CR Daily: Why are you running for Student Body President (SBP)?
Powell: “I am running for SBP because the university is going through a tough time right now and we need some big solutions. Our tuition is increasing, while our funding is being cut, and that puts many of us in a tough bind. UNC has long been a leader in access and affordability. In this new time of challenge, I think it is time for UNC to continue leading. We also have a lot of work to do to address sexual assault on this campus. Currently, I am helping to incorporate One Act training in the new member process for all IFC fraternities. In addition, I believe that I can help with town relations. The town ordinance that only allows for four people to live together is ridiculous, and I intend to work towards changing that.”
CR Daily: What will be some of your main goals while in office?
Powell: “I am unapologetically ambitious when it comes to my goals. We need to use student government to change the way this University serves its students. Change won’t happen by itself, and we need to act to address the big problems on day one in office. The thing is that we already know what the biggest challenges are. We know that tuition, sexual assault, and minority retention are major challenges among many other important ones, and we need a student government that will work to address these problems immediately.”
CR Daily: What distinguishes you from the other SBP candidates?
Powell: “The major thing that separates me from the other candidates is my ideas. For me, it is all about ideas and issues. If I did not truly feel passionately about these things, there is no way that I would run. I am not doing this for my resume. I am running because I what to be effective in my time in office and I want to make a positive impact. While I really admire the other candidates, what I hope will distinguish my platform is the content – it’s full of ideas that will have tangible results.”
CR Daily: What will be your biggest weakness should you be elected Student Body President?
Powell: “My biggest weakness is that I take on too much responsibility by myself. I need to get better at asking for help and delegating tasks early on. My team in the campaign has been incredible, and I feel confident that if elected that my team will help me push big ideas.”
CR Daily: What will be your biggest strength?
Powell: “Honestly I think it’s a unique combination of two things – ambition and persistence. I have a major ambition for change, and I will work with administrative officials to see that change happen. However, I know that change takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work, and I am patient enough to move things through a bureaucratic system. For example, convincing professors and departments to redesign their classes takes a lot of work. But I’ve had good success in the past few years, and we’ve been able to implement a number of blended learning courses. Student performance is up, and feedback from both instructors and students has been positive.”
CR Daily: What are your impressions of our new Chancellor Carol Folt, and how are you planning on working with her administration to accomplish your goals as SBP?
Powell: “I am very impressed with Chancellor Folt. As soon as she arrived, she immediately noticed UNC’s unique culture and special commitment to serving North Carolina, as well as our distinctively high quality, affordable education. In addition, she has pushed for more innovation on campus without missing a beat. As part of the Chancellor’s Student Innovation Team, I have been able to provide input on the Innovation Roadmap, and I can tell she is committed to UNC becoming a world leader in innovation, just as our former Chancellor was.”
CR Daily: What is the one thing about Carolina that you love most?
Powell: “I am always impressed by the people here. They continually committed to solving our biggest problems, and to do that people are always open to considering new ideas.”
CR Daily: Out of all the great people who have contributed to the University over the years, who is your favorite and why?
Powell: “While I don’t know how much he contributed directly to the University, I believe that Andy Griffith embodies the Carolina Way, and so he’s my favorite Tar Heel. Andy Griffith was the quintessential good neighbor. He was honest and caring. He was also an extremely hard worker. And Andy Griffith has brought a ton of joy to my family. My granddad is a huge fan of the show. My granddad is now battling Alzheimer’s, and he still watches Andy Griffith every day. He often watched the same episodes over and over and he laughs every time.”
CR Daily: Who is your favorite President and why?
Powell: “Although this may be folklore, I like Thomas Jefferson for this reason: One day he brought a 500-pound wheel of cheese to the White House lawn. He invited everyone he could to come by and have a piece of cheese and discuss the state of the country with him. I think this symbolizes openness and transparency in an administration, and that is what I have been trying to do – in a much smaller, less cheesy way – with my coffee hours at the Daily Grind.”
CR Daily: UNC has abruptly transformed into Hogwarts. What House are you and why?
Powell: “I would be in Gryffindor, because like most of the Gryffindors in the book, I try to be a well-rounded scholar as they aspire to be.”
CR Daily: This concludes our interview with Andrew Powell. Thank you for stopping by!
Powell: “Thanks for having me!”