An independent's day: An exclusive interview with AS Vice President-Elect Adrian M. Restrepo

Early in the morning today, Friday, April 8, the winners of the 2016 Associated Students (AS) elections were announced in the AS offices and the word was quickly spread over social media. Among the many winners, Adrian M. Restrepo - who ran independently without the aid of a slate - was announced as gaining the role of the Vice President for AS in the upcoming 2016-17 year. Though he was not present in the Cayton Center to hear of his win first hand, Restrepo did manage to find some time in his day to come to the Corsair newsroom and give us an exclusive interview about how he felt about the win, and what he plans to do. The interview is transcribed below.  

The Corsair: So how are you feeling about the win?

Vice President-Elect Adrian M. Restrepo: Normal. The same. There's more responsibility now, but the same. The same Adrian. The same me.

The Corsair: You're not going to let this go to your head?

Restrepo: No, no, no. Never. I have people around me that will keep me on my toes. If I feel like I'm flying I know I have people that are going to say,' hey Adrian, come back here,' so, you know, I'm not going to worry about it.

The Corsair: Did you expect this? Were you prepared for winning?

Restrepo: I mean, I worked hard for it. I talked to people. I didn't do as much social media as I could because I wanted to be more direct with people.

It's not the same. When you go direct [to] the people and say, 'hey, I'm about this' and they ask you questions that would make you pause over social media. That's why [not using social media] was one of my flaws, but it worked. I went to classes, I was on the quad and spent time talking with people, marvelous people, so that worked.

The Corsair: You ran independently in this election and weren't with a slate. Did you feel like this was a greater challenge, going against larger teams?

Restrepo: No, not really. Not really. I mean, we all have the same objectives, we all go to SMC. We want to better it, in each person's way. In the end, the other candidate that was against me with their own ideas . . . I don't think it was a disadvantage for me. I think all the candidates that ran independently, they did excellent.

At the end, the voters - the students - they don't see it like,'Oh, I'm going to vote just for this team.' They are really worried on who they were going to vote [for], and they made their investigations and they talked with us. They talked to all the candidates they could.

It was excellent. That was a good part of this year.

The Corsair: Are you going to be able to keep up with the big workload, keeping up your units while being the AS Vice President?

Restrepo: Yeah! It's not the first time, I've had this [kind] of workload. I know what is coming is crazy, but I mean, it's what I wanted to do. I knew since the first moment that I was committing to this.


Adrian Restrepo (left), candidate for AS Vice President, discuses problems with the campus as his opponent Yighan Tang (right) looks on and waits for his turn to speak during the debate.

The Corsair: As the upcoming Vice President next year, is there anything you want to tell to the SMC student body?

Restrepo: I think that their voices are going to be more represented now. As I say, I'm a person who prefers to talk to you than just being on social media or waiting for you to come to me. I prefer to go to you.

You know, I'm that kind of person that enjoys talking, enjoys the debate. I think that's one of the reasons to do what I want. I plenty of debates in college, on campus, I stay talking with people for like 30 minutes on one topic and we're like, 'no I disagree with you, well I agree with you on this point.'

And well yeah, [students] voices are going to be more represented now and I'm going to be with them more closely than ever.

The Corsair: Thank you for your time.

Restrepo: Oh thank you man.