New USG president Alex Solis tackles campaign promises, student awareness

Pulse Editor and Pulse Editor

Alex Solis wanted to begin making an impact as soon as he became the new Undergraduate Student Government president.

The week after he and his vice president, David Neely, were sworn in, they hosted the first meeting of their administration.

Solis is currently interviewing his executive board and goes into the USG office every day after his classes and internship.

He and Neely are already making plans for summer; they want to talk to students during orientation and move-in weekend, travel to other MAC schools to see how their student governments operate and meet with administrators.

Solis first knew he wanted to be USG president when he observed 2010-2011 president and vice president Kevin Basch and Dan Caldwell during his freshman year in USG.

“The day-to-day stuff really sparked my interest,” Solis said. “I thought I would be happy [doing it].”

When Solis came back from winter break in January, he said he began to think what his next step could be. Solis said he didn’t want to maintain the same position, auxiliary affairs chair, but wanted change so he could be more flexible.

“I thought to myself, ‘Where can I be next in this organization?’” said Solis, who was sworn in as USG president April 10. “‘Who’s the leadership coming out?’ And then, when comparing myself, I thought, ‘What can I actually do for USG?’”

Solis then developed the issues on his platform and thought about who his vice president could be.

“I chose David [Neely] because I think every day I just learn from him,” Solis said of his vice president. “Our chemistry’s there, we’re involved in the same things, but at the same time we’re not involved in the same things.”

Neely said he was really excited when Solis asked him to campaign with him, but he did expect it a little, as the two had casually discussed the possibility.

“I didn’t know if we would run this year or next year,” Neely said. “[We ran because] we thought we had the ability to win.”

Neely said he and Solis complement each other well.

“We are very similar in a lot of ways, and I believe we balance each other’s imperfections,” Neely said.

The two were on the same committee this past year in USG and they had the opportunity to see each other work, Solis said.

“He’s a hard worker,” Solis said. “He really pays attention to detail a lot and I really appreciate that about him.”

Neely’s observations about Solis factored into his decision to run as well, he said.

“He has great communication skills; he has great visionary leadership,” Neely said. “And great networking on campus.”

Michael Ginsburg, former USG adviser, said both Solis and Neely did a good job as senators this past year.

“I trust they will tackle [the issues] with maturity and respect that they will solicit constituent feedback,” Ginsburg said.

Solis and Neely’s campaign included focusing on green initiatives, improving retention and renovating the Student Recreation Center.

One thing Solis said he wants to change about USG is students’ knowledge of the organization.

“We’re trying to improve visibility on campus because so many people don’t know what USG is,” Solis said.

One of Solis’ goals is to be able to ask random students what USG is and for them to know of the organization, he said.

“Every day I come in here and I learn every day, and If I’m not learning every day, I’m not doing my job right,” Solis said.