| 03.18.2018

Passion for government


ASUI vice president-elect expresses excitement for upcoming term

Everyone changes somewhat when they go to college. ASUI Vice President-elect Stetson Holman said after four years at the University of Idaho, he’s no different.

“I came up to UI because it was the farthest I could go from Idaho Falls and still get in-state tuition,” Holman said. “I don’t want to say I’ve found myself, but I have more of an idea where I want to go out of college.”

Kira Hunter | Argonaut Stetson Holman, newly elected ASUI Vice President, works on his new duties as VP.

Kira Hunter | Argonaut
Stetson Holman, newly elected ASUI Vice President, works on his new duties as VP.

Holman said he’s wanted to be a lawyer since he was little, and he came to UI with that in mind. Student government was a natural step for someone on the pre-law track, he said.

“A lot of people don’t like the bureaucracy, but I love it,” Holman said. “It’s managed so well, and at the end of the day, you’re helping people.”

Holman worked for the Latah County Democrats on Paulette Jordan’s bid for a seat in the Idaho House of Representatives in 2014 — something he said he might like to do after he graduates, if he’s not traveling, in AmeriCorps or in law school.

Holman said for now, he’s keeping his options open. In the meantime, he’s finishing up his first year on the ASUI Senate and preparing to begin his term in as an executive member of ASUI alongside President-elect Max Cowan.

“(Cowan) and I work really well together,” Holman said. “We can bounce ideas off each other, and if one of us has an idea that’s not so good, we can say to each other, ‘OK, man, let’s approach it from a different perspective.'”

Holman said he didn’t expect Cowan to approach him to be his running mate. He said the conversation started last fall in Boise, when a few ASUI representatives traveled to the Idaho Student Association Summit. Holman said he was in Cowan’s room and the two were talking about politics and the Senate.

“He told me he was going to run for president, and I was like ‘Oh, that’s awesome, I think you’d do an awesome job,'” Holman said.

During the ride back to Moscow, Holman said Cowan told him he would make a great vice president.

“Sure enough, like a week later, he approached me,” Holman said. “Once I got the idea of managing the Senate, I started to notice I could change this and it’d be really beneficial. Just keeping that on my mind for a good two weeks it sounded like something I’d like to go for, so when he asked me, I told him ‘Yeah.'”

Stetson Holman, newly-elected ASUI Vice Principal of the University of Idaho

Kira Hunter | Argonaut
Stetson Holman, newly-elected ASUI Vice Principal of the University of Idaho.

Cowan said Holman stood out to him, not only because he was good company and offered great conversation about a wide range of topics, but also because of his eagerness and good work ethic.

“Stetson Holman is incredibly bright,” Cowan said. “He’s passionate and outgoing, he has a lot of great ideas about how to improve ASUI and the Senate, he’s worked incredibly hard over the last year and I’m sure he will do incredibly great work as the ASUI vice president.”

Holman began working on his platform with Cowan three months before campaigning began. As two motivated individuals, Holman said they both wanted to do a good job.

Of the three key points of the platform the pair eventually decided on, Holman said the one that excited him most was improving the student experience. As vice president, he said he hopes to make the enforcement of dead week policies, mandatory posting of grades and student input of deferred maintenance projects a priority.

“While I was campaigning and talking to people, it definitely helped me to look at stuff — especially school — from a different perspective,” Holman said. “I came up (to UI) because I wanted to be a part of a different community and I really wanted to experience something else. It really hurts me that I didn’t get involved sooner, because the university offers so much.”

Hannah Shirley can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter at @itshannah7

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