, SA experience is not a prerequisite for serving on the SA in any capacity, including Executive Vice President (EVP). Second, platforms aside, the EVP sets the agenda, presides when the President cannot, provides input on executive board meetings, and has the same rights and privileges as other members of the body. I am a capable manager and can handle those responsibilities effectively. As an SA representative, Mock Trial co-captain, and co-founder of a club, I am definitely qualified to become the next Executive Vice President of the Student Assembly.
One of the SA presidential candidates is touting a plan to use money from the Student Activity Fee normally reserved for the twenty-nine “byline funded” organizations, like the Slope Day and Concert Commissions, to expand the Blue Light system. What do you think of this idea?
Expanding the Blue Light system by way of using the Student Activity Fee (SAF) is the wrong approach for a number of reasons. The Blue Light system’s increased funding comes at the expense of other byline-funded organizations, if the SAF is not raised, which I do not support. Further, throwing money at the problem and hoping for the best is not the right course of action. The SA this year has not been presented evidence by any organization, administrator, or otherwise that this is the best or a plausible solution to the unaddressed issue of forcible touching.
If you were on the SA last spring, how would you have voted on Resolution 44, which sought to eradicate discrimination on campus but also would have undermined the sovereignty of student organizations on campus had President Skorton approved it in its entirety?
The sovereignty of student organizations is a key value in my SA decisions concerning resolutions. The SA has no right to infringe upon those rights, unless it is an issue of finances, deviating from the group’s stated purpose, or something along those lines. But, while I respect the intention of Resolution 44 because I believe in individual tolerance and respect our differences, I do not believe in forced acceptance of those differences. Thus, I would probably not have voted for it, following my libertarian spirit. Of course, the past is the past.
What are your thoughts on the news that Nelly will be performing at Slope Day?
I heard a lot of people hating on Nelly after it was revealed that he was going to be headlining Slope Day, but I’m excited for it. The Slope Day Programming Board picked a solid entertainer.
Who would be your ideal Slope Day performer?
As a Pittsburgher, I would have appreciated Wiz Khalifa more (at least to hear “Black and Yellow”). But, you know what it is…
Finally, you’re an ILRie–what do you think of the situation in Wisconsin?
I am actually pretty torn. When I first heard about Governor Scott Walker going after the collective bargaining rights of most public employees, I thought it was a means to an end to reduce the financial burden on the state, and I accepted that as a valid concern and a way to do accomplish that. However, the unions and their membership have already made significant concessions with no budging from the Governor on a compromise, plus the phone call gaffe with the reporter posing as one of the billionaire Koch Brothers hurts his capital with me. I am going to continue to monitor the situation and hope something amicable results from it.
Voting for all Student Assembly elections ends this morning at 10 AM.