Redding, Zuccari ready to represent WVU students
Published: Friday, August 17, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 17, 2012 04:08
Every school year, the president and vice president of the West Virginia University Student Government Association are elected to represent the interests of University students. Zach Redding and Jarred Zuccari , president and vice president for the 2012-2013 school year, sat down with Lacey Palmer of The Daily Athenaeum to share their administration’s vision.
Redding is a senior from Hanover, Pa. He is studying political science and previously served as an SGA student governor.
LP: First of all, what platform did you run on?
ZR: Social justice and bullying, Big 12 realignment and student behavior and student health insurance.
I chose those platforms because I feel that they’re the most important issues that face our students and our University in the coming year.
LP: What made you decide to run for student body president?
ZR: I ran because I felt that I was capable of representing our student body in the best light. I have a lot of experience with leadership, and I want nothing more than to keep our students happy and our university moving in the right direction.
LP: Do you feel a lot of pressure holding such an important position?
ZR: To be completely honest, the position can be stressful at times, but I knew that going in. I feel like the saying "with great power, comes great responsibility" is very true. I just want to make sure that when it is all said and done the students of WVU know that I gave my best effort to represent them.
LP: Speaking of representing WVU, what does it mean to you to represent the school?
ZR: I’ve never been more honored to hold any position in my life. I take this position very seriously and want nothing but to shed positive light on the students of our University on a national level. I have very large shoes to fill from my predecessors who have done an excellent job, but I can’t express how proud I am to do so.
LP: I bet the experience is incredible. What are some specific goals and plans for the upcoming year?
ZR: Wow, specific goals. There is an incredible amount that I want to get done, some of which may take longer than a year, but a couple examples are incorporating an LGBT Center into campus, working with the Big 12 to ensure that our conference alignment goes as smoothly as possible, giving back as much as we can to students, and most importantly, keeping open ears to all students so they get the best college experience possible.
LP: What’s the greatest reward you’ve experienced thus far as president?
ZR: Well, I’m still in the beginning stages of my presidency, but thus far I would have to say my greatest accomplishment would be representing WVU as well as my country in Russia with 14 other incredible students from across our nation. That was just simply an amazing experience.
LP: Why did you choose to come to WVU and represent the school in this way?
ZR: I chose WVU because it is a great academic institution, I love the campus and most importantly, because I’m a sports fanatic who’s been cheering for the Mountaineers since I was a kid. Sports are an essential part of my life, and we have some of the best teams and fans in the nation.
LP: What advice do you have for those that would like to be in your position someday?
ZR: All I can say for those who would like this position someday is to keep the students in mind at all times. It is a very demanding job, which takes a great deal of hard work and dedication, but honestly, anyone with a will to work and a passionate devotion to the students at WVU can become president and do an amazing job.
Like Redding, vice president Jared Zuccari also served in SGA prior to this year.
Zuccari is a senior multidisciplinary studies major from Fairfax, Va., and has previously served on the SGA athletic council.
LP: First of all, we’ll cover some basics. What platform did you run on last year?
JZ: Our platform when we ran in the spring was to focus on making WVU as inclusive and student-friendly campus as possible, which includes working on anti-bullying, student behavior and things such as that.
LP: Why did you and Zach choose that platform?
JZ: It has been a major issue on our campus for several years that needs more attention and work. Additionally, as the student leaders on campus, it was important that WVU remain a fun and education-friendly atmosphere for all students.
LP: What inspired you to run for vice president overall?
JZ: I had previously been involved in Student Government here at WVU and thought that from last year there were some serious changes that needed to be made to make the organization as effective as it had been in the past. I had been involved under effective leadership in the past, and I knew I had what it would take to make that happen again.
LP: Okay, what are some of your specific goals and plans for the upcoming school year?
JZ: We want to create places across campus where students who are being bullied can go and feel safe. We want to create a special office in student affairs to work with all minority and abused students. Additionally, we want to focus on student safety by providing more planned programming to curb destructive behaviors.
LP: What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming year?
JZ: I can’t wait for all of the students to get back on campus, for football season to start, and FallFest. SGA puts in a lot of hard work over the summer but we are at our best when the students are here. There is a famous saying that "it takes a village" to affect real change; it takes the entire student body.
LP: I’m definitely looking forward to the upcoming year. What does it mean to you to represent WVU at this level?
JZ: I have been given an extraordinary opportunity to interact with so many people as one of the faces of WVU. It means a lot to know that behind me is a Big 12 student body that stacks up against any other institution. More than anything, I am humbled by the fact that I have gotten to represent WVU to other schools and the world.
LP: Well, I’m sure you’ll represent us well. What’s been the most rewarding or unique experience you’ve had as vice president so far?
JZ: I would be lying if I didn’t say that getting to represent WVU in Asia this summer was the most unique experience so far. However, I find the culmination of months worth of working ending in even the smallest achievement for the student body to be the most rewarding.
LP: Finally, what’s one thing you hope all WVU students know about you?
JZ: Even though I’ve been given this opportunity, I am still just a student. My door is always open and I love to meet new people.