Westphal: “I think I could do a better job for TCU”

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    Current Student Body Treasurer Cody Westphal is running against current Vice President of External Affairs Graham McMillan for student body president, and Westphal is not your average student.

    Platform

    Westphal’s platform is divided into three broad categories: action-oriented goal setting, establishing new TCU traditions and service leadership.

    He said one of his action-oriented plans is to make improving diversity at the university an SGA-funding priority.

    “There is a very tangible way to do it,” Westphal said.

    Student organizations are asked to complete three questions when applying for funding from Student Government Association. Westphal said there should be a fourth question: How does this work to promote diversity on campus?

    “By funding diverse groups, we promote diversity through interaction,” Westphal said.

    The House of Student Representatives also needs to find a way to responsibly spend the extra $101,900 left over in SGA’s budget for next year, he said.

    SGA members need to talk to students to see where they want the money to go, Westphal said.

    “I’m not the opinion setter, I’m the listener,” he said. “I think there’s a lot we need to do to set up a system that listens well enough to spend $100,000.”

    SGA also needs to work on developing a more open, interactive relationship with TheCrew, Westphal said.

    Particularly, representatives need to be involved in developing new traditions, since SGA gave TheCrew extra money for improving homecoming and adding a spring tradition, Westphal said.

    Regarding servant leadership, Westphal said SGA members need to make a better effort to connect with and serve organizations on campus.

    “Just because it is under TheCrew’s budget, doesn’t mean there won’t be an element of student representation in planning it,” Westphal said.

    March on Campus, an initiative started by presidential candidate Graham McMillan, was a step in the right direction, Westphal said, but it isn’t enough.

    “I don’t think the idea now, as Graham presented it, is good enough,” Westphal said. “I don’t think it’s effective enough. I would want to take it in a different direction.”

    When House members go to speak to organizations through March on Campus, they should work on developing a relationship with that organization, Westphal said.

    Campaign Strategy

    Jonathan Davis, Westphal’s campaign manager, said their biggest focus has been talking to organizations to see what the students want from SGA.

    “What we’re really trying to do is reach out to organizations and see what they really want in the university for the betterment of TCU,” Davis said.

    This includes non-traditional students such as transfer students and student veterans, Davis said.

    “We feel that, as a whole, non-traditional students have been largely ignored on this campus,” he said. “Cody believes that all students at the university should have a say in what’s going on and get involved.”

    Davis said Westphal has specific goals and action plans to tackle issues such as improving diversity on campus, but McMillan has not shown how he plans to do the same.

    “I hear that he wants to promote diversity,” Davis said about McMillan. “But I don’t hear how he wants to do it.”

    Overall, Davis said Westphal is the better candidate because he is a good listener, and he also has a plan of action.

    “The reason why I support Cody is that Cody’s campaign has a plan,” Davis said. “I think it would be efficiently and effectively carried out.”

    Experience

    Westphal served as the SGA treasurer during the spring 2013 semester.

    He co-wrote legislation to create “table talk,” scheduled times in which students can speak to House members directly and voice opinions.

    Westphal also created the budget for 2013-2014, which featured across-the-board spending cuts and three major boosts to homecoming, a new spring tradition, and a new student project-funding program.

    Westphal said it is also important that he has a uniquely diverse perspective on TCU.

    “My understanding of TCU is more diverse and more complete,” Westphal said.

    He is a Chancellor’s Scholar, a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Program, a member of Students for Asian Cultural Awareness, and a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity on campus.

    “I’ve done a lot of stuff, and I’ve met a lot of people,” Westphal said.

    Most importantly, Westphal said he is passionate about listening to others just as much as he talks.

    “I don’t always think I’m right,” Westphal said. “That’s important for a president.”

    Slogan: Your Voice. Your Vision. Our TCU.

    “I am a servant of the students. I am a listener, and I am a representative of the student body,” Westphal said.

    But he said his slogan is not only about listening, but also about action.

    “I think it’s about balancing the creative goals part of leadership with the listening and going with what students want,” Westphal said. “I think at a certain point to get stuff done you have to step up and be a leader.”

    Why is he running?

    Westphal said his experience as treasurer has helped him prepare to be the student body president.

    “I ran, honestly, because I think I could do a better job for TCU,” he said.

    Westphal said that while he really respects McMillan as a person and as a candidate, he has the better skill set for the presidency.

    “I think Graham’s a good person, I just think I’ll be a better president,” Westphal said.

    Why should the student body vote for him?

    “I care about students, I care about TCU and I care so deeply about making life better for TCU students,” Westphal said.

    Westphal said he is willing to stand up for what students want, regardless of the way it “looks.”

    At the Board of Trustees meeting between Intercom members and the student body officers of SGA, Westphal said he asked a question about improving diversity on campus when nobody else would.

    “I asked, ‘What are we doing to increase diversity among our faculty?’” Westphal said.

    The question led to a conversation about improving diversity with the Board of Trustees, he said.

    “I mean it. I don’t really care about making people from the outside happy, I care about representing students,” he said. “I think that’s the type of president we need to have.”