Ross has big plans for senate

Jessica Rothschuh

Bill Ross, senator for academic affairs, will run unopposed for Undergraduate Student Senate Executive Director on March 9 and 10.

Credit: Andrew popik

As a young boy, he wanted to be a comedian like Eddie Murphy, George Carlin and Bill Cosby.

“It turns out, I’m not that funny,” Bill Ross said. Instead, he is studying finance and is involved in politics.

Ross is running unopposed for executive director of the 2005-2006 Undergraduate Student Senate, though he is still campaigning for votes by visiting hall councils and Greek and student organizations.

“I see a lot of things that can be done,” Ross said.

If he is elected, Ross has several goals, such as revamping the USS Book Exchange.

“I want to make it more demand-oriented,” Ross said. “It’s just smarter economics.”

Students would post a list of the books they will need for next semester before book sell-back begins. That way, students will be able to see which books are in demand and how much other students are willing to pay before they sell their books back to the bookstore.

He also plans to continue lobbying in Columbus in response to decreasing state funds for higher education.

“I don’t think they understand what they’re doing down there,” Ross said.

Ross would not comment on how he thinks Executive Director Gary Broadbent has done this year, but he said he would continue Broadbent’s open communication with university administration.

A ‘Visionary’

Chris Bowers has known Ross for two or three years and considers him a friend. The two currently work together in USS.

“Bill’s always doing stuff for his position,” Bowers said. “He’s dedicated to the position and to the students 100 percent.”

Bowers said Ross has what it takes to ask the tough questions and be a great executive director.

USS adviser Donna Carlton also works with Ross in his current USS position and said he is always in the office.

“He’s done an excellent job with the academic affairs position,” Carlton said. “He’s a forward thinker. He’s a visionary.

“He’s very professional, and he takes what he does very seriously,” she said.

Ross is also a College Republican, though he said he has a friendly relationship with the College Democrats.

“I don’t believe partisan politics plays any role in student senate,” Ross said. He said what is good for students doesn’t depend on their party affiliations.

He is also a member of Delta Epsilon but is not only focusing on Greek votes.

“There are less than 1,000 Greeks on campus,” Ross said. Even if you have Greek support, “You still have to work hard to win.

“I was a Greek my freshman year, and I still lost.”

Growing up

Ross grew up in Wellsville, a town in upstate New York, has a population of about 3,000 and is primarily dairy farming country.

“Wellsville is a great place to raise children,” Ross said. “It’s a great place to grow up.”

Though Ross didn’t live on a dairy farm, “I do know how to milk a cow,” he said, smiling.

Vicky Ross, Bill’s mom, said her son is goal-oriented and dedicated and gets along “extremely well” with his 18-year-old brother.

“He was always good about taking care of the dog and shoveling snow,” she said.

She said her son was in National Honor Society in high school and played soccer, basketball and golf.

“I think Bill will do well and look out for (students’) best interest,” she said.

Following Through

Ross’ term will also be spent searching for a perfect candidate for his big plan.

“I guess my biggest goal now is to run a student in the 2007 City Council election,” Ross said. “I really see it as an important thing. The city administrators need to be more responsive to students.”

In addition, he plans to ensure student activity funds are spent more responsibly.

“I want to organize better efforts between student organizations, so there’s not the duplication of programs,” Ross said.

He is currently working on creating a new death in the family policy that is “more sensitive to students’ needs.”

“Today, there’s a lot of nontraditional families,” Ross said. He wants a policy that will excuse students from classes for deaths outside of the immediate family.

If Ross is elected, he wants to be a part of a more active student senate next year.

“A more visible and proactive student senate,” Ross said. “When I say I’m going to do something, I follow through completely.”

Contact student politics reporter Jessica Rothschuh at [email protected].