TT: What made you want to run for president?
AM: Well what made me want to run for president is dissatisfaction with the status quo and what’s going on right now when it comes to school and our government. I was a part of the Student Government Association at Austin Community College as treasurer, representing 45,000 students on eight different campuses. Fortunately for me, I had the opportunity to work at the Texas State Capitol at the same time. They were in session, and we had a lot of lobbyists come into our office, and I didn’t see any of them lobbying for higher education or speaking about it. So I don’t think any of the senators or state representatives really knew of all the barriers and challenges students face. I began to organize efforts in meeting with the key officials of ACC and key administration to go to the Capitol and push for an increase in investment within higher education. You know, I come here to Texas State University and I want to do the same thing because I understand the challenges students face. I work two jobs, go to school full time and it’s hard to balance all of that. And when I see our government has a surplus of funding, and they’re refusing to invest in our schools even though our numbers are only increasing, that’s not okay with me. And that shouldn’t be okay with the students, and we should stand up together to stop this.
TT: Why should students vote for you over your opponents?
AM: Well they should vote for me because I’m not just talking about doing something—there’s action behind it. Like I said in my previous answer, I saw something was wrong, I saw students were facing a big barrier and the biggest barrier I feel students face is financially. Their success is tied financially. So I saw that and I got up and I did something about it. And even though it was a big challenge and we didn’t succeed, we met many people who were for our cause and wanted to help us and we began to build relationships with them. I want to do the same thing again when the State Capitol and all our legislators convene in the 84th legislative session. And they should vote for me because I will go to the State Capitol, and I will lobby on behalf of the students. It is my responsibility to do so.
TT: What are your main initiatives going into this election?
AM: The first main one is to increase funding for students. The second initiative I want to do is more accountability for our teachers. If you feel dissatisfied with a certain grade that you got and it wasn’t fairly given, we should be able to set up a better system to help out the students and more so a committee to kind of look over that and be like, “Okay, yes this student deserved the A” or “No, they didn’t.” I just feel that the evaluations, having it at the end of the semester, is not enough. That’s not enough.