AS Elections 2016: Meet Vice Presidential candidate Adrian M. Restrepo
Kinesiology major Adrian M. Restrepo, 19, referred to his youth in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela in creating the basis of his AS vice presidential candidacy. When Restrepo lived in Venezuela, he was a human rights activist who protested against corrupt political powers. Enduring through tear gas and rubber bullets to fight for a fair government, his experience has inspired the way Restrepo views leadership.
“You cannot be a leader and be like, ‘Oh, we go this way,’” Restrepo said. “We should be leaders that say, ‘Which way can we go?’”
Finding a lack of communication to be one of SMC’s biggest issues, Restrepo wants to bridge the gap between AS and the student body.
“The student needs to be more communicative,” Restrepo said. “We can do this through events, through networking people face-to-face. We have lost this with technology, with the phones. But we need to take students to the same place and say, ‘Hey guys. How you doing? What’s your name?’”
As a board member of both the Soccer Club and the United Nations Association, as well as a member of the International Student Forum and the Dance Club, Restrepo puts emphasis on the importance of supporting student activities.
“The Global Citizenship Club is going to Sri Lanka to build some houses,” Restrepo said. “I think that’s amazing. They’re going to build houses for poor people. And talking with them, I think we can do many things with all clubs that we are not doing right now.”
If elected, Restrepo plans to show the student body how AS works, and provide them with a space to voice their needs and concerns.
“I want to take students to AS and show them that we’re not just a group of people that meets every Monday and makes choices for them,” Restrepo said. “We need to let them know, ‘Hey, we’re here. We’re here to support you.’”
Restrepo recognizes the differences between each student's needs, and hopes for the chance to respond to these individual needs on a personal level.
“Many students don’t have the same necessities and when we’re here, we try to compile what we think is the most important,” Restrepo said. “But individually we need to ask them, ‘Hey, what do you think should we change?”
Under his direction, Restrepo also wants to address the issues of increasing recycling and creating a more sustainable campus. But before the issue of sustainability, Restrepo called out the flaws in SMC’s parking system.
“This is something they need to regulate,” Restrepo said about the over-issuing of parking passes. “If I have a car and I pay money to have a parking space, I don’t want it to take advantage of me… I think we need to figure out different ways to bring students that they can really know their ways to transport themselves and come here to college.”
Overall, Restrepo faces the election and next academic year optimistically.
“As soon as the AS gets elected, I think we’re gonna work on this,” Restrepo said. “We’re gonna bring students together and make them more interested in SMC issues.”