Fresh Start starts: An exclusive interview with AS President-Elect Terrance Ware

Earlier today on Friday, April 8, Terrance Ware Jr. was announced as the winner of the office of President in the 2016 Associated Students (AS) elections. The new President-Elect was jubilant as he came into the Corsair newsroom and gave us an exclusive interview, transcribed below, so he can speak to the students that voted him to victory. The Corsair: So, first question's the obvious one - how do you feel about your victory?

President-Elect Terrance Ware: [Laughs]. I don't know how I feel, to be honest. I feel like saying thank you. That's all I can really say. I just posted on my facebook actually, and I just said, 'thank you, thank you, thank you.'

Um, usually I'm a man of many words, but at the moment, I'm starstruck. I actually, I cried Thursday actually, no not Thursday, uh, Wednesday, when actually seeing myself on the front page of the paper because that was a really instrumental moment in my life, and I also cried yesterday due to my house being broken into, right?

So now I'm to the point where I've cried already. The moment I got done crying with me being on the paper, I told my friends, 'Now I just got to win,' and everyone started cracking up. Now that I've done it, it's just like, I can't cry. The only thing I can do is smile and say thank you. That's how I feel. Thank you. I feel really, really blessed and I'm ready to do some great things for SMC.

The Corsair: About the break in, is everyone alright?

Ware: Everyone's alright. No one was home when it happened.

The Corsair: Did you expect this? Did you feel like the momentum of the election was there for you that made you think your were going to win? Because you won by a good margin.

Ware: I'll tell you how I felt. Feelings of winning, of  thinking of winning, or thinking of whether I was going to win or not didn't come until yesterday actually. And it came because as I was campaigning, God was with me this week.

A bunch of my classes happened to get canceled, and so it gave me more campaigning time. We actually hit, probably about 40 classes this week. We set a goal of 30. So we were really campaigning.

All yesterday, which was Thursday, the last day, I was running through campus still campaigning and a lot of people kept yelling like, 'Hey Terrance! Terrance! I voted for you!' That's when I started to think that 'I'm a contender here. I can do this! I may actually be winning here!'

I was here last night [Thursday, April 7] all the way up until 11:50 actually talking to students. There was no one else here on campus, it was just me and Laura Zwicker, it was just us. Laura actually gave a full-on speech to the custodial staff, actually. You could see how excited she was to give the speech.

So, for us, it just felt like we worked so hard that if we lost we'd even be content with the loss because we put in everything we had to give. So yesterday was the day that I finally felt like 'I may win. I might actually take it all.'

So to see it this morning - I didn't think that I'd win by that margin at all, I never thought that. But to see that I won, was just really, wow. Hard work does pay off. That's how I feel.

The Corsair: The debate gave you a chance to pit yourself the other candidates and let students who may not have heard of you get to know you a little bit. How do you think you did in that debate, and do you think that it factored into you winning by such a large margin?

Ware: I felt like it factored in. I know that it was a factor because I had a lot of students tell me, 'I saw you at the debate, I liked what you said.'

But the biggest thing is that I didn't really like the debate itself. I didn't like the whole situation where it seemed like Daira and I teamed up against Steve and that was not ever my objective. It kind of just happened that way.

For myself, personally, it put me [into] a weaker [position]. Because it felt like two against one, rather than one against one against one.

Terrance Ware Jr. addresses the crowd as the debate comes to a close in front of the clock tower at Santa Monica College on Thursday.

I did feel like it did give me a little bit of a higher stature, but I actually didn't even watch the debate until about 11:50 when I was actually done last night. Once I watched it I was like, I didn't think I voiced the things I [wanted]. I thought my interview went really well actually.

But I didn't think my debate [performance] was as strong as my interview. I thought that it could have been better, I thought that I could have said a bit more [about] the things I want to do here. But I know it factored in because, like I said before, some students actually told me that they were voting for me because of the debate.

The Corsair: You mentioned Laura Zwicker. With six winning seats, obviously the Fresh Start slate did pretty well in this election. Does that make you feel more at ease or more comfortable going into the fall semester knowing that you're going to have a lot of your comrades going into it?

Ware: I don't know if I can say this, but hell yes! [Laughs]

I remember that as I was campaigning- I have a lot of friends here on campus that I know were going to vote for me, because whether I was going to be a good candidate or a bad candidate they were my friends so they were going to vote for me, right? But I had to reiterate to a lot of those friends not to just vote for me and to make sure they voted for my entire slate.

I've reiterated to a lot of students as well, that anybody that knows me knows that I'm going to fight to get the things I want done, done. But with the team that I have, the Fresh Start slate, I know that things will get done a lot more efficiently and a lot faster with those people behind me.

Because I feel like [the Fresh Start slate] are going to be willing to fight with me until the end of our term. Constantly and every day. Tirelessly. In comparison to some of the other people that were running.

That's nothing against any of the other candidates, I just feel like, I know what these people are about, I know these people are going to put their boxing gloves on and get into the ring with me and we're going to fight until the end. So, hell yes, it made me feel really, really, good.

The Corsair: You have the same goals, with pretty much the same ideas.

Ware: Exactly. We spoke about it constantly. And we constantly talked about how, one of the biggest things during our first meeting was 'no individual campaigning'. It was all about our slate. It was all about us. Because we have the same goals.

I knew that if it was just me going in, or only me getting elected, I know that my voice isn't as strong as me and the rest of my slate members.

Terrance Ware Jr., candidate for AS President at Santa Monica College, approaches the podium for the debate on the Main Campus on Thursday.

The Corsair: So, you're the AS president. You have a lot of work ahead of you next semester. Do you have a good idea of how much work you have to do, and are you ready to take on that workload and have people look at you and make big decisions?

Ware: Am I ready to take on the work load? Yes. Do I have an idea of how much work it will be? Yes. Do I know how much work it will be? No. Do I still feel like even with the idea that I have that it will be more overwhelming than what I'm expecting? I do feel that way.

So I'm just going to go in, and I'm going to give it my mind, body, and soul. I will do everything possible to make sure that I still maintain my GPA and maintain my sanity, and maintain the best educational facility in the world.

That's what I will do. Also, to have fun while doing it. I like to stay happy, I like to smile, and I plan on continuing to stay happy and continue smiling while kicking butt during our next school year.

The Corsair: Is there anything you want to say that we didn't touch on?

Ware: I really want to say thank you to The Corsair, first off, for doing everything that you guys have done. I really want to say thank you to all of the candidates that ran for actually being involved here. I want to say thank you to all of our students that actually voted.

To leave off with that, I really, really, hope that everyone heard what I said, I reiterated it multiple times: please, if they see me on campus and they have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions please feel free to stop me and ask me these questions or let me know. I will do the best that I can to give you whatever time that I have to make sure that all of our issues are cleared up here on campus.

I want to walk around and see a campus of smiling faces. I want everyone here happy and everyone to feel like their school is the best school. Not only in the state, but in the entire country. This is what I'm fighting for and this is what I really want our students to feel, and that's where I'll leave it.