Today the WIU Board of Trustees (BOT) held their March meeting and one of the seats occupied at that meeting was the student representative, senior Andre Ashmore, a law enforcement major. I was curious as to how Ashmore came to be the student representative and what his job entails. He took time out of his busy schedule to explain.
Ashmore became involved with the Black Student Association (BSA) during his first two years at WIU. He was an active member in the organization, and was eventually elected to be the Student Government Association’s (SGA) senator representing BSA. He showed dedication and a drive to the students he worked with and participated in different community service activities. His name became known to the student body at WIU. In March 2013, there was a campus wide election, and Ashmore was elected to be the student representative to the Board of Trustees.
Since his time with the Board, Ashmore has gotten to know a lot of different people within the University. He has built relationships with different administrators and has bonded with many different students. He explained it is his job to direct a student to the correct administrator if they present him with a specific situation or problem. He is also a part of the “master planning” campus committee to better the university as he explained it. He learns about what campus renovations are to be done and where. He has benefited from the experience from a social perspective. “It is good to know that I have a vote to better the campus as well,” Ashmore said.
When asked what he has personally accomplished, Ashmore was quick to respond. “Financial aid,” he said. “I feel more students are more aware of it now.” Ashmore helped spread the word about applying early and he believes his input and efforts spreading the word across campus has helped many students. He said social media helped his message get across to others as well as word of mouth.
Ashmore is happy with the time he has had on the Board. He has networked and gotten to meet and get to know different administrators, including the University President. “I have a good relationship with President Jack Thomas,” Ashmore said. He wishes to take his experience from the position as student representative and expand on it in his future career. “It shows I have had this sort of dedication and that I can put forth this same effort with a career,” he said.
Although Ashmore works closely with the University in his role on the Board, he does not have any direct responsibilities related to the upcoming SGA elections on campus. He said he knows all of the candidates personally, but he has refrained from getting involved with the election. “I have confidence that the students will choose the best candidate,” he said.
Ashmore has been happy with his time on the Board; it’s been a rewarding experience. However, he did say he would like to take a little break when his time is up. After graduation, he plans on going to law school, most likely in the Chicago. Nevertheless, Ashmore has enjoyed his time at WIU. “I appreciate everyone from western, and one day I can give back as well,” he said.