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Q and A with ASISU Senators

March 8, 2023

A man and a woman stand outside .

Voting for your ISU college ambassador is coming soon, but what does this mean? What do ambassadors do, and why should you vote?

Get an idea of what types of projects your ambassadors can do by reading this Q&A with two of ISU’s ambassadors: Maclane Westbrook and Natalie Mortenson, Ambassadors for the College of Arts and Letters. They explain what ASISU is and some of the projects they have been working on. Maclane is a junior majoring in Communication, Media, and Persuasion with an emphasis in Multiplatform Journalism. Natalie is a junior majoring in Political Science. 


Q: What does it mean to be an ISU Senator?

A: Maclane: The idea behind senators is to represent the college and students. We are on the lookout for what is important to people in the college and we advocate for those things. What an ASISU senator can do is help groups and organizations on campus be more involved and show off their skills and abilities.


Q: What sort of projects have you been working on lately?

A: Natalie: Marching Band goes to every single event, no questions asked, but they don’t get much funding. We wanted to help send them to the Big Sky Conference. Band director, Dr. Tom Kloss, normally pulls any resources he has in order to send the band to the conference. This year, with the help of ASISU they will be sending a 30-person pep band. The pep band makes a big difference to the athletes.

Maclane: It’s always fun for people in the marching band to take a trip and go to an event like this. It helps the basketball team and shows our athletes they have support there. It helps ISU in general, showing not only is our basketball team competing, but we have our marching band there representing ISU and playing our fight song.

Natalie: The International Affairs Council is underfunded. They do absolutely amazing work. They’re bringing in ambassadors and high profile people within their fields. It’s one of our biggest draws to ISU and I’m working with them to try to get them money to help in whatever way they deem necessary.  

Maclane: We've spoken with the Dean of the college, Kandi Turley-Ames, about supporting the debate team, as well as ways more students can get involved on campus including a staff appreciation day. We came up with ideas and how we might be able to help. 


Q: Tell me about reinstating the King Spud.

A: Maclane: The King Spud trophy was passed between ISU and University of Idaho in the 60s and 70s for basketball. One school would win it for the year. There were mixed reactions to the trophy. It’s got a very unique look. People certainly talked about it. Around 1979 it went missing. It hadn’t been seen for many years. I saw an article in the Idaho State Journal. I thought it was really interesting. A lot of people, fans were captivated by the idea of this giant, smiling, potato trophy. I thought it could be brought back. U of I had worked with one of their professors who made a model and scanned it for 3D printing. We contacted their student government and they were on board with the idea. So we commissioned funds to go to a 3D replica of the trophy. That happened in November and it’s been printed.

I think U of I and ISU are unique because they represent different parts of the state. It’s an interesting part of the rivalry. Whoever wins gets to declare themselves the “True Idaho School” and represent the area they’re from. It’s more of a building rivalry, a friendly rivalry.

Q: What do you like about being part of ASISU?

A: Natalie: I like the interactions we have. You get to interact with people you wouldn’t normally work with. Also we get to work on really cool projects, important projects that I don’t think you’d have the ability to do outside of ASISU.

Maclane: You get to meet a lot of people on campus, and get to advocate for students and the ISU community as a whole. If you have something you really care about, if there’s something bugging you as a student (like you wish this thing was different), becoming a senator can help you have the ability to change that and help others. 


Q: How can students get involved with ASISU?

A: Natalie: Students who want to be a senator or be on the executive ticket can go to the ASISU website and print out the election packet then fill it out.

Maclane: We’re hoping to get more interaction with elections this year. We’re increasing awareness of people running and voting. I’d love to see people challenge me and a lot more people get involved in student government. A lot of students don't know what ASISU is, so giving them that knowledge and how to get involved, and how to make it work for them is important. 


Voting for ambassadors will occur March 13 at 8 a.m. to March 17 at 5 p.m. To vote for your college representative please visit Bengalweb on voting week. Voters can view the Candidate Voter’s Guide at www.isu.edu/elections/voters-guide-to-candidates/.


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