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ASG presidential candidate Jim Wiley hopes to improve campus

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Jim Wiley | Photo by Daniel Potter
Jim Wiley | Photo by Daniel Potter

Associated Students’ Government presidential candidate Jim Wiley and his party Students United are looking for votes in the upcoming student election, which is set to take place April 6 and 7.

Wiley and his administration hope to place a special emphasis on improving CSU-Pueblo’s technology infrastructure and campus dining services.

The initial stages of Wiley’s campaign were a struggle for Students United as they worked at getting everybody on the same page.

“Of course, getting everyone together and on the same page takes a little bit of time. Different things come up in different people’s schedules. For example, this past week two of my candidates had a good friend pass away, so they both had to travel and were unable to be here as a part of the planning process,” Wiley said.

“As soon as they got back, I had to catch them up and get them up to speed on the different things that were happening on campus. It’s a little bit of a struggle to get everybody on the same page but once that’s taken place it’s really easy to work together,” he said.

Wiley said all members of Students United are now ready to promote themselves. Everyone knows what to say, which platforms the party supports and all of the goals they intend to work on throughout the next year.

“Now that we’re a couple steps into the campaign things are really starting to smooth out. It’s an exciting journey, but it’s definitely a learning process,” Wiley said.

Wiley said that because of his background in information technology, he is passionate about the different technology infrastructure on campus. He has become more aware of the issues through his role as IT director last year and in his Hasan School of Business position.

“I was very involved in the IT committee here in ASG. I definitely am set on addressing those issues and getting more funding for that. Actually, we have had quite a bit of success in some of the efforts that ASG has put forward as well as in some of the other departments on campus that are also working on funding for the infrastructure,” Wiley said.

“We have already been able to pull in $1.86 million of state funding, so we are just waiting for that check to be signed and sent to us and we’ll be able to start implementing those upgrades,” he said.

Wiley said CSU-Pueblo is on track to get two new mobile data centers.

“That will really help with the speed of the internet connection and the access into the different services here on campus through the computers,” he said.

In addition, the Students United candidates hope to see a number of wireless upgrades taking place because of the new funds. The campus is well behind other universities in terms of technology resources.

Just last year, campus upgraded to Windows 7, which is a six-year old operating system.

“We still have quite a bit more to do before we’ll be able to roll out Windows 8 and Windows 9 is around the corner. Even Windows 8 is obsolete at this point,” Wiley said.

“We’re definitely going to work to continue pushing that as well as an issue with auxiliary services and housing services. The only thing holding us back is creativity. If we can come up with a creative way to go about solving problems then we’ll be able to accomplish everything we’ll want to and I fully intend to do that,” he said.

Outside of technology, Wiley wants to support student-athletes with better nutrition on campus.

“My true belief is that our Chartwell’s dining services do as best as they are capable, and they are not very capable of doing much,” Wiley said. “Through my experience as an RA in the dorms here on campus, I was eating here in the cafeteria and the food was not nutritious. I felt sick after eating a meal and I would often not finish a meal because of that.”

The Students United candidates want to focus on adjusting the food and providing better nutrition for the students, the staff and especially the athletes.

“To go into something as say ‘I’m gonna mess all this up and start over from the ground up,’ is a terrible approach and I would hate to do that. I don’t want to do that in this case with the dining services, but I want to suggest an alternative, and I have to prove that the alternative is a better solution for the problem,” Wiley said.

Wiley said last year, CSU-Pueblo was planning to implement a sandwich shop for students.

“I thought it was a good idea and said we should go with it. A year has passed and still nothing has happened,” he said. “Unfortunately, Chartwell’s is not the most direct, aggressive and timely at accomplishing things. They don’t have to be: they have a ten-year contract. They can take their time and only emphasize their progress at the time the contract needs renewal.”

Wiley and his party hope to establish independent contracts with vendors rather than go through a middleman like Chartwell’s to communicate with Starbucks or other franchises or corporate offices that would be willing to establish a presence on campus.

Similar solutions have been implemented at Metro State University, as well as other Colorado universities, he said.

“It’s time that we have nutrition that can support our learning, our physical activities and our success,” Wiley said.

Wiley ran for office because he saw a need and noticed that there were certain aspects of this university that needed to be addressed head on.

“The typical case for ASG has been that people take the position for the potential to improve their resume to have a nice additional $200 a month,” he said.

“People say all the time that ASG gets paid to do nothing. You see that on Yik Yak or the confessions page and it hurts me to see things like that because I am very passionate about this organization, about this campus and about accomplishing things,” he said.

Wiley said he wants to change the impression that ASG members don’t accomplish anything.

“I’d like to counteract that by doing many things,” he said.

Wiley said he believes his personal experiences have helped his campaign.

“I transferred from CU-Boulder about 14 months ago. Since my time here, I have experienced living on and off campus,” he said. “I made it a point to get involved in different activities and organizations on campus. I joined the ASG and became a member of the dean’s advisor council at the HSB.”

Wiley also started CSU-Pueblo’s yoga club and is a member of the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha.

“I experienced a lot of the different recreational facilities on campus. I also joined the accounting club and participated in some of their events, but right now ASG is my sole focus,” he said.

Wiley said that building relationships with people who have been here longer than he has and experiencing some of the same things they do has benefitted him in his campaign.

Juan Rodriguez | Photo by Daniel Potter
Juan Rodriguez | Photo by Daniel Potter

Juan Rodriguez is the candidate for vice president running alongside Wiley. Rodriguez was a senator before Wiley was and is still in the position.

“Juan is a standup guy and an expecting father so that makes him a man about to experience many more things than I have and than I am prepared to at this point,” Wiley said. “It gives him a perspective that will complement me as president and make our executive ticket that much stronger in moving forward.”

“Juan complements my personality in many ways so I think that we will be able to work well together throughout the next year and accomplish many things together. With the two of us in a discussion together, we are able to come in at different angles,” he said.

Wiley said he wants to emphasize that he is not running for president just to be the president.

“I want to become president to handle the roles that the resident should be responsible for, and to accomplish the things that the President is expected to accomplish that many not have been fulfilled in the past,” Wiley said.

Wiley and his party want to be a strong representative voice for the student body.

“We are not interested in pursuing ideas that to many sound cool but only benefit a few students. Yes, we will take a look at everything, but we are going to select and pursue only those issues that will benefit the majority of the student body,” Wiley said.

“If we are only focused on issues that impact 10 or 15 percent of the student body, we are doing the entire school a disservice. We would be wasting our time and the student fee money. We need to be committed to improving life on campus for the majority of students. I am 100 percent committed to that,” he said.