TSG Candidates Fall ’17: A Closer Look

Photo courtesy of Cortney Easton

By Mary Grace Richardson, Co-editor

It’s election season at Thunderbird for one more day, and unfortunately for reality TV fans out there, everyone has relatively been getting along and tensions have been low. Luckily for the student body, though, the candidates are not only very qualified, but also personable and engaging people who have shown how deeply they care about their school. While the formal applications and resumés of each student were distributed to everyone eligible to vote, Das Tor asked each candidate a range of questions to get more personal insight into the current and future campus leaders:

Photo courtesy of Vishal Bhardwaj
Photo courtesy of Vishal Bhardwaj

Vishal Bhardwaj (MGM ’17), current TSG Vice President, running for TSG President

Who are leaders you admire? 

M.K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King,Nelson Mandela. They took initiative to make change, and it took a long time, but perseverance, tenacity and determination made it possible. Starting an initiative is easy, but finishing the task is challenging and is hard.

What makes you really uncomfortable?

When someone is thinking about him/herself only rather than helping the group.

Who do you go to for advice? 

Friends, classmates, juniors, ex-boss, wife, professors. The more perspectives you see, the better in order to understand the issue and take action accordingly.

What’s your favorite word? 

UBUNTU – a quality that includes the essential human virtues: compassion and humanity.

If your life could be defined by one song, which would it be? 

“It’s Not Over Yet” – For King and Country. It inspires me to go the extra mile, to go a little longer, and never give up. Since a kid I have gone through lot of changes, and I believe you can change anything only if you don’t give up.

Chris Barton asks, If you’re walking down a dark alleyway and a shirtless Putin emerges from the shadows, what would you do?

 Haha…Ask him if needs a shirt and offer him one.

Photo courtesy of Hugo Paredes
Photo courtesy of Hugo Paredes

Hugo Paredes (MAGAM ’18), current Academic Affairs Chair for MAGAM, running for TSG President

What makes you smile?

Puppies. TACOS. When applications don’t ask me for cover letters. CMC snacks.

Who do you go to for advice?

My parents. They are older, wise, and advice is best from a trustworthy voice.

What’s your favorite word? 

Loyalty: because it reminds me to be true to myself and my friends.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Can I only pick one?

The best compliment that I have ever received is for my pink polo shirt that I wear. “OMG YOUR SHIRT IS SOOO NICE ;)”

In all seriousness, the best compliment that I have received was that I was called a diplomat during my campaign for TSG President. That compliment was very much appreciated because it showed that my peers trust me to represent them and the school responsibly.

Chris Barton asks, If you’re walking down a dark alleyway and a shirtless Putin emerges from the shadows, what would you do?

Step 1: Step back

Step 2: Ask, “Do you even lift, bro?”

Photo courtesy of Jose "Pepe" Santos
Santos holding the NCAA trophy. Photo courtesy of Jose “Pepe” Santos

Jose “Pepe” Santos (MAGAM ’18), running for TSG Vice President

If your life could be defined by one song, which would it be?

“Imagine” by John Lennon. In this song there is a line that is very special to me: “You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” I truly believe that if you fight for what you want and for what you are passionate about, dreams become reality.

“It is only a dream if you’re sleeping.” – Joey Gomes

What do you order at the Pub?

The Texan burger if I am feeling homesick, the wings when I get to hang out with friends and watch sports, and the Cobb salad when I have spent way too much time at the Pub. Normally it depends on the day, but mostly beer.

Who are leaders you admire? 

1. My parents. Throughout my whole life my parents taught me that I would never be entitled to anything in this life. They showed me that in life you might fail more times than you succeed, but no matter what I should never quit. But most importantly, they showed me that the most important thing in life is to fight through adversity for those whom you care about the most.

2. J.K. Rowling. Even though she might not be seen as a leader among us, I really admire the way she was able to change the lives of millions of people all over the world. She created a fantastic idea that quickly spread into a world phenomenon, completely changing multiple industries in the world. To me she leads a fantastic world that most dreamed to be part of once or twice.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

“Oh my god, I love your hair” – all of my mom’s friends when I was, like, 10. Now I know why there is not much left.

“I want to be like you when I grow up.” What my brother said once, but he will never admit.

Chris Barton asks, If you’re walking down a dark alleyway and a shirtless Putin emerges from the shadows, what would you do?

If for some reason I happen to see Vladimir Putin shirtless, in a dark alley emerging from looming shadows, somewhere around 59th and Thunderbird, I would ask him if he made sure to close his tab at the Pub. Patrick gets very annoyed when people forget.

Shereni, on the right, sand boarding in Cape Town. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shereni.
Shereni, on the right, sand boarding in Cape Town. Photo courtesy of Nancy Shereni.

Nancy Shereni (MAGAM ’17), running for TSG Vice President

What’s your favorite word?

I don’t have a word, but I have a phrase, and it’s “What could be?” This phrase is my favorite because it challenges me to try new things; it motivates me not to remain complacent about my current stage of life but to take risks.

What could be if I pushed myself to actually achieve that goal or New Years resolution I wanted to so badly?

For example, regarding TSG, it would sound like, what could be if we used TSG to its maximum capability? What could be if we were more positive or hopeful about the student life and experience of the school? What could be if TSG was the pipeline of the students’ needs and people felt they trusted TSG to help facilitate problems? What could be if the student body complained less and banded together to make changes? What could be if you achieved that one dream or ambition? What could be if you took a chance?!

… Anything we want for our future success will be a result of our present actions.

Who are leaders you admire?

I admire leaders like my mother. She is a very dynamic woman who mentors others and succeeds as a business woman, wife, author, and more. She is simply incredible. My siblings and family as a whole would fall under this category. Secondly, people like Nelson Mandela because of his ability to forgive and try to bring unity to a very divided country at the time. Dr. Martin Luther King, Myles Munroe, Melinda Gates, Mrs. Maiyiwa, Lisa Bevere, Professor Schneider (Oral Roberts University) and Professor Peterson (Thunderbird), and more. These people have been able to achieve their dreams and have made an impact in their communities and around the world. They are all people I desire to learn from and have made me want to be an influence in communities around me. They are authentic. They stand out in society and are hard workers. I enjoy reading and learning from the characters of these leaders.

What cheers you up? What makes you smile?

Honestly, it doesn’t take me long to be excited or cheer up about something. Speaking to my family, spending some QT (quality time) with friends, any random surprises, jokes, seeing people succeed and be happy.

Who do you go to for advice? 

I go to my mother first, because she is always right. I go to my brother because he provides that harsh truth, and my sister is a great balance because she will help me analyze the situation in a different perspective. Depending on the situation, I consult with mentors for assistance as well.

Chris Barton asks, If you’re walking down a dark alleyway and a shirtless Putin emerges from the shadows, what would you do? 

Initial thought:

Ask if he is lost or needs food

Reality:

Sprint the opposite direction or tackle him down

Photo courtesy of Matthew Turgeon
Photo courtesy of Matthew Turgeon

Matthew Turgeon (MGM ’17), current Representative of Alumni Relations, running for TSG Vice President

When was the moment you decided to run for this TSG position? 

The moment for me was right after we finished the March Regional Night. It was a great event planned by a lot of hardworking TSG members. I saw how TSG can really make Thunderbird a fun place that can get all sides involved. I worked the door as a TSG representative and was able greet everyone coming in. I really enjoy meeting these people and want to keep that momentum going into the Fall semester.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? 

The best compliment I’ve received was told to me recently by another student while working as a Campus Ambassador: “Thank you for always showing up.” That was great, and I take pride in dedicating myself to things I have believe in.

What’s your favorite word? 

Easy, it’s… focus. Focus is what you need to be successful. We have so many distractions today. Focus!

If your life could be defined by one song, which would it be? 

“The Birth and Death of the Day” by Explosions in the Sky. It’s an instrumental that starts slow and gets crazy. Like, isn’t that all our lives?! Love it!!

Chris Barton asks, If you’re walking down a dark alleyway and a shirtless Putin emerges from the shadows, what would you do? 

Wow…. I think I would call my local law enforcement and try and not make eye contact.

Photo courtesy of Partha Dey who is on the right
Photo courtesy of Dey, who is on the right

Partha Dey (MGM ’17), current TSG Treasurer, running for TSG Treasurer unopposed

On Friday, the Thunderbird Administration will send out the link to vote to all current students. Those eligible to vote can do so from April 14 at 12pm until April 17 at 12pm.

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