Meg Fowler: As the year comes to a close, and you step down from your position as Student Government president what were your greatest successes?
Andy MacCracken: The most exciting projects that have been successful this year include the AU SmarTrip-ID pilot program. That represents a big step forward with our partnership with Metro and hopefully will bring us closer to a more practical proposal for a Metro discount.
The second is the Clean Energy Revolving Fund. It’s actually remarkable that we were able to, in the span of four or five months, get it moved through in a way that the fund has actually been created and we have an account number, and we have the support of the Office of Development, and it’s been incorporated into the university’s Carbon Neutrality plan.
MF: What do you look back on as things you wish you could have done better or could have improved this year?
AM: I think the culture within the organization has been a source of frustration both for myself and for students, in general. I think the best illustration of that is probably [Alex Prescott’s] suspension. Instead of along the way trying to motivate and inspire better activity ... [the Senate] was spending time writing legislation for more ways to punish us within the organization. It’s the wrong attitude, I think. I wish I had been able to redirect that in some way.
MF: What is your favorite memory from this past year as SG President?
AM: A moment that stands out in my mind was the first time I discussed the Clean Energy Revolving Fund with the Board of Trustees at the report that I give to them. That spurred a five-minute discussion about the importance of sustainability at American University. It’s a very small thing, but at that point I was young in my presidency, and it was exciting. It was empowering to hear the top decision makers for the university, and this excites them. I think at that point I realized what a success CERF would ultimately become and where it could go.
MF: You still have a year left at AU. Why did you choose not to run for re-election, and what do you plan to do with your remaining time?
AM: It was a really tough decision not to run again ... Ultimately, when I sat down and thought about it, I am happy with what I have been able to accomplish this year. I’m sure there’s a lot more I could have done in a second year, especially given the momentum of recent progress we’ve seen, starting new initiatives.
But looking forward, there are a lot of things I haven’t done yet. I’ll be starting my master’s next year through the five-year combined program ... I’ll be here for a while ... I think there are other ways for me to contribute without being in the presidency.
MF: How are you going to stay involved with advocating for the student body?
AM: By trying to figure out more specific projects I want to take on. The fire’s still burning in me. I’m not going to walk away entirely from advocating for students. I just won’t be as president.
I’ve asked Nate [Bronstein] if he would let me keep working on [general education] reforms. I’m doing an independent study right now with the provost on education policy, so it’s a really interesting way of tying it in practically. I’m reading about the historical context of general education at the great universities, so being able to sit in on the meetings where we’re trying to really refresh the program, so it’s exciting.
I’m only going to be as involved as Nate wants me to be. At this point I’m just another student who wants to help.
MF: How has the transition gone with Nate Bronstein?
AM: Our transition has been going pretty smoothly ... He is very much ready for those experiences already, and the best tools that I can give him are knowledge.
You can reach this staff writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.