Madame President (Abbreviated Version)
The following is the abbreviated version of the interview that ran in the print edition. The complete interview can be found here.
New University: Tell us a little bit about yourself – where you come from, how you decided to run for president, et cetera.
Megan Braun: I went to high school in San Diego, Coronado to be specific. I am one of five kids, and family has always been a big part of my life. I decided to go to UC Irvine because I wanted to play college water polo while still being moderately close to home. I got involved with student government my sophomore year as the Humanities Representative on Legislative Council. After two years in this position and a stint as the chair for both the Rules Committee and the Housing & Dining Committee, I decided to run for ASUCI President. This decision was based on my sense that UCI needed a dedicated leader who had the courage and the discipline to tackle the major issues that are facing today’s student body.
New U: What is it that you would like to accomplish this year?
Braun: I tend to be very ambitious and there are a myriad of things that I want to accomplish this year. I hope to increase school spirit, improve the quality of dining services, collaborate with the Alumni Association, strengthen ASUCI’s relationship with the New University and improve communication across the campus. I also plan to improve the structure of the Student Funding Programming Board and I hope to increase student control over the university by reforming the Student Fee Advisory Committee. I want to increase student involvement through quarterly club fairs and improve student attendance at sporting events. The needs of the students come first and I am always open to finding out what students want and looking for ways to achieve their goals.
New U: What are the biggest challenges ASUCI faces this year? What is your strategy in tackling those challenges?
Braun: This year ASUCI will
be challenged by the budget cuts that are facing the entire campus.
While ASUCI’s funding will not be affected, budget cuts decrease the amount of disposable funds that other campus departments have to collaborate on projects with us. As a result, we will have to look for creative financial strategies and try to seek additional partnerships with off-campus sponsors.
We will also be challenged by the sheer number and magnitude of projects that we are working on. Every year ASUCI seeks out innovative new ways to improve the campus, and with such an ambitious group of executives, ASUCI will have its hands full. But I think our leaders are capable and experienced. With collaboration and efficient work habits we can achieve a tremendous amount.