Student Government candidate profiles: Jaden Ahlrichs

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Jaden Ahlrichs, a sophomore in global resource systems and horticulture, is running for a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Senate seat.

Ashley Tibbs

Iowa State Student Government election polls open Monday. Two of the seats on the ballot are represented by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Jaden Ahlrichs, sophomore in global resource systems, is one of three candidates running to serve as a senator for the college.

Why do you believe you are qualified for this position?

“I’ve currently been sort of all around the College of Agriculture … I’ve been probably in about four or five different majors and so I have a feel for a different variety of majors. Currently I’m in global resource systems and horticulture … I’ve just got that firm root in agriculture. I come from a small town — Pocahontas, Iowa, about 1,600 people — so I’ve got those morals that a lot of CALS students have. … I feel like I have that work ethic and drive that a lot of others have, but then also my past leadership experiences. Last semester I was the director of events for the Inter-Residence Hall Association … freshman year I was in the First-Year Leadership League with the Student Alumni Association, I was on the Hixson Student Board (I was their freshman representative), I was on my House Cabinet, I was on the hall, Willow Hall, Council and I was an IHRA representative … I just really have that experience … and running for Student Government, for the College of Ag specifically, for me is really that next step of representation and being able to fill the potential I believe I have.”

What are some of the biggest issues you feel need to be addressed in this next year?

“Since my majors are global resource systems and horticulture, I’m kind of rooted in sustainability. …  If elected to Student Government, that would be one of the committees I would try to be on, sustainability. I know they’ve got a lot of motives right now going through with the recycling and the trash receptacles — I love that — and then one that’s kind of like near and dear to my heart is the food waste issue. … With IRHA, I actually know Mohamed Ali, he’s the director of dining, on a personal level, and so just being able to work with him (we already work well together) and just kind of really assess the situation and then see how we can improve it, because I know ISU Dining already does a lot with sustainable matters and I know they put a lot of their food waste right to the ISU composting, but there’s always room for improvement. I also think that since Student Government does get that … it’s a million bucks that they get to control, really making sure that that money goes back to the students, especially in the College of Agriculture. And so through that I really want to push for increased club funding and just Student Government funding of events when requested upon.” 

What do you hope to accomplish as senator?

“Being the voice for the CALS students. So currently right now, I am on CALS Council representing the honor fraternity Alpha Zeta, and so I’m already in the organization that I’d be directly responsible to. I know a lot of what goes on there and really any club can voice their desires and needs from the different students, and so just really listening to them and not forgetting who I represent, and, you know, not going off on my own little tangents, making sure they’re rooted in the needs and beliefs of the actual students … who elected me.” 

How will you represent the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences?

“So as senator, I think a really good method is to find those hubs of people, so attending different club meetings … not going for any purpose, just going to go to the meetings and talk with the students, actually get to know them, to know and learn the people that clicked my name on the Google Form that they use and just getting to actually learn the people … I feel like the Student Government sometimes — obviously a big thing, you know, is the transparency, which is being brought up a lot this year, I’ve seen, and that’s a good point, you know, not just [being] ‘this person’ in Student Government or a student organization on campus but being someone who people will go ‘Hey! Jaden Ahlrichs, he’s the CALS senator,’ knowing me and creating those relationships with people where, if they are having problems in the college or personally…They would have that relationship where they feel they can personally confront me about it, so it’s not something they bundle up inside … they would tell it to someone and then I can voice that for them.” 

Why do you think it is crucial the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has an equal role in Student Government?

“We’re not the biggest college, but [we are] a good chunk of students that are in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and really looking back to Iowa State and why we were created — the Iowa farmers’ college — the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences was kind of like the root of Iowa State and making sure that our college just stays on top. You know we kind of are nationally acclaimed, the CALS Advantage, for what we can do and the different majors we provide. Just really making sure that that — what we can provide for students —  is being shown, that we are CALS … and having that presence in Student Government.”