|Jake Reagan||Majors: Political Science, Philosophy, Spanish||
Hometown: Boulder, CO
|Majors: International Affairs, Spanish (minor in PSCI)||
Hometown: Olympia, WA
|David Kidd||Majors: Political Science, Business||Hometown: Steamboat Springs, CO|
Meet the three Political Science students leading CU Student Government 2018: Jake Reagan, Olivia Wittenberg, and David Kidd. They aim to create a new platform in leading the student body. All members of the Ignite ticket, the three feel excited to work as a team. Together, the team swore in on Thursday, May 3rd.
None of the new executives believed they would be in the positions they have now, but their individual passions inspired them to advocate for their ideas.
"I met Jake in my Study Abroad program in Barcelona and we became best friends,” Olivia says. “He asked me out of the blue one day and said he really wanted to run and thought I’d be good at it too. I never really considered it, but knowing Jake and the kind of person he is--he pursues things with his whole heart--I knew it would be a wild ride and I wanted to be a part of that. From there we interviewed people for the third tri-exec position and David was by far the most qualified. We could not have done this without each of us bringing something so unique to the table.
Jake reflects on his experience:
"The first touch I had with SG was freshman year, second semester. It always interested me, but nothing drove it home until one day I was sitting in a classroom the day we had the Michetti threat on campus. While I was in the classroom, we got a text that said there was an active harmer. When we went to lock the door, there was no lock. We walked around the humanities building as a class in the middle of an active harmer situation, trying to find a room with a lock on it. I thought in the moment, ‘this is really wrong. We should do something about this.’"
Together, one of the team’s main focuses will be campus security. They want to invest in new locks for classroom doors throughout campus to protect students in case of an outside threat. Other big goals include making student government more transparent and connecting resources to improve student social event safety.
"Looking from the outside in, I think a lot of students don’t know what student government does for them. Something we want to work on next year is increase visibility and transparency of student government,” David says. “CU means so much more now that we’re as involved as we are. We don’t realize the intricacies and the thought process, but behind every little detail was a boardroom of talented individuals thinking about how to best craft that experience. It’s been really fascinating for me, there’s so much more to CU underneath than what you see on the surface. We want to make student government more transparent so students can see more of our thought processes.”
In terms of ensuring more student voices are heard, Olivia strongly believes it takes both students and representatives getting more involved. “It starts with hiring executive staff that really does represent as many groups on campus as possible. From there it means we are meeting with them consistently, having good communication, meeting with different student organizations and going ourselves to clubs. Just really showing up,” she says.
Advice from your tri-executives:
David: The greatest things that happen are free. People always direct themselves towards a bent career goal. It’s super important to have these dreams, but in my experience, the greatest things, for example student government, happen when you don’t realize. Take a really diverse class load, experience everything CU has to offer, and direct yourself to what you want to do. Make sure to say yes to things that are free that may seem they don’t fit the direction you’re in now.
Olivia: Say yes to things people ask you to do. This whole experience happened because I took the jump to do this with Jake. Get involved, you will never regret having this amazing community that you yourself have created, surrounded by people who share your passions.
Jake: just get involved!
Favorite PSCI Class:
David: I have two: lower division is Comparative Politics (PSCI 2012) which got me into the PSCI major and International Law (PSCI 4183). I had incredible professors in both, and International Law really activated my business and political science major.
Olivia: Greg Young is an incredible professor here and I’m taking his course in Revolution and Political Violence (PSCI 3062) next semester. I had him my first semester as a freshman and I was so intimidated by him in a 200-person lecture hall, but this class is a smaller setting so I’m really excited.
Jake: Professor Ferguson’s Western Political Thought (PSCI 2004). It’s reacting to the past and is taught through these different historical classes where you assume a role, debate the whole class, and actively take part in the material. You can bring the theory you learn, and actually apply it. It’s the most applicable fun learning experience I’ve had in college.
"Student government is 100 percent about representing students and without that, we would have a very different culture on campus. For me, I’ve realized it’s not about politicians having their own agenda, it’s about representing students.”
"The biggest thing that makes people want to become leaders is understanding there’s a thick wall between people who “are not leaders” and those who are. Those who don’t think they could lead totally could, they just have to put themselves out there. You gain experience along the way, it’s a spectrum of gaining experience. There’s no harm in trying.”