A.S. President candidate Harrison Baum

by Emely Navarro, Senior Staff Writer

Position: President

Name: Harrison Baum

Year: Junior

Major: International business, political science minor

What made you want to run for A.S. President?

Before freshman year even started one of my most vivid memories on campus was freshman convocation which took place in Viejas Arena. And I remember sitting in an arena filled to the brim with thousands of unfamiliar faces sitting next to my mom, and Josh Morse, the then-A.S. President spoke, and when he spoke he inspired me. Not only does he have a moving personal story but his ability to overcome obstacles and find himself and his passions while at San Diego State is something that inspired me. In my time in A.S. I have seen the successes and strengths that can be built upon, but also the weaknesses in areas that can be improved upon. In my year in A.S. I have gained the perspective from the inside and get an understanding of how to get things done and how to be an effective leader within Associated Students. And in addition to my experiences (throughout) campus outside of A.S., I have seen the perspective of a student who is not involved and I have seen the ways A.S. can be improved and work for all students.

How did you get involved with A.S.?

My involvement with A.S. started my junior year. When I first got to campus I automatically got involved in other parts of campus life. I joined a Greek organization, I joined on-campus clubs, really making an effort to branch out into the community. At the second half of my sophomore year I was approached by a mentor and close friend of mine, Kyle Murphy, who was running for A.S. and he asked me if I would consider running for a college rep position. So I decided to run for the College of Arts and Letters representative. I won and immediately, upon the first success in the election, I really immersed myself in A.S. as much as I could. I joined as many boards and committees and councils that I had the time for, including not only the Arts and Letters University  Council but also the External Relations Board. I was elected vice chair of the Financial Affairs Committee, in addition I am designee for executive officer on the Aztec Student Union Board.

What are some of the things you like and dislike about A.S.?

I came into San Diego State as a young freshman without any direction and through my leadership experiences I really came to develop a passion for servant leadership and (grew) my leadership skills in ways that I never thought possible. Through those experiences I came to not only build self confidence but also understand that A.S. is an incredible organization. There is always room for improvement. There are obviously changes that can be made to Associated Students. It is important not to lose sight of its main goal, which is to be a servant organization to the entire student body. We do represent students. A.S. has done a lot of great things in the past and we’ve seen a lot of tangible effects of Associated Students. We’ve seen things, for example, like the bike lane. However, I think there is disconnect. Bridging that disconnect between Associated Students and the students is something that is campaigned upon each year. I think it’s time to actually act upon it and interact with students and engage them even in ways that most students may not think initially. First and foremost, A.S has to be accessible to the entire student body. We need to have a focus advocacy and specifics to the diverse interests of our diverse campus community. We need to hold ourselves accountable to representing student voices at all times.

What is your long-term goal?

I think there is a stigma to the title of politician and I’m all about breaking stigmas. I truly want to be a servant of the people and work in politics in a capacity that is not swayed or corrupted in any way. In my eyes there is a responsibly to give back and I’ve wanted to pursue becoming an attorney for a long time and I think that is a good platform to enter the political sphere.