| 03.20.2018

Graduating ASUI senators discuss their student government experience


ASUI Sens. Kate Ricart and Joe Madsen may have heavy hearts as they look ahead to graduation, but they said they have bright outlooks on their futures.

Ricart said she decided to run for senate on a whim because she wanted to be more involved on campus. Though her decision to run was random at the time, Ricart said it was one of the best decisions of her college career.

As a studio art and design major with an emphasis in painting, Ricart said she hadn”t given much thought to pursuing a political career. After two years of being on senate she said ASUI has influenced her to work for the government after graduation.

Joleen Evans | Argonaut ASUI senators Joe Madsen and Kate Ricart participate in their last ASUI meeting Wednesday night in the Whiteroom in the Idaho Commons.

Joleen Evans | Argonaut
ASUI senators Joe Madsen and Kate Ricart participate in their last ASUI meeting Wednesday night in the Whiteroom in the Idaho Commons.

“Immediately after I graduate I”m going to be traveling to Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia throughout the summer and then my plan is to work for two years while I apply to law schools,” Ricart said. “After that I”ll be going to law school for the next three years.”

Ricart said she plans to study international law and dreams of being a diplomat for the U.S. and Cuba, where she studied abroad.

Besides inspiring her to work for the government, Ricart said being a senator has given her confidence in professional settings and the opportunity to enhance her community. One way Ricart said she has benefitted the community is through the ASUI Art Festival.

“Zoe (Ball), who used to be a senator, and I decided we wanted to do something to exhibit students” creative skills so we put on the first Art Festival last year and this year I”ve been running it,” Ricart said. “We thought it would be something cool for not just the Art and Architecture students but for everybody to be able to come and sell their work and make a little bit of money and to be able to show their talents. So it”s cool to be able to directly see the influence we can have on students.”

Madsen said his decision to run for ASUI senate was an easy one since he has always had a passion for politics. As a political science and history major, Madsen said he wanted to be a part of student government because he believed it would provide him with skills pertaining to his major.

Madsen said though he has obtained a great number of skills from being on senate, the people he worked with at ASUI have been his favorite part of student government.

“There”s definitely a distinguishable character that works in ASUI and it”s really fun to work with people like that,” Madsen said. “Students are really highly motivated, social and good at what they do so it”s empowering being around people like that.”

He said these types of people are what makes attending senate meetings interesting because of the varying opinions on issues.
One thing Madsen said he hopes the future senate will maintain institutional memory after he graduates.

“Ideally we”d have senators implementing policies on the same trajectory we have already established and in the past we have struggled with that,” Madsen said. “I don”t want everything that we have done so far to be forgotten.”

Being a senator has given Madsen life skills that he says have better prepared him for the real world. Madsen said he plans to go to law school and would preferably like to work for the state department of the CIA.

Madsen said students should be more involved on campus and be a part of student government.

“I think it”s a great way to better your personal skills and your community as a whole,” Madsen said. “It”s a great avenue to become a better person while also helping those around you.”

Jessica Gee can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @JessicaC_Gee

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