Name: Joseph Phillips
Running for: President
Major: American Studies and International Studies
Q: How is your candidacy different from your competitors?
A: We don’t have these lofty words in our platforms; we have very solid ideas. The 13 of us, all have this set of concrete ideas that are totally doable. I think that’s what separates us from our candidates because one of my opponents says “I’m gonna work with the [university] president,” and it’s like, “No s–t. You’re gonna work with the president anyways as the president of ASI.”
Q: How are you qualified for the position?
A: I’ve had many life milestones so far. I’m 22. I have a two-year-old daughter. I know responsibility. I know what it’s like to take on really big challenges. Other than that, I know how to motivate a team and inspire people. I believe in empowering individuals who I believe deserve it. That’s the whole goal of why we put together our team in the first place, Students for Diverse Leadership.
Q: How will you advocate against budget cuts on behalf of students?
A: The [CSU] Chancellor’s Office has actually done a decent bit to fight against these budget cuts. Gov. [Jerry] Brown had that moratorium on tuition increase, fee increase. We’re starting to get more money into the system. I don’t think the issue right now is budget cuts. I think it’s kind of where we’re going to allocate that money.
Q: What would be your main focus during your term?
A: I would like very much to work on that Jobs for Grads idea. That’s going to take a while. A lot of ideas take lots of time. Affordable study abroad, that’s an idea that’s going to take time, and it might extend past my time as president. Things don’t change overnight, and I think that it’s important to delegate to your team when you can’t get to it so that they can complete it when you’re not able to be there.
Q: Describe a time when you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills. How did you handle the situation?
A: I mean, I had a kid. I remember the day she was born. Most of the students that go to this school will not experience that for a long time, but that is the most stressful thing that you could possibly go through. I think the most important thing is, when you’re in a very stressful time, you have to keep calm. You have to think past the situation, you gotta think, “This is only going to last for a little bit. I’m gonna do what I can to help out.”
Q: What do you want students to know about you?
A: “I’m a laid back, stress-free person. I like helping people. My favorite thing this year is that we founded the Students for Diverse Leadership. Seeing them now, they’re so proud of themselves, so happy. That’s really what’s bringing me so much joy. That’s me: I’m a young dad, I’m sick of working at Jamba Juice. I want to be the president — that’s me.”