Sitting down with the SGA president-elect
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 00:03
Less than a week after sweeping the West Virginia University student government elections, The Revolution has been at work preparing for the inauguration, immediately after which the members of The Revolution will take office for one year. The Daily Athenaeum had the opportunity to sit down with President-elect Ryan Campione to talk about the election, his work and his future.
Bryan Bumgardner: So, what’s new?
Ryan Campione: I’ve been very busy. Just today, I’ve been in seven meetings. I’m trying to get as much of a feel for the environment as I possibly can, building relationships as quickly as I can within the University so I can hit the ground running when we take office.
BB: I feel like there wasn’t even time for a honeymoon phase.
RC: (Laughter.) Ben is going back to Manchester Thursday or Friday, so we’re trying to do as much as we can while we’re both here together. The honeymoon phase can happen later.
BB: So, what has the student reaction been? What have people been saying to you?
RC: I think you were the one who asked me before if it had "hit me yet..." It’s hitting me now more and more.
I was walking through the Mountainlair today, and these two girls came up to me that I’d never seen before, and they were like "Oh, Mr. President!" I said, "No, just call me Ryan." (Laughter.)
I think there’s a great excitement. Nobody’s telling me I need to do this or that yet, but there’s this great excitement, and everyone’s like "Oh, I know him; I just saw his face."
BB: What about the governors? What have they been talking about?
RC: They’re excited. Already, a lot of them have started scheduling appointments and getting started ... It’s funny, because the No. 1 question I’ve been getting is, "When do you take office?" They want to get moving and get working as soon as possible.
BB: One of the things I saw with them was a lot of cohesion with the governors. I feel like you push them to do their best with their platforms.
RC: That’s an accurate statement. We work on everyone to meet with an administrator way before campaigning began, so that everybody had a headstart. We did about five workshops leading up to and during the campaign, where maybe I noticed one and another individual were very close during the campaign, and I would split them up so they would work with someone else. By doing that, we built more unity. And that doesn’t apply just within how the governors know each other, but their own issues.
There’s a philosophy I love to subscribe to called "20-80 time": spend 80 percent of your time on what you’re passionate about and what you promised and the other 20 percent exploring new areas and other avenues.
I want to continue to build this inclusion with more and more people, as we get executives and with people coming to the meetings. I want this warm, homey feeling rather than this sterile, synthetic environment.
BB: Do you feel like that promotes something within SGA?
RC: I do. One, you feel more comfortable and more willing to speak your mind, and two, if you’re comfortable, you’re more willing to come back again and continue to share your opinion. Because, if for some reason you don’t feel like your opinion is valued, why would you come in the first place?
BB: I feel like what you’re digging at here is the most pure version of democratic government. Is that something you’ve thought about?
RC: Actually no, to be completely honest. In the sense of getting more people included, I feel that there’s been certain people and individuals ... They believe their opinion doesn’t matter, and I’m trying to change that culture.
But I guess by taking a step back and seeing the grandiose pattern, by making everyone feel included, you really are going to the bare essence of