Alan Maldonado: A Setup for Success

Allyssa Ertz, Arts and Life Editor

“The whole thing about this year is basically setting BV up for success in years to come.” 

This quote comes straight from Student Senate President Alan Maldonado, who has a true vision for this year to make a lasting impact on the campus of Buena Vista University.  Multiple projects and proposals are already in the works to push our lakeside university to reach its full potential. 

Student senate has a ton of power and potential, which Maldonado is planning to use through a new perspective of approaching students.  Instead of only allocating money for events, Maldonado has implemented plans for the senate to host events.  He also intends for senate to partner with organizations and clubs throughout campus to assist with their projects as well as help them with events.  Maldonado’s vision means the senate will make an effort to be a part of a variety of happenings on campus. 

A directional approach to find out what students truly want senate to implement at BVU will also be put into effect.  Throughout the first two months of school, Maldonado and other members of the senate will attend one meeting of every organization to find out what each one needs the senate to do.  By October or November, Maldonado is hoping to have a concrete, strategic plan with policies and proposals that will initiate change on campus throughout the rest of the year. 

Instead of the trend in the past to push out 2-3 proposals per year, this year each senator has been asked by the Maldonado to write their own proposal.  This will result in a prospective 8-13 proposals to be considered by the senate, allowing them to consider more angles and be more active.  This will potentially make a dramatic difference in what occurs on campus.  The difficulty of achieving each proposal will also affect the senate’s approach to them. 

For example, one proposal was to further enforce the Thursday spiritual hour at 11:00 a.m. and apply it to campus regulations.  This means absolutely nothing will be scheduled at that hour so that students are able to attend the service.  This was an easy proposal to gain support, especially in contrast to the change in alcohol policy.  This policy, which would allow students to drink outside in certain areas – such as the sand volleyball court, grilling areas, and the Rec House – is still being debated, and has been since last year. 

Since Maldonado has been here for four years and has been involved in many organizations and experiences, he is exceptionally open minded to different perspectives.  He is aware of how it feels to be an out-of-state student, knows how stressful it can be to be crammed with homework, has been an RA, and has been involved with different clubs as well as played soccer at the varsity level for 3 years.  This has given Maldonado insight on how to handle situations in a more effective manner than someone without all of these experiences. 

Maldonado is a unique individual because he not only works to motivate his fellow senators, he truly has a dream to move the entire school forward to its best potential.  However, he needs BVU students to help him with this. 

“There’s a new slogan going around, every time something goes wrong, everybody yells, ‘Alan, fix it!’  I always tell them… some things are out of my control.  There are some things you guys can change,” Maldonado states. 

Maldonado desires to open the senate to everyone.  He believes that everyone comes to BV and has it in a certain light in what they expect, what they want in a college.  This dream of the college experience can be made into reality. 

Whatever you want to see BVU become, Maldonado can help to make it happen. 

“That’s what I am trying to do is access that potential that they want and try and bring that to us so that everybody can work together and elevate.” Maldonado elaborates. 

Collaboration has made a huge difference in new innovations.  Bigger and better events are in process to take place, in part due to group efforts.  Collaborating once a year can gain more funding for an organization now because of one of Maldonado’s propositions.  Former president Rosie Russell helped in writing this proposition, and Haley Davis, coordinator of student activities, has been essential in getting on board and implementing this concept throughout campus.  More collaboration will equal more success and make BVU an even stronger institution. 

What’s happening with student senate can be found on Twitter  and Facebook as its main social media platforms.  Their website is also a new way to find out information about Senate.

Other endeavors Maldonado has picked up on his own include the Student Section page on Twitter.  Maldonado created the page to tap into the athletic spirit he’s always loved. 

“I have a lot of people asking me how am I able to balance a lot of things, but I don’t see it as working harder.  It’s more about thinking differently about what we want and how to get there,” Maldonado attributes to his many commitments. 

Maldonado is looking for feedback on senate’s aspirations as well as his own.  He wants to know if what he’s doing is what students want.  He believes we are currently growing and in a great place as a university, but he wants to make it even better with all the feedback he can get. 

Maldonado is trying to increase the number of senate members.  It is currently 16, but he would like to have 24-27 members total so that more students have the opportunity to make a difference through a variety of people.  The more people involved that have a true desire to go out and make a difference at Buena Vista University, the better we will become. 

Maldonado’s favorite part of being student senate president is the interactions.  He loves seeing so much drive and enthusiasm in people every single day, which makes him truly appreciate what he has.  He’s talked to a plethora of people that he would never have come into contact with if it weren’t for senate.  This is what inspires him!  Hearing all of these people’s stories, what drives them, and hearing what they want from him to make themselves beneficial and make their visions possible is what inspires and drives the president. 

According to Maldonado, this year is about planting the seeds that will grow.  He wants to see senate’s actions impacting the university for years to come.  More working together is what we need: professors coming to events with students, students getting involved with the full college experience, a close-knit community.  Collaboration, open minds, and flexibility are what we need to succeed, and this student senate president is willing to make that all happen for BVU. 

“I want to be able to see people stay at BV because they want to stay at BV, because they love it. It would be great if they could say I love it because of this thing and that thing being something I implemented. It’s not about building a print now into reaching a goal where you can say at the end of the year, I have definitely changed BV. It’s definitely not about that. It is about trying to get that student body into a mentality that change is coming, no matter if you want to or not, accept it. Change is coming, and it is definitely for the positive. So if you are with us, please be with us to make this campus great.”