The Quinton Berkompas and Jhordin Prescott campaign

Berkompas, Prescott want to bridge divide between ASWSU students, school

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The Quinton Berkompas and Jhordin Prescott campaign

“[Prescott] and I offer a new perspective where we can bridge that divide,” said ASWSU presidential candidate Quinton Berkompas.

“[Prescott] and I offer a new perspective where we can bridge that divide,” said ASWSU presidential candidate Quinton Berkompas.

JOSEPH GARDNER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

“[Prescott] and I offer a new perspective where we can bridge that divide,” said ASWSU presidential candidate Quinton Berkompas.

JOSEPH GARDNER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

JOSEPH GARDNER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

“[Prescott] and I offer a new perspective where we can bridge that divide,” said ASWSU presidential candidate Quinton Berkompas.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

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Running partners Quinton Berkompas and Jhordin Prescott are hoping to bring a fresh viewpoint to WSU.

“Too many students don’t feel like ASWSU is truly representing them, and [Prescott] and I offer a new perspective where we can bridge that divide,” Berkompas said.

Berkompas is the ASWSU deputy director of legislative affairs and the former president of the Young Democrats at WSU. He said his work with his fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi,  contributed to his qualification for being ASWSU president.

“I have been a part of this process of building a fraternity from nothing up into a really strong chapter with 70 members and a renovated house,” he said.

Prescott said she has not held a position within ASWSU, but Berkompas said they do not shy away from that.

“That is going to be really helpful for us to bridge that divide between the student body and ASWSU,” he said.

Prescott said she has focused a lot of her time on different committees within her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. She has also spent time working closely with the president and vice president of her house.

Berkompas said they were inspired to run for office after working together to bring mental health assistance to their Greek houses. Mental health now stands as one of the pillars for their campaign.

He said they are in the process of providing counselor services once a week for members of their chapters.

“This is great. This is a good start for Thetas and [Delta] Sigs, but this should be [for] everyone,” Berkompas said.

Ben Naumann, president of Delta Sigma Phi, said the work Berkompas and Prescott have done was great for their chapters.

Naumann said Berkompas has been a big advocate for mental health and did a lot of research to make this idea a reality. Berkompas did a lot of work with the fraternity’s budget and figuring out how to fund it, either through dues or through the national organization.

Naumann said he had limited contact with Prescott because he only met her this year, but he said she is lively, engaged and cares a lot.

“She is going to do a lot for mental health and sexual assault,” he said.

 

JOSEPH GARDNER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN
“I was actually pleasantly surprised that a lot of people wanted to have those conversations. They wanted to talk,” ASWSU vice presidential candidate Jhordin Prescott says.

 

They are trying to improve the status of mental health for all people, Naumann said, not just their fraternity and sorority.

“They are dedicated to making WSU and the community better,” he said.

Berkompas said they have a goal of getting more counselors and mental health support resources for students on campus.

Prescott said they also want to increase the presence ASWSU has on campus. A lot of people do not know what ASWSU is or what they are doing. Not only do they want to increase the presence on campus, but also the presence in the lives of students as well.

Berkompas said they are also focusing on sexual assault prevention. They want to change the culture around sexual assault and help support survivors.

“It seems like it is one of those issues that everyone pays attention to when it is in the news, and then all of a sudden, it drifts out of the news and people stop talking about it,” he said.

Prescott said one of the changes they hope to make is to increase their involvement in the community. If elected, they would have 40 mandatory hours they have to spend working. In the past, most of those hours have been spent within the office and the ASWSU “bubble.”

Prescott said they want to burst that bubble.

“We want to make sure, in the following years, we can implement a system where a portion of those hours are spent at different dorms [and] at the CUB fourth floor where there are more identity clubs,” she said. “Making sure that we are being seen by all students so we can hear their different ideas [and] develop those personal connections as well.”

Berkompas said another area they will work on is addressing problems with transportation. The cost of a parking pass can be problematic, and there are some places in “apartment land” where stops get skipped because buses fill up.

He said one of their goals is working with the City of Pullman and the WSU Transportation Services to make at least one viable option for all students.

Berkompas said their Google calendars are overloaded and they are meeting with clubs, fraternities, sororities or other groups every evening.

“Pretty much anyone that will let us in the door, we are trying to have a conversation with,” he said.

Tabling on the mall and talking to students has been one of the more difficult parts of the campaign, Berkompas said.

“I just didn’t expect it to be this cold,” he said.

Prescott said she expected to get turned away when attempting to talk to people. She had a completely different experience.

“I was actually pleasantly surprised that a lot of people wanted to have those conversations. They wanted to talk,” she said. “I have had a lot of deep and thoughtful conversations with a lot of different people.”

Berkompas said going to bus stops in the morning has been his favorite part of the campaign. He also was not expecting to be received as well as he has been.

“I have been shocked at how receptive everyone has been,” he said. “They have had great conversations — I’m sure the donuts helped — but people really do want to have those conversations.”

Berkompas said they both have so much respect for their opponents, Mariela Frias-Gomez and Camille Naputo. The thing they said they bring to the table that Frias-Gomez and Naputo do not is an outside viewpoint.

“I think we have got the experience to be a successful president and vice president,” he said, “while also still having that outside perspective of how we can help more students feel represented by ASWSU.”