Student Body Presidential Candidates Rusty Mau and Alanna Propst Discuss Their Positions on Diversity and Inclusion  

Today at 6p.m. , Mau and Propst will participate in a presidential debate in Talley Ballroom. Earlier this week, both shared with the Nubian Message their opinions on a few topics related to diversity and the progression of minority representation at N.C. State.

Rusty Mau  

Question 1: In your opinion, what does it mean to be a diverse campus? Is diversity important, why?

Rusty: A diverse campus is one that represents all forms of diversity. Diversity can be by differences in appearance, diversity of opinion and also differences in socioeconomic statuses. Diverse campuses are ones that allow all types of people to come and pursue their interests in an environment where they feel safe. Diversity is essential to a successful college experience. It allows us to truly learn about the world in a perspective different from our own, which allows us to reflect upon ourselves. Coming from Cullowhee, NC, I thought I knew diversity; however, NC State had taught me the importance of diversity and understanding all types of people. My experience being on the NC State Women’s Basketball team also helped me to look past appearances and break down societal norms. I came into their practice assuming that I needed to go easy against these girls—but it only took one elbow to the side for me to realize that these girls were here to play ball. It’s important in all areas of life to realize that we are individual human beings. Everyone has a different story, a different beginning, and a different path. Once we understand that, we can begin to understand all forms of diversity.

Question 2: The acceptance rate for African American students for 2011-2012 has drastically declined to only 20%. The rate has since risen, but AASAC is working to ensure the rate never dips that low again. If elected SBP how feasible would it be for you to help AASAC with this mission while still working toward your other three campaign goals? How would you do so?

Rusty: The three goals mentioned in the Technician are only a few of our goals. We have so many more. In reality, there are 34,000 students—so we should really have 34,000 different goals. In no way would it interfere with these goals to help AASAC fix this problem. It’s absolutely essential for these numbers not to dip this low and to also increase. Everyone deserves to be here at NC State. If I were voted Student Body President, I would help AASAC establish more connections with Chancellor, Provost, elected officials and Board of Governors. AASAC does a great job with this already, but I want to help them continue to do a great job.

Question 3: Taking on the office of Student Body President is a huge responsibility. If elected how will you ensure that it is a role you can fulfill and will not have to forfeit early on in your presidency?

Rusty: I’ll do this the same way that I’ve been an active student leader in my three years at NC State. I’ll work hard in class and keep emphasis on fact that I’m a student first. I’ll be in a Masters program for Econ next semester and will only be taking 9 hours of coursework. I will be able to focus a lot of my time on the presidency. I will surround myself with great organizations such as AASAC, Nubian Message, and the Technician and work together so that all students can be great and execute various goals and our various missions.

Alanna Propst

Question 1: In your opinion, what does it mean to be a diverse campus? Is diversity important, why?

Alanna: To me, to be a diverse campus means embracing the differences in people around you. Whether that is based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or economic status, diversity is all around us. Diversity is extremely important. Diversity is important because you are able to understand and communicate more efficiently to others, championing the issues that are important to every student and building a stronger representative voice. Change starts with transforming within student government, getting those elected to be knowledgeable about these issues and not just focused on resume padding and a title. Our issues can back up our passions, for it is at the foundation of our platform. I have played an active role in advocating for diversity on campus, participating in Pan Afrikan week, Ally day, Somos, and so much more.

Question 2: Student Body President, what would you do to help   make sure students from diverse backgrounds can have an experience similar to your own and feel welcome and like they belong as soon as they arrive on campus?

Alanna: I am a student from a diverse background. Both of my biological parents are remarried to individuals who are not of the same race and they have raised me in a background encompassing of multiple ethnicities. My running mate, Grant Do, is of Asian decent on both sides of his family. We knew that working together this year, diversity would be the main part of our platform because it is so vital to our upbringing and passions. We are the only candidates who even have diversity mentioned on their platform, but more than that, we have met with student leaders of diverse organizations to ensure diversity will be represented and upheld next year. In our platform, we have included making traditions relevant to student organizations. This means bringing Pan Afrikan week and the step show into the Brick. This includes Somos, the Diversity commission events (Like Cesar Chavez Blood Drive), Ally Day, AASAC events, and Water Week into our traditions that are supposed to be representative of NC State’s values.

Question 3: Taking on the office of Student Body President is a huge responsibility. If elected how will you ensure that it is a role you can fulfill and will not have to forfeit early on in your presidency?

Alanna: Our platform is something that we have already met with over sixty student organizations, faculty, administration, and staff about in order to know for a fact we can follow through on our promises that are important to students. We have done our research, have experience in student government, and a big heart dedicated to the real issues students care about. Grant and I have already met with our academic advisers and have been given the “go ahead” on moving forward with our leadership in student government. Having a Vice President will take a huge load off of the Presidential duties and assist with the teamwork at the heart of our platform. With Grant and I having already worked together for over a year now, we know how well we are together at accomplishing tasks. Without a strong team, nothing can be done. Luckily, we have formed those valuable relationships around campus with students and student leaders who are the presidents of organizations around campus helping us develop a platform for students written by students.