10 Questions With UPUA President-Elect Terry Ford
Junior Terry Ford handily took the UPUA presidency with a 92 percent margin after his opponents’ disqualification left him and running mate Katie Jordan up against two write-in campaigns. Ford and Jordan have their first meeting tomorrow night as the new leadership of UPUA.
We spoke with Ford about his campaign, the ensuing celebration, and plans for his upcoming presidency.
Onward State: Were you surprised at all with your success?
Terry Ford: We were surprised and humbled to win by such a large margin. Thanks to our team of mutual and organizational endorsements, we were able to receive more than 5,000 votes. Knowing that so many students have faith in me is incredibly motivating, and I am so thankful for their support.
OS: Did you have any indicators throughout the day that you were leading in the polls?
TF: We did not have any specific indicators that we were ahead in the polls. We knew our opponents would put their best foot forward, so we tried to do the same. Seeing our team out in full force on Election Day helping us secure votes was encouraging and gave us faith that we would prevail.
OS: How did you celebrate your win?
TF: After the results were announced, I celebrated with a close group of friends, including our campaign team and some of my roommates. It was such a great feeling being able to celebrate with everyone!
OS: What do you think was one thing that set you apart from your competitors?
TF: I believe our experience allowed us to stand out from the competition. While all the tickets did a great job making their case to the student body, I think our confidence in our previous experience and internal knowledge of UPUA was noticeable. Like I have said before, it is one thing to have great ideas, but being able to actually put them into action is something entirely different. Our advantage was being able to say that we have real experience putting ideas into action.
OS: Are you nervous for your first meeting?
TF: I think I am more excited than anything else. Katie and I will be officially sworn into our new positions, and the Assembly will have the opportunity to elect a Speaker and four Committee Chairs. Plus, this upcoming meeting is our chance to set the tone for the upcoming year.
OS: What do you plan to accomplish before the fall semester?
TF: Katie and I have an ambitious platform, but each initiative requires a first step. The remainder of this semester will be about laying the foundation for the next year. This includes preliminary research and benchmarking on our projects, plus connecting with administrators to get things rolling. Additionally, we want to ensure the continuity of some of our current projects that are being carried over to next year. We also plan to have a fully developed Executive Board before summer.
OS: What is your largest goal for UPUA this term?
TF: I really have two answers to this question. The first is more specific: we want to end the mental health care funding crisis on campus. We believe we can make meaningful strides in this area by utilizing the newly created Student Fee Board to allocate a portion of the Student Fee to CAPS and working with administrators in Old Main to ensure institutional support for mental health care resources. The second answer I have for this question is more broad: I want to increase the overall efficiency of UPUA. By eliminating some of the internal politics and focusing more on actually fighting for students, I believe we can do so.
OS: Has current UPUA president Emily McDonald given you any advice?
TF: Emily has been such a great resource for me. This entire year, she has been a fantastic mentor and has shaped me into the leader I am today. While she remained impartial during the election, now that it is over she has given me tons of advice on what steps I need to be taking.
OS: What do you wish to say to the students who you now serve?
TF: We are your elected representative body! If you have a problem in your academic or social life, or if there is something about the University that you think could be improved, please reach out to us! Visit our website at www.upua.org to find our contact info.
OS: Finally, if you could be any dinosaur, which would you be and why?
TF: Velociraptor, because they’re team players!